2019 Kia Optima Hybrid Review The Kia’s U.S. operations are just above twenty years outdated. In that time, it's turn into the eighth-best-selling brand in the nation, just behind corporate sibling Hyundai. If Hyundai isn’t cautious, it could be surpassed by its personal kin.
From behind the wheel of any Kia, however, the success isn’t surprising. Through the Soul, a 10Best Trucks and SUVs winner, to the Optima hybrid tested here, Kias are wealthy with quality-a word that was appropriate only for sarcastic punchlines about Kia two decades ago. Similarly, the automaker created its first hybrid only six many years in the past but now ranks between the marketplace leaders during the automobile kind.
Plus, with regards to layout, Kia is killing it. No longer does an Optima look like it’s trying as well tough to get noticed within a class of, let’s face it, somewhat boring loved ones sedans. It can be a genuine looker with crisp lines and just sufficient adornment to accent its styling, like a red-carpet celebrity wearing the many appropriate equipment. A single could argue that individuals excellent appears had been diluted during the approach of making this hybrid variant as slippery as is possible by adding grille shutters in the redesigned front fascia and tacking on aero-friendly wheels as well as a low-drag rear fascia. The many do the job nets a minimal 0.24 coefficient of drag, but it does scrub a lot of the distinction through the presentation.
A two.0-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-four, excellent for 154 horsepower, plus a 50-hp electric motor combine for 192 ponies when termed on. Highest combined torque of 271 lb-ft is routed by means of a six-speed automated transmission to your front wheels. From a standstill, the Kia will hit 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, and that is lazier by in excess of half a second compared to the class-leading Honda Accord hybrid and Toyota Camry hybrid, despite the fact that the Optima never ever feels slow. Not that any hybrid buyers are possible to go in search of the cornering limit, but the Optima’s lateral acceleration maxes at 0.81 g. Braking from 70 mph involves 175 feet.
2019 Kia Optima Hybrid Review - Features:
What stands out during the Optima is not the functions or the overall performance around the polished execution. Whilst Apple CarPlay, Android Car, plus a 7.0-inch infotainment interface (which grows to 8.0 inches with the EX trim level, as tested here) come normal, the authentic standout normal functions are the throttle calibration and blending of regenerative to friction braking. These qualities are amid the best between all hybrids. The sublime tuning, which more than a few calibration engineers no doubt sweated, won’t be misplaced on individuals that care extra about how a car drives than its EPA rating. A Ford Fusion hybrid was in our fleet simultaneously, as well as the Optima’s superior hybrid integration was mentioned with shock by quite a few editors.
The Optima’s powertrain layout-essentially a motor/generator and clutch taking the spot of a torque convertor-is a great deal less complicated than the power-split two-motor transaxle cum CVT during the Fusion. Even devoid of the complexity, the Kia matches the Fusion’s EPA mixed score of 42 mpg. We accomplished nowhere near that, nonetheless, averaging 31 mpg more than nearly 900 miles, or four mpg short from the efficiency of what we completed in the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid (a two-motor setup) along with the Honda Accord hybrid (a two-motor, no-transmission arrangement).
Our test automobile came completely loaded. A base Optima hybrid starts at $26,890 and comes with manually adjustable cloth seats and 16-inch wheels. Inside the competitive set of hybrid family sedans, only the Fusion hybrid begins more cost-effective, at $26,170. Paying a different $4995 within the EX trim brings leather and heat on the front seats (and energy to your driver’s seat), 17-inch wheels, a 60/40 split-folding leather back seat, as well as a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio technique. The sole solution around the EX is a $5000 Technologies package deal. It incorporates ventilated front seats and also a electrical power front passenger seat, heated rear seats, a giant dual-pane sunroof, and also a host of advanced security technological innovation capabilities (automated emergency braking, lane-keeping help, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control). Kia also gives a plug-in version with a 202-hp hybrid powertrain and a 9.8-kWh battery pack that, in accordance to Kia, permits it to travel as much as 29 miles on electrical power alone. It starts at $36,105 in EX trim.
The whole driving practical experience lacks the majority of the hybrid idiosyncrasies-CVT behavior, electric-motor hums-to which we’ve turn into accustomed. Pondering if we had misplaced it, we place this concept to the test by plopping an unsuspecting buddy in the driver’s seat. The hybrid virgin had no clue he was driving anything but a conventional Optima. That may not be what Kia was going for, but it is a ringing endorsement for someone who needs a hybrid without the need of any compromises to the driving practical experience. To us, that makes the Optima hybrid sensible beyond its years.