For EV shoppers who prefer simplicity with their auto buying experience, the 2020 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid is right up your alley. It's only available in one trim.
The Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX starts at $37,015, which includes the $925 destination charge.
The EX receives its hybrid power from a Full Parallel Hybrid System. It pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, gasoline-powered engine with a 50-kilowatt electric motor.
Combined, the hybrid powertrain returns 202 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. The 9.8-kilowatt-hour lithium polymer battery can power the electric motor for 28 electric-only miles. While in electric-only motor configuration, it has a top speed of 74 miles per hour. The power supply is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive. The setup returns an EPA-estimated 41 miles per gallon combined, or 101 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe) combined.
Altogether, the Optima Plug-In Hybrid has a combined range of 630 miles, 20 more than last year’s model. Consumers will also appreciate the quick three-hour charge rate when plugged into a 240-volt (Level 2) power outlet. A 120-volt outlet (Level 1) regenerates the vehicle in nine hours.
The Optima Plug-In Hybrid rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels and is equipped with leather and heated front seats, a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, and a 12-way power driver seat with four-way lumbar support. Additionally, the Optima EV Plug-In Hybrid features dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, push-button start, and a USB port.
Kia’s infotainment system is displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen. Navigation is standard, as is HD Radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, USB and AUX input jacks, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
There are three drive modes: Charging, Hybrid, and All-Electric. While in Charging mode, the vehicle uses the gasoline-powered engine while charging the electric battery. One of the more unique features is a Virtual Engine Sound System that produces the purr of a finely-tuned gasoline engine while running only on the electric motor.
For consumers looking to add a touch of flair, the EX Technology Package ($4,600) is available. It adds a panoramic sunroof, a 10-way power front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, ambient interior lighting, LED headlights with auto-leveling and low and high beam assist, LED fog lights, and LED interior lighting.
While the 2020 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid receives some much needed updates, it’s out of many hybrid shopper’s budgets – especially considering the necessary charging infrastructure. If you’re interested in a hybrid with similar options, you might want to look at the Kia Optima Hybrid, which knocks $6,780 from the Plug-In Hybrid's price tag.
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