Kia Optima Sportswagon first drive: A big friendly giant that lacks a bit of personality

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The Kia Optima is the sort of car that you see starring in flashy US TV commercials, where enormous NBA superstars cram their frames into the cockpit and ramble on about its superb comfort and desirability, despite the fact they likely own a fleet of Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis.

As such, the Optima has never been one to make waves in the UK, partly thanks to the fact that four-door saloons sales largely fall into the company car category, which has long been bossed by the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and, more recently, the Skoda Superb.

Sensibly, Kia has decided to stretch the salesman’s favourite and offer it in an estate body style, which it refers to as the Sportswagon. Us Brits love a spacious estate – what with our dogs and kids and bicycles – and the Korean marque hopes it will appeal to families with plenty of junk to haul, as well as more traditional business users.

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