Similarity between KIA and Saab cars is not accidental

KIA Sportwagon vs Saab Sportcombi

Anyone else see Saab in this design? Even before we saw that many other brands copied the details from Saab cars, especially KIA. Even the names are similar, KIA own wagon called “KIA Optima Sportwagon“, while all of us known Saab Sportcombi and Sportwagon.

The KIA Optima Sportswagon is Kia’s first midsize wagon and will debut at the Geneva auto show on March 1. European sales will begin in the fourth quarter of 2016.

…there’s a lot of “Saabishness” going on. Even more striking resemblance to a Saab interior with the Optima interior too.

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Kia Optima interior

Saab KIA interior

In fact, the similarity KIA car with Saab is intentional – “Unhappy Saab owners are likely to be interested in the new Optima saloon and Sportwagon”, according to Kia UK MD Michael Cole.

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This is the first modern D-sector car for Kia and I think it has the right blend of style, equipment, performance, comfort and rarity to appeal to Saab drivers,” he said at the press launch for the new four-door model 2012.

New KIA Optima Sportwagon
New KIA Optima Sportwagon

Once, while presenting the sedan Optima model 2010, he said: “I feel Saab owners have no-where to go at the moment,” said Mr Cole. “They like a quality car which is different to the rest and Optima appeals to individuals and the user-chooser company sector who something different.

Kia is launching a new wagon version of its Optima midsize model. The Optima Sportswagon will compete in Europe against cars such as the VW Passat and Ford Mondeo wagons in the key business fleet sector.

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New KIA Optima Sportwagon
New KIA Optima Sportwagon

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Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.


  • The funny thing is that I drove a brand new Kia Optima in 2015 and it was complete and utter garbage. The interior quality is pathetic, no other word for it, the visibility out the front is a complete disaster – like looking through a letterbox. Same view out the rear. The 1.7 diesel engine sounds like an old-school tractor. The car is a major step down, even from Hyundai.

    So, even if they have a passing resemblance to Saabs, they are, in my view, the least ‘Saab-ish’ cars of all. My 9-5 is starting to give me headaches, and I feel like I have nowhere else to go. Eff the stupid Swedish government. Their ineptitude was boundless, and to this day, I know of companies who are going out of business directly because of Saab’s failure. Eff GM. Eff Sweden’s politicians.

  • I find it hard to believe that any previous proud owner of a SAAB would be mildly inclined to buy a KIA. To put it blandly, the superior quality of SAAB’s interiors are no match for KIA’s.

    PS: Yes, I am a proud owner of a SAAB 9-3 Sportcombi, living in Germany.

  • Allright, I once had a Saab 9-3 SE, it was good. Now I have a KIA Magentis, it is also good but the visibility is something I dont like…. But the Kia magentis is soo damn big inside…. Really… Especially in the back! ENORMOUS! That is a plus.

    Will I consider a Saab again? YES! I am now in the market for an saab 9-5 AERO wagon, most fun sleeper car ever built!

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