Midsize cars are in danger of losing the little ground they have left to crossovers and SUVs. Kia is seeing the writing on the wall and has apparently decided to drop the Optima from its UK family altogether.
The company’s local website still lists the Optima, albeit in the Sportswagon body style only, with five trim levels to choose from, whose pricing ranges between £23,455 and £33,740 ($29,984-$43,131 /€27,135-€39,033) on-the-road. Quoting a Kia UK spokesperson, Autocar says that the midsize estate will be phased out in the near future too.
The next generation Optima, which is due next year, might not launch in Great Britain either, as making the new engines meet the stricter emissions regulations is not feasible. According to CarSalesBase, only 14,404 units of the Optima were sold in Europe last year, compared to the 101,603 delivered in the United States. The rivaling Euro-spec Volkswagen Passat did a lot better, with 154,074 examples shipped in 2018.
With only 3,820 cars sold in Europe last year and 1,143 the year before, the Stinger hasn’t been doing well either. Thus, it’s said to be part of Kia reshuffling plans for the 2020MY, dropping the 242 hp 2.0 T-GDi petrol and 197 hp 2.2 CRDi diesel from the lineup. This means that only the range-topping GT S will still be on sale, with the 361 hp, 3.3 T-GDi engine, which currently starts at £40,575 ($51,869/€46,941).
We reached out to Kia hoping to find out whether the reported range changes will apply to other European markets as well, and we will update this story in due course.