Kia Optima Wagon Won't Reach Production

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Kia’s Sportspace concept won’t evolve into a station wagon version of the new Optima that debuted in New York last week.

“We looked at it. It’s a beautiful car and obviously it’s a big deal in Europe mainly because they love estates over there,” Kia Motors America product planning vice president Orth Hendricks said.

The company hinted at the possibility of an estate version of the Optima last March when it showcased the Sportspace concept in Switzerland.

“What we found is that [an Optima wagon customer] is right on top of our Sorento buyer.” The Optima is Kia’s best-selling product in the U.S. where last year the company reported 159,020 sales compared to the Sorento, which was its third-best seller last year at 102,520 units. Combined, they accounted for 45 percent of Kia’s U.S. sales in 2014.

A wagon version of the Optima might serve to elevate Kia’s profile in the European auto market, but that won’t be enough to justify the business case.

“We looked at the volume and we looked at the number of people that would choose it and what it would cost,” he said.

But bridging the gap from show concept to series production of a salable product would be expensive. Kia builds Optimas for this market and globally at its West point, Ga. plant. “It would be a whole other set of tooling to bring all that stuff in,” Hendricks said.

So for now, the possibility of an Optima station wagon will remain firmly in conceptual territory.

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Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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2 of 5 comments
  • Chris Chris on Apr 08, 2015

    Fuck... I would trade mt SXL TODAY to get it in a hatchback version, this sux, I was looking forward to it... {=O(

  • John T Eirich John T Eirich on May 07, 2015

    If this was a higher performance car than the Optima turbo models, I would have jumped at it. I wouldn't consider a lateral move or a downgrade in performance. But that is simply not what they were even proposing. I love the look and feel of this model in theory but they need to put the guts in it to match the look. If this were available in an AWD model with 325+ HP, it would get me buying.