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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid
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Expert's Rating

4.3Excellent | Details

MPG

39 City / 46 Highway
Contributing Editor -

Kia’s midsize Optima has earned a growing number of kudos for its European-style good looks, as well as its value compared to other family sedans. The Optima Hybrid ties those laudable virtues to a gasoline/electric powertrain, resulting in some of the best fuel economy figures for a car of this size.

What's new for 2017

When Kia redesigned its regular gasoline-engine Optima for 2016, the Hybrid edition carried over from the previous generation. Now, the Hybrid has been re-engineered to keep pace with the gas-engine model. Seeking to improve efficiency by 10 percent, Kia has installed a new 2-liter gasoline engine to work with the hybrid powertrain.

Kia Optima Hybrid

Choosing Your Kia Optima Hybrid

Each Optima Hybrid comes with the same new powertrain. A 2-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, rated at 154 horsepower, works with a 38-kW, 50-horsepower electric motor and a 1.62 kWh lithium-polymer battery. Combined output is 192 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, along with 271 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid powertrain mates with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy is now estimated by the EPA at 39 mpg in city driving and 46 mpg on the highway, or 42 mpg combined. That compares to 36/40 mpg (city/highway) for the prior powertrain.

Several unique exterior elements enhance the Hybrid’s aerodynamics, as well as its appearance. The body’s coefficient of drag is a low 0.24. An active grille opens and closes automatically at high and low speeds. A rear diffuser streamlines airflow, and the back bumper is beveled. Low-rolling-resistance tires ride on 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels.

A “virtual engine sound” system is standard, and the Drive Mode selector offers Normal, Sport, and Eco modes. A new Driver Assistance System features a Coasting Guide, which tells the driver when to coast and brake for maximum fuel economy.

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

Base

Priced at $26,845 (destination charge included), the base Optima Hybrid comes standard with features such as LED taillights and fog lamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless start, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Also included are a 7-inch touchscreen, UVO eServices infotainment, satellite radio, and power front seats. Outside mirrors contain turn signal indicators. Cloth seat trim is standard, as are a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and six-speaker audio.

For $1,795, an optional Convenience package includes a 12-way power driver seat, power-folding mirrors, rear parking assist, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, a USB charger, and laminated front side windows.

EX

The uplevel EX adds a bit more luxury, but raises the retail price by $4,995. Standard features include 17-inch wheels, leather seat upholstery, automatic HID headlights, power heated front seats with driver memory, an eight-inch touchscreen, and s heated steering wheel. A Harman Kardon 10-speaker surround-sound system is standard.

An optional Technology package for the EX, priced at $5,000, includes a panoramic sunroof, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, and a backup warning system. Active safety features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, as well as LED headlights with dynamic bending, a power front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, rear side sunshades, and an auto-dimming mirror.

CarsDirect Tip

If fuel economy is your foremost goal, you may as well stick with the base model. The EX offers some pleasant and noteworthy features, including additional safety technology, but isn't the best value given its price. Note that contents of the optional Technology package have changed this year, more than doubling its price.

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Insider Information

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