2019 Kia Optima SW PHEV: price, specification, on-sale date

Updated Kia Optima plug-in hybrid estate on sale now

Kia's stylish Optima Sportswagon plug-in hybrid has been freshened up for 2019, with interior and exterior tweaks and a new 'PHEV plus' trim level.

The updated Optima Sportswagon PHEV joins a rapidly expanding range of hybrid and pure electric models from the South Korean brand, which includes the Kia Soul EV, Kia Niro hybrid and Kia Niro plug-in hybrid, with the electric Kia e-Niro due later this year. As a plug-in hybrid estate car, the Optima Phev has few direct rivals, but will compete with the Volkswagen Golf GTE and Toyota Prius Plug-in.

Physical changes to the updated car include a redesigned lower front bumper with integrated LED daytime running lights and new 17-inch alloy wheels with a diamond-cut finish. Kia's distinctive 'Tiger Nose' grille gains an active air-flap to make the PHEV more aerodynamic than before, further contributing to fuel efficiency.

Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV performance, MPG & CO2

In all-electric mode, a claimed range of 33 miles and a top speed of 75mph combine to allow full use to be made of the Optima Sportswagon PHEV's plug-in hybrid technology. Many will find it possible to complete the daily commute without having to use petrol at all, and company car users will pay a low 13% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax thanks to claimed CO2 emissions of 33g/km.

Electric range is boosted by a regenerative braking system. This recovers energy generated during deceleration and converts it to electricity to top up the 11.26kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. In the right driving conditions, Kia claims that 188.3mpg is possible. It also claims the transition from petrol to electric power is 'seamless'. The 2.0-litre, 152bhp petrol engine and 66bhp electric motor join forces to accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds.

Boot space and interior

The Kia Optima PHEV saloon lost some of its boot capacity to its batteries and while the same is true of the Sportswagon, its more versatile luggage compartment helps to make amends. While its 440-litre capacity is a big drop on the regular Sportswagon’s 552 litres, it’s still far more accommodating than the 360 litres of the Prius. When they’re not needed, the rear seats can fold to expand total capacity to 1,574 litres. Heavy loads can be carried, too – the Sportswagon PHEV boasts a maximum payload of 390kg.

Standard equipment is generous – at the heart of the dashboard is an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. DAB radio is standard, as are sat nav and an eight-speaker stereo from hi-fi experts Harman Kardon. The dashboard differs from other Optima models by incorporating data displays useful to hybrid drivers, such as all-electric range remaining. Meanwhile, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance are a boost to safety.

New for 2019 is the PHEV Plus, which adds 'smart park assist', a panoramic sunroof and rain-repelling hydrophobic front glass. Inside, leather seats are standard, those in the front featuring ventilation and adjustable lumbar support, and a wireless phone charging point is provided. Additional safety kit includes high-beam assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot detection and a 360-degree camera system.

Price and on-sale date

The updated Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV is now available, and starts at £34,995. The range-topping PHEV Plus model is priced at £38,995.

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