What Is It?
The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid is the hybrid gasoline-electric variant of the restyled 2014 Kia Optima midsize sedan.
What's New About This Model?
The 2014 Optima Hybrid gets new front and rear styling (Kia says the new front bumper's vents help fuel economy), special lighting, new wheel designs and hybrid badges, as well as some newly available features such as keyless entry and push-button start.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Sometime in the first half of this year.
How Much Does It Cost?
Kia said it will provide detailed pricing closer to the new Optima Hybrid's arrival in dealerships.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid comes only as a four-door sedan in two trim levels: LX and EX.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
? 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine: 159 horsepower, 154 pound-feet of torque
? 47-hp electric motor
? Six-speed automatic transmission
? 38 mpg combined (36 city/40 highway) for LX trim
? Lithium-polymer battery
What Kind of Standard and Optional Safety Equipment Is Offered?
Standard safety equipment for the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid includes driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability control, traction control and hill start assist control.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid: The wonderfully complete Accord sedan loses almost nothing in hybrid guise, while earning a whopping combined 47 mpg.
2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid: Take everything we said about the Honda Accord Hybrid and add sharper styling and less noise, particularly when accelerating. About the only thing on which to call out the Fusion Hybrid might be its at-times-problematic MyFord Touch driver infotainment interface.
2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid: Toyota's extensive hybrid experience is a plus, but the Camry Hybrid's driving manners and interior materials fall short of both the Accord and Fusion hybrids.
Should You Wait for It?
The revised 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid sure is a looker, so if design is a factor and you have time to wait, why not? But if maximum fuel economy is a key consideration in your buying choice (and it likely is if you're shopping hybrids) the Accord and Fusion hybrids generate substantially better EPA ratings.