2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review The 2018 Kia Optima PHEV adds plug-in capability and EV-only operation on the Optima hybrid’s previously well-rounded attributes and agreeable persona. That stated, its familiar shape does get a few touches shared with all the Optima hybrid which have been aimed at lowering drag: a slightly redesigned, model-specific front fascia with energetic grille shutters that shut at pace, a reshaped rear bumper using a diffuser that shrouds the exhaust tip, along with a a lot more aerodynamic wheel style.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

Factors get a comparable tack beneath the skin, the Optima PHEV sharing its 154-hp, direct-injected two.0-liter inline-four and six-speed automatic transmission with the typical hybrid. To maximize the efficiency of the gasoline engine on this application, on the other hand, Kia swapped in the 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 for your plug-in’s transmission is by way of a liquid-to-air heat exchanger.

A transmission-integrated 67-hp electric motor/generator in addition to a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and that is capable of placing out 68 kilowatts (91 horsepower), has more zap compared to the 51-hp motor and 56-kW battery combo in the regular Optima hybrid. Regarding mixed output, this implies 202 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque for the plug-in versus 192 and 271 while in the hybrid. If these numbers leave you that has a case of spec-sheet déjà vu, it is most likely as the whole setup is currently in use inside the 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV.
Undercover Electrons.

We value how deftly the hybrid powertrain sorts out the particulars of meshing internal combustion with an AC motor. Portion of this credit score goes to Kia’s determination to implement a six-speed automated transmission teamed together with the electrical motor supplanting a traditional torque converter. Even though this setup goes towards the prevailing market practice of using a two-motor CVT (or power-split transaxle) for hybrid powertrains, the six-speed imparts a welcome sense of familiarity to your hybrid driving encounter by downshifting perceptibly under hefty acceleration.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review - Interior:

With the check track, the PHEV performed virtually identically on the Optima hybrid. An 8.0-second zero-to-60-mph run and a 16.2-second quarter-mile time put it just 0.one 2nd behind its plugless-and lighter-hybrid sibling. The plug-in model also registered 0.80 g of grip about the skidpad and took 185 feet to achieve a end 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 through understeer prior to push comes to wreck. Handful of particulars of what’s occurring with the street surface travel upstream through the synthetic-feeling steering, but responses to inputs a minimum of are linear. Particular mention goes to an improved regenerative-braking technique that reaps a ten percent get in power recovery by refining the collaboration in between the hybrid manage unit and the brake actuation. Although this may well sound like a recipe for dull and schizophrenic brake-pedal really feel, it manages to get the job done fairly transparently.

In accordance to Kia, the Optima PHEV is 250 pounds heavier than the hybrid. Our scales revealed the PHEV weighs 3892 lbs, or 252 a lot more than the 3640-pound Optima hybrid. Kia’s claimed fat of 3788 pounds for that PHEV could have been just a little optimistic, however the enterprise nailed the difference among the 2. The Optima PHEV’s claim of the 29-mile electric-only selection (advisable for urban driving and capable of speeds up to 75 mph) proved not far off from our real-world testing, which yielded 27.one miles of EV-only operation ahead of the battery gave up.

Furthermore to selecting both Hybrid or EV-only modes, drivers can choose Charging mode, which increases the quantity of juice fed on the batteries at increased speeds. This refills the battery around doable, conserving electrons for when EV-only mode may be sought after for your final handful of miles of a journey. Other energy-saving measures incorporate Kia’s Coasting Guidebook, which utilizes a blinking icon within the dash in addition to a single audible alert to prompt the driver when to lift and when to brake for maximum efficiency. There is a driver-only HVAC setting that shuts down ventilation and seat heating to all places of your car or truck except for the driver. Each get the job done as advertised, but the hot, humid climate we seasoned for the duration of testing created the latter nearly unusable.

As opposed to the regular hybrid, which comes in a base model and EX trim, the PHEV is sold solely as an EX (EX resides between LX and SX during the Optima hierarchy). Using a base rate of $36,105, the plug-in hybrid involves a not insubstantial $9215 premium more than the $26,890 ask for the base Optima hybrid and $4220 a lot more than the $31,885 hybrid EX. (As of this creating, nevertheless, the Optima PHEV was even now eligible for a $4919 federal tax credit score, which brings its price appropriate in line with that of 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 usage, plus an enriched set of UVO infotainment features-not to mention the plug-in capability. Connecting one particular end from the cable to the single port within the Optima’s left-front fender plus the other to a typical 120-volt home outlet thoroughly expenses the battery pack in much less than 9 hrs; hooking as much as a 240-volt (Level 2) supply cuts that time for you to much less than 3. As for your UVO telematics, as well as the requisite Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay, the PHEV adds LTE wireless connectivity that communicates immediately using the car or truck via the UVO smartphone app to perform remote functions like start/stop, preconditioning in the cabin temperature, and lock/unlock. Also incorporated from the app are Kia’s My Automobile Zone features, including curfew, pace alerts, and geofencing capabilities, which ought to assistance helicopter moms and dads keep tabs on their offspring. A charging-station locator as well as ability to examine your vehicle’s charge status and schedule charging sessions are presented also.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review - Features:

These trying to take pleasure in the normal mod cons will want the $5250 Technological innovation package deal, which includes a panoramic sunroof, a gloss-black B-pillar, a 10-way power driver’s seat with electrical power lumbar assistance, ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, rear-window sunshades, LED studying 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 handle. That was the sole selection on our check vehicle, and it brought the as-tested selling price to $41,355.

By far the most related quantity to the plug-in are its fuel-economy figures, on the other hand. EPA-rated at a mixed 40 mpg, our Optima hybrid returned forty MPGe general together with the aid of some electrons and 44 MPGe in our 75-mph highway test. People 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 manage to have 27 miles of travel in EV-only mode, which could appreciably trim gasoline utilization for drivers with short commutes and/or charging facilities at their place of employment. Then yet again, that battery array pales in comparison to the 53-mile battery-only figure we recorded during the smaller sized but similarly priced 2017 Chevrolet Volt, allow alone the 238-mile marathon we extracted from your batteries on the significantly smaller sized Chevy Bolt EV.
But for persons who reside in sure traffic-heavy urban regions and are still wary of producing the leap to a complete EV such because the Bolt, that charging port in the Optima’s fender may well eventually reap added benefits that far outreach any economic arguments or environmental altruism, authentic or perceived. Just after all, it grants them legal access to HOV lanes so they could depart behind substantially with the rush-hour gridlock.

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