The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid Delivers Efficiency and Style Nov 4, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid delivers all the features that drivers appreciate about the Optima but with enhanced efficiency thanks to its hybrid powertrain. There is even a plug-in hybrid version available for an even more efficient electric drive.
The Kia Optima Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) have obviously different powertrains, although they both maximize efficiency. The 2017 Optima Hybrid has a two-liter direct injection four-cylinder engine with 154 horsepower and a 38-kilowatt electric motor working with a six-speed automatic transmission and regenerative braking. The result is a net 193 horsepower. Comparatively, the Optima PHEV has a few mechanical upgrades, a 50-kilowatt electric motor, and a 9.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack. You can charge it using a standard 120-volt AC plug-in under nine hours or dramatically cut the charging time to less than three hours with a 240-volt charger. For this model year, the company has repositioned the battery pack to improve space in the trunk and include 60/40 rear seating, much more ideal for a family sedan.
Driving the 2017 Optima PHEV lets you go as far as 27 miles in full EV mode. There is also a Hybrid Mode on this model and a Charging Mode so you can let the hybrid system charge your battery, although this will lead to a drop in efficiency. From the regular 2017 Optima Hybrid, expect 38 mpg combined, which includes 36 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. The aerodynamic vehicle enjoys an impressive combined economy and a long range with the gasoline engine, perfect for your family if you are not yet ready for an electric vehicle.
The 2017 Optima Hybrid offers two trim levels for drivers to choose from (Standard and EX), and there are plenty of available features. You get a seven-inch color touchscreen display for UVO eServices, along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You also get the option of a larger touchscreen with navigation and Harman/Kardon sound. You can supplement the standard rearview camera by adding advanced safety features, including driver assistance systems, parking assist, and blind spot detection. There is also available leather seating, up to twelve-way power adjustment and four-way power lumbar for the driver, and 10-way adjustment for the front passenger. You can even get heated seats throughout and ventilated front seats. Worth nothing is that the PHEV is only available on the more expensive EX trim. This is expected to push the price to approximately $35,000 while the hybrid can ring in as low as $26,000 MSRP.
The exterior of the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid is nearly identical to its non-hybrid counterpart, although there are a few minor cosmetic differences that enhance aerodynamics. You get modern LED lights, satin-finish accents, and, of course, special badging. The Optima Hybrid also has an active grille, a beveled rear bumper, a rear diffuser by the exhaust tip, more aerodynamic wheels, and a front aerodynamic treatment. These adjustments let Kia engineer a vehicle with a low 0.24 coefficient of drag, equal to the Tesla Model S. Inside, the Optima Hybrid continues to mimic the non-hybrid model with its quiet ride, real stitching on the door panels and dash, a clean and horizontal dash, improved seats, and excellent thigh support in front. Kia is known for their range of standard features and, combined with an upscale cabin, efficient powertrain, and aerodynamic style, drivers should consider the Kia Optima alongside any other hybrid or PHEV on the market.