Kia Optima SportsWagon interior
The Sportswagon’s interior is a great advert for what a combination of South Korean money and a design studio in Germany can do.
The dashboard feels well built and is extremely logically laid out. In fact, there’s a strong hint of BMW 3 Series to be found here, with a central console that angles towards the driver, and four prominent knobs that sit on either side for quick operation of the stereo and ventilation systems. It doesn’t quite have the ease of operation boasted by the Skoda Superb, but there’s not much to separate the two.
Quality is also a little off the Skoda’s high standards, but it gets achingly close. In strong sunshine, the top of the dashboard has a glossy finish that looks cheap, even if a more detailed inspection reveals it’s constructed from a high-quality squidgy material. Meanwhile, cheap scratchy plastics can be found in the lower reaches of the cabin, but unless you spend a lot of time crouched in the footwell (we’re guessing you don’t) then this is a small issue, and the switchgear operates with a slick precision that feels German in origin.
It's a bit too dark and corporate in here but the quality is decent
Basic Sportswagon 2 models come with a seven-inch touchscreen, while every other model gets an eight-inch version. For now, we have only sampled the latter, but its icons are clear to understand, and the wide-range of colours and clarity of graphics make it a nice thing to look at.
Whichever model you go for, all Optimas have sat nav as standard – an option in all but top-of-the-range Superbs – and it’s an easy-to-use system that can be set up in seconds. A BMW iDrive-style control with a fixed knob on the centre console would be nice to see – and easier to operate on the move – but as it’s not fitted to any direct rivals we can’t complain too much about its absence here.