Kia Optima Sportswagon estate (2016-2020) - Reliability & safety

A great warranty means reliability shouldn’t be a worry with the Kia Optima SW, but it’s disappointing that hi-tech safety kit is reserved for the top-of-the-range model

Carbuyer Rating

3.3 out of 5

Reliability & safety Rating

3.5 out of 5

Kia reliability always has to be viewed in the context of the brand’s excellent warranty – although its cars tend to do well in customer-satisfaction surveys and aren’t prone to serious problems. In addition, the Optima saloon has been on sale for several years now, so any niggling teething problems will have been dealt with before finding their way into the estate.

The Optima SW also gets a full suite of passive and active safety equipment, but you have to spend big on the top-spec model if you want the very last word in protection.

Kia Optima Sportswagon reliability

As a fairly new model, the Optima SW hasn’t yet featured in our annual Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. And as the Optima saloon doesn’t sell in great numbers, not enough owners responded for it to feature in the 2016 edition, either.

Kia as a brand did reasonably well, however, ranking 14th out of 32 car brands overall and managing a top-10 position for reliability. As always with Kia, any reliability worries are greatly mitigated by the brand’s seven-year/100,000-mile warranty – more than enough to cover the typical ownership duration of a car like this.

Safety

The Optima is a safe car, with the four-door saloon version getting the five-star stamp of approval when crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2015. Like that car, the Optima SW features plenty of the latest hi-tech safety kit in addition to airbags, hill-start assistance and the legally-mandated anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and tyre-pressure monitoring.

The one caveat is that you have to spend more on a higher-spec trim level to get absolutely everything. The 3 model adds lane-keeping assistance and speed-limit warnings, but only the very top-spec GT Line S has blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, auto-dimming headlights and automatic emergency braking. It’s always disappointing when a manufacturer puts a price on safety like this.

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car technology
22 Jun 2022

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Electric MG 4 to arrive in September
2023 MG 4 - UK front
MG
4 Jul 2022

Electric MG 4 to arrive in September

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Facelifted Volvo XC60 driving - front
Deals
1 Jul 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022