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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid
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Expert's Rating

4.5Excellent | Details

MPG

36 City / 40 Highway
Contributing Editor -

Kia’s midsize Optima has earned a growing number of kudos for its European-style good looks and value among other family sedans. The Optima Hybrid ties those laudable virtues to a gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain, resulting in some of the best fuel economy figures for a car of this size. If you’re seeking value in both purchase price and driving costs, consider the Optima Hybrid as a near-perfect combination of style and sensibility.

What's new for 2016

Although the regular gasoline-engine Optima has been redesigned, growing slightly but changing little in appearance, the Hybrid sedan is a carryover from the previous (third) generation.

Kia Optima Hybrid

Choosing Your Kia Optima Hybrid

Each Optima Hybrid comes with the same powertrain. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine works with a 47-horsepower electric motor and a 47 kW lithium polymer battery to produce a combined 199 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid powertrain is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This setup achieves fuel economy estimates of up to 36 mpg city and 40 mpg highway for a combined 38 mpg, according to the EPA.

Several unique exterior elements enhance the Hybrid’s aerodynamics, as well as giving it a distinctive appearance, starting with a black/chrome grille and sporty lower bumpers. Additional vents on the front bumper increase airflow. Low-rolling-resistance tires ride on 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels. A “virtual engine” sound system and an Eco switch are included.

Buyers choose from two trim levels, Base and EX, with significantly different equipment levels:

Base

Priced at $25,995 (plus destination charge), the base Optima Hybrid comes standard with features such as LED taillights and foglamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, pushbutton keyless start, a tilt/telescopic steering column, steering-wheel audio controls, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and a rear-seat cargo pass-through. Outside mirrors contain turn-signal indicators. Clean Tex cloth seat trim is standard, as are a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a cooling glovebox, and six-speaker audio with a CD player.

For $1,460, an optional Convenience Package includes a 10-way power driver’s seat, UVO eServices telematics with rearview camera, LED positioning headlights, and an acoustic laminated windshield and front door windows.

EX

The uplevel EX adds a bit more luxury, but more than $6,200 to the Hybrid's retail price. Standard features include 17-inch wheels, an acoustic laminated windshield and front windows, HID headlights, power-folding mirrors, power heated/ventilated front seats, driver’s seat memory, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, and leather seat upholstery. An Infinity eight-speaker surround-sound audio system is standard, while the navigation system has an 8-inch screen and backup-camera display. Fuel economy of the EX is slightly lower, estimated at 35/39 mpg (city/highway).

An optional Technology Package for the EX includes a panoramic sunroof, blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, and a backup warning system.

CarsDirect Tip

If your principal goal is economy, may as well stick with the base model. The EX offers some pleasant features, including more safety technology, but isn't the best value considering the hefty additional cost.

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Kia Optima Hybrid Rear Quarter

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