The fully redesigned 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid proves that gas-electric hybrid models can offer shoppers more than just a fuel-saving powertrain. The Optima Hybrid is a stylish midsize sedan with a comfortable interior, long warranty coverage and enough standard features, even at the entry trim level, to satisfy the majority of buyers.
The conventional Optima model was completely redesigned last year, but the Hybrid was left alone. For 2017, the Hybrid gets the same restyled exterior, improved handling, quieter ride and more upscale interior of the new-generation Optima. Some trim levels also receive more standard technology and available packages.
Propulsion for the Optima Hybrid comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that combines with an electric motor to produce a total of 192 horsepower. Unlike most other midsize hybrid sedans, the Optima Hybrid utilizes a conventional six-speed automatic transmission instead of a continuously variable transmission, which results in a more familiar gear-shifting experience. Fuel economy for the Optima Hybrid is EPA-rated at 42 mpg combined (39 city/46 highway).
The interior of the new Optima Hybrid boasts a cleaner, more elegant design than the outgoing model and improved front seats with better thigh support. The quality of materials has been upgraded, as well, and now gives the impression of a much pricier vehicle. Abundant standard features include heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
There's plenty of space inside, especially in the roomy front seats, although tall passengers may find rear seat headroom a bit lacking. A generous greenhouse provides an airy feeling and good visibility on three sides, but the rear design inhibits rearward vision somewhat. The trunk capacity of 13.4 cubic feet puts the Optima Hybrid near the top of its class.
The Optima Hybrid comes in two trim levels: Premium and EX. The Premium trim level comes very well equipped, but buyers can add the Convenience package to get additional power accessories and technology features. The EX model includes the Convenience package, plus a number of luxury items, which can be augmented further by a Technology package. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.