The Kia Optima Hybrid is a hybrid version of the popular Kia Optima sedan, nearly exactly the same except for the drive train. The electric motor adds to its fuel efficiency, without leaving riders' stranded as they may be if they have to go beyond the range of an electric only vehicle.
The original Kia Optima came out in 2000. The first generation of that car came out in 2000, while the second generation came out in 2005. The third generation came out in 2011. The hybrid version of the Kia Optima came out in 2010. The Kia Optima Hybrid was redesigned in 2013 to improve the power of the engine. The Kia Optima Hybrid had a minor face lift in 2014 to change the grill and lights.
The Kia Optima Hybrid runs on a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine plus an electric motor. The Kia Optima Hybrid generates 199 horsepower and 235 foot-pounds of torque. The electric motor generates 40 horsepower and can kick in to help the car accelerate. The Kia Optima Hybrid shares its power train with the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
There are two trim levels, the base trim level and the EX trim level. A six speed automatic transmission is standard.
The hybrid version of the Kia Optima has less trunk space than the Kia Rio sedan. The back seat cannot fold down for storage space, but it does have a fold down section.
The Kia Optima Hybrid's standard package has an infotainment system, satellite radio, USB, and auxiliary jacks, push button start, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth, and a cooled glove box popular for storing drinks. Optional features for the Optima Hybrid include voice activated controls, a navigation system, parking sensors, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, a sun roof, heated seats, and heated rear seats.
The Kia Optima Hybrid does not have an all wheel drive option like Subaru or a V6 engine option. The SX trim line does bring a more powerful 2.0 liter 274 horsepower engine. The SX trim line also has a sport-tuned suspension.
The Kia Optima Hybrid 2.0 liter got 36 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon on the highway. The EPA states that it gets 35 miles per gallon in the city and 39 miles per gallon on the highway. The more powerful 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine gets 23 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Kia Optima Hybrid goes zero to sixty in 8.1 seconds.
JD Power and Associates rated the Kia Optima Hybrid as having average to better than average reliability.
The 2014 model year Kia Optima Hybrid started at just under $26,000 new in 2014. The 2015 model came in at around $26,000 to start, with the higher trim levels and features coming up to $32,000 new. The basic model of the EX trim level started at $33,000 new in 2015.
Non-hybrid versions of the Kia Optima Hybrid include the Mazda 6, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, and Honda Accord. Hybrid rivals to the Kia Optima Hybrid include the Honda Accord Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Toyota Prius, and Ford Fusion hybrid.
The Kia Optima Hybrid has better resale value than the Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu, according to Kelly Blue Book.
In 2011, the Kia Optima Hybrid ranked second only to the Toyota Prius in sales in the US.
In 2011, this car set a Guinness World Record for lowest fuel consumption of a hybrid vehicle in a two week drive across the United States.