2017 Kia Optima Hybrid Review
Edmunds expert review
The fully redesigned 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid improves upon its predecessor in many ways. You'll like the Optima's easy-driving nature and the number of features you get for your money. Fuel economy isn't tops, but it's good enough to keep this hybrid right in the mix.
The Optima midsize sedan is one of Kia's most popular cars, and it underwent a full overhaul last year. But some things were put on the backburner. In this case, it was the lower-volume hybrid version. Kia sold a 2016 hybrid model, but it was based on the outgoing Optima. That all changed with the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid.
In addition to the improvements that the redesigned Optima brought (such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality and several new advanced safety systems), the Optima Hybrid gets a new, more fuel-efficient powertrain. It develops a bit less horsepower and slightly more torque than last year, but fuel economy estimates have jumped as a result. The new Optima Hybrid is rated at 42 mpg combined; the old one was rated at 36 or 37 mpg, depending on the version. That's still a bit behind the hybrid segment leaders, but overall the Optima's got enough going for it to make it a satisfying choice.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The front-wheel-drive 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid is well-equipped no matter which version you choose. The base Premium comes with dual-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and keyless entry and ignition. The Premium's Convenience package offers a good value for the extra features you get, while the EX takes that and adds goodies such as leather upholstery and a kicking Harman Kardon sound system. An electric motor and 2.0-liter engine combine to produce 192 hp. Most hybrids have a continuously variable transmission, but the Optima Hybrid sticks with a six-speed automatic transmission for a more traditional shifting feel.
The base Premium trim comes with many standard features, including 16-inch wheels, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, a driver information display, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, a 7-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
The available Convenience package adds power-folding mirrors, laminated (i.e., quieter) front windows, a power driver seat, driver-seat memory settings, rear air vents, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors and extra USB ports.
The EX has the Convenience package as standard (minus the parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring) and adds 17-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, leather upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seats, an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with HD radio.
You can't get a more luxurious Optima Hybrid than the EX equipped with the Technology package, which adds LED adaptive headlights, automatic high-beam control, a panoramic sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, adaptive cruise control, a power passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rear side-window sunshades, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors.
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Audio & navigation
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.