The jacked-up wagon would be an Optimal alternative to the Sportage.
Kia’s portfolio has blossomed in recent years to include a lot of crossovers and SUVs without neglecting the once-traditional body styles such as the hatchback and sedan. While some automakers are carving niches and then filling them with numerous derivatives, the South Korean brand hasn’t been this adventurous.
The jacked-up wagon is one of the oldest niches in the modern era of the automobile, a small segment of the market perfected by Subaru with the Outback and Volvo with its Cross Country models. The VW Group also plays an important role in this segment with Audi’s Allroad, Skoda’s Scout, and the core brand’s Alltrack models. The adjacent rendering from our Russian pals at Kolesa imagines a new player in the rugged wagon game, based on the K5.
Previously known as the Optima in most markets, the K5 is a sedan-only affair. With a longer roof and plastic body cladding around the wheel arches, Kia would have an answer to the models mentioned above. That said, demand for lifted wagons is not exactly strong, and people shopping in this segment tend to choose the more established models that have been optimizing (get it?) the recipe for years.
Turning the K5 into a wagon isn’t such a wild idea considering the previous-generation Optima was offered in select markets as an SW and twinned with a Hyundai i40 Sportswagon. Whether Kia has plans to bring back the more practical body style is not known, but perhaps there are bigger fish to fry considering the EV onslaught ahead.
We certainly wouldn’t mind having more alternatives to the SUV craze, especially since lifted wagons are objectively just as good (if not even better) than crossovers. This adventurous Kia K5 only exists in the digital realm for now, and we wouldn’t place any bets about happening in the real world given the current state of the market.
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