2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review The 2017 Kia Optima PHEV adds plug-in capability and EV-only operation for the Optima hybrid’s presently well-rounded attributes and agreeable character. That explained, its familiar shape does get a few touches shared with all the Optima hybrid that are aimed at cutting down drag: a slightly redesigned, model-specific front fascia with active grille shutters that shut at velocity, a reshaped rear bumper having a diffuser that shrouds the exhaust tip, and a far more aerodynamic wheel design and style.
2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review
Issues take a very similar tack beneath the skin, the Optima PHEV sharing its 154-hp, direct-injected 2.0-liter inline-four and six-speed automatic transmission together with the typical hybrid. To maximize the efficiency from the gasoline engine on this application, however, Kia swapped within a high-voltage electric oil pump to exchange the two (a single mechanical pump and one particular low-voltage electrically driven pump) units used in the hybrid. Cooling to the plug-in’s transmission is by means of a liquid-to-air heat exchanger.
A transmission-integrated 67-hp electrical motor/generator plus a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and that is capable of putting out 68 kilowatts (91 horsepower), has much more zap compared to the 51-hp motor and 56-kW battery combo from the normal Optima hybrid. In terms of mixed output, this implies 202 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque for that plug-in versus 192 and 271 from the hybrid. If these numbers leave you using a situation of spec-sheet déjà vu, it is very likely since the whole setup is by now in use inside the 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV.
2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review - Features:
We enjoy how deftly the hybrid powertrain sorts out the particulars of meshing internal combustion with an AC motor. Aspect of this credit score goes to Kia’s choice to implement a six-speed automated transmission teamed with the electric motor supplanting a classic torque converter. While this setup goes towards the prevailing field practice of employing a two-motor CVT (or power-split transaxle) for hybrid powertrains, the six-speed imparts a welcome sense of familiarity on the hybrid driving practical experience by downshifting perceptibly below hefty acceleration.
In the check track, the PHEV performed virtually identically towards the Optima hybrid. An eight.0-second zero-to-60-mph run and a 16.2-second quarter-mile time put it just 0.one second behind its plugless-and lighter-hybrid sibling. The plug-in model also registered 0.80 g of grip over the skidpad and took 185 feet to reach a cease from 70 mph, neither of which have us extolling its dynamic virtues, but the 215/55R-17 Kumho Solus TA31 Eco tires at the least give an abundance of warning by way of understeer prior to push involves wreck. Number of particulars of what’s taking place on the road surface travel upstream through the synthetic-feeling steering, but responses to inputs at least are linear. Particular mention goes to an improved regenerative-braking program that reaps a ten % gain in power recovery by refining the collaboration among the hybrid handle unit along with the brake actuation. Even though this may well sound like a recipe for dull and schizophrenic brake-pedal come to feel, it manages to work fairly transparently.
In accordance to Kia, the Optima PHEV is 250 pounds heavier compared to the hybrid. Our scales revealed that the PHEV weighs 3892 lbs, or 252 over the 3640-pound Optima hybrid. Kia’s claimed bodyweight of 3788 pounds for your PHEV might have been a little bit optimistic, but the organization nailed the main difference amongst the 2. The Optima PHEV’s declare of the 29-mile electric-only array (recommended for urban driving and capable of speeds as much as 75 mph) proved not far off from our real-world testing, which yielded 27.1 miles of EV-only operation in advance of the battery gave up.
2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review - Interior:
On top of that to picking out both Hybrid or EV-only modes, drivers can decide on Charging mode, which increases the amount of juice fed for the batteries at higher speeds. This refills the battery as much as probable, conserving electrons for when EV-only mode could be wanted for that last number of miles of the journey. Other energy-saving measures include Kia’s Coasting Guidebook, which utilizes a blinking icon while in the dash as well as a single audible alert to prompt the driver when to lift and when to brake for optimum efficiency. There’s a driver-only HVAC setting that shuts down ventilation and seat heating to all locations of your auto except for that driver. Each work as advertised, but the scorching, humid climate we expert through testing made the latter practically unusable.
Unlike the normal hybrid, which comes in a base version along with EX trim, the PHEV is offered solely as an EX (EX resides among LX and SX during the Optima hierarchy). Which has a base selling price of $36,105, the plug-in hybrid involves a not insubstantial $9215 premium in excess of the $26,890 ask for that base Optima hybrid and $4220 greater than the $31,885 hybrid EX. (As of this creating, on the other hand, the Optima PHEV was nonetheless eligible to get a $4919 federal tax credit score, which brings its cost ideal in line with that with the hybrid EX; added state incentives could be out there.
Aside from the aforementioned powertrain upgrades and exterior streamlining, the PHEV also has an instrument-cluster display detailing powertrain operations and power utilization, plus an enriched set of UVO infotainment features-not to mention the plug-in capability. Connecting one end in the cable for the single port while in the Optima’s left-front fender as well as the other to a normal 120-volt household outlet absolutely costs the battery pack in less than nine hrs; hooking as much as a 240-volt (Level two) source cuts that time to less than three. As for the UVO telematics, together with the requisite Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay, the PHEV adds LTE wireless connectivity that communicates immediately together with the auto by way of the UVO smartphone app to carry out remote functions together with start/stop, preconditioning on the cabin temperature, and lock/unlock. Also included in the app are Kia’s My Vehicle Zone features, like curfew, velocity alerts, and geofencing capabilities, which should assist helicopter moms and dads keep tabs on their offspring. A charging-station locator along with the ability to check your vehicle’s charge standing and routine charging sessions are presented likewise.
Individuals aiming to delight in the common mod cons will want the $5250 Technological innovation package, which includes a panoramic sunroof, a gloss-black B-pillar, a 10-way electrical power driver’s seat with energy lumbar help, ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, rear-window sunshades, LED reading through lamps, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, LED headlights, automatic high-beams, rear parking sensors, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. That was the sole option on our test automobile, and it brought the as-tested cost to $41,355.
Quite possibly the most relevant variety for your plug-in are its fuel-economy figures, nevertheless. EPA-rated at a combined forty mpg, our Optima hybrid returned 40 MPGe general using the aid of some electrons and 44 MPGe in our 75-mph highway check. Individuals are respectable figures, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that a plugless 2018 Camry hybrid matched them. As previously stated, we did deal with to acquire 27 miles of travel in EV-only mode, which could substantially trim gasoline utilization for drivers with short commutes and/or charging amenities at their area of employment. Then again, that battery range pales in comparison towards the 53-mile battery-only figure we recorded while in the smaller but similarly priced 2017 Chevrolet Volt, allow alone the 238-mile marathon we extracted through the batteries from the substantially smaller Chevy Bolt EV.
But for folks who reside in certain traffic-heavy urban parts and therefore are even now wary of making the leap to a complete EV such because the Bolt, that charging port within the Optima’s fender might in the end reap added benefits that far outreach any monetary arguments or environmental altruism, real or perceived. Immediately after all, it grants them legal accessibility to HOV lanes so they will leave behind significantly from the rush-hour gridlock.