2018 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet interior around town and on the highway
  • Available 60/40-split rear seats increase the cargo area
  • Offers plenty of available safety and luxury features
  • Some rival hybrid sedans get better fuel economy
  • Rear headroom is limited by the sloping roofline
Other years
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Which Optima Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

We think the EX is worth the extra money. It includes the Premium trim's optional features, such as blind-spot monitoring and acoustic-insulated front windows, and adds both useful features and luxuries. For starters, you get 60/40-split folding rear seats, leather upholstery, heated front seats, LED daytime running lights, and an upgraded infotainment system and stereo. The EX also has access to more optional active safety features and driver aids.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

We like the Kia Optima sedan for offering lots of features for the money, along with a well-designed interior and a quiet ride. Adding a hybrid powertrain that's both more powerful and significantly more fuel-efficient than the standard gasoline engine seems like a no-brainer.

The biggest trade-off for the hybrid powertrain is the loss of some cargo space, which drops by 2.5 cubic feet. The available 60/40-split folding rear seats do mean that extra space is available. The Optima Hybrid is also limited to higher trim levels, so if you're looking for a basic hybrid, this might not be the car for you.

The Optima Hybrid certainly makes a case for itself in the segment, too. While we like the driving experience of the Ford Fusion Hybrid, it's an older model than the Optima and in need of a refresh. The new Toyota Camry Hybrid is very efficient but offers fewer features and a less usable infotainment interface. The biggest wild card might be the Honda Accord Hybrid, due out later this year: It's based on our current favorite midsize sedan, and it loses no cargo space in the electrification process.

2018 Kia Optima Hybrid models

The front-wheel-drive 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid is well-equipped no matter which version you choose. The entry-level 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 a 2.0-liter engine combine to produce 192 hp. Most hybrids have a continuously variable automatic transmission, but the Optima Hybrid sticks with a six-speed automatic transmission that gives a more traditional shifting feel.

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The 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 front windows to help noise reduction, a power driver seat with 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.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. Though we have not fully tested the new Optima Hybrid yet, we can glean some insight by relating our opinions from our full test of the 2016 Kia Optima LX Turbo (turbo 1.6L flat-4 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | FWD). The two cars have different engines, but many of our other opinions still apply to the hybrid.


Though we haven't driven the 2018 Optima Hybrid yet, we have tested the mechanically related Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. We expect the Optima will pull away smoothly from a stop thanks to initial electric-only power. Outright performance and handling, however, are likely to be a bit disappointing.


The regular Optima sedan delivers a smooth ride on all kinds of pavement, and the cabin is quiet at highway speeds. We're not as thrilled with the seats, though.

Seat comfort

Heated front seats are standard; ventilated seats and heated rear seats are options. The front seats are roomy but lack lateral side bolstering. The rear seats are also spacious, but the low-mounted cushion may lack support for average-size adults.

Ride comfort

The regular Optima sedan absorbs small, high-frequency bumps pretty well for an overall smooth ride. Larger undulations cause some jostling, but not significantly more compared to rivals in this class. The Hybrid's ride quality should not be that different despite the different powertrain.


The Optima's interior, regardless of model or trim, isn't especially exciting visually. That said, it serves its functions well. The feature set makes you feel as if you're getting a lot more for your money, although the quality of materials feels a bit mediocre.

Ease of use

We give the Optima high marks for its easy-to-use infotainment system and readable physical buttons that are logically placed. The primary controls are all within reach, and there's no guesswork with buttons that are a bit out of the way.

Getting in/getting out

The tall door openings free from obstructions allow passengers to access their seats with little difficulty. The doors are adequately short in length to provide access in tight parking spots.


The front seats have plenty of space for larger passengers, and the range of adjustments will cover short and tall occupants. The rear outboard seats benefit from an abundance of legroom, but headroom is only adequate for adults of average height.


The Optima's cabin feels big and airy thanks to large windows and narrow roof pillars, but the high rear decklid and rear-seat headrests obscure the rearward view. The standard rearview camera and optional parking sensors help reduce blind spots.


Plenty of plastic is used throughout the interior, but it's sturdy and the texture is visually appealing. The car feels as solid as any other sedan in the class.


With 13.4 cubic feet of storage, trunk space is slightly above the class average for a midsize hybrid sedan. It gains extra points for the 60/40-split rear seats in the EX model, though the opening is on the small side. Inside, there's plenty of space for personal items in the many bins and pockets.


Kudos to Kia for an easy-to-use infotainment system with high-quality graphics and plenty of redundant physical buttons so you don't get lost in menus. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are appreciated.

Audio & navigation

Like Kia itself, the touchscreen interface prefers function to form. There's nothing flashy; it's just easy to use and competent. The navigation system is fine, but we wish it tried to predict street and city names in the input screens.

Driver aids

Most of the latest driver safety aids, such as lane departure warning and forward collision warning, are optional on the Optima. A rearview camera is standard.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid.

Most helpful consumer reviews

Luxury hybrid sedan
Alan W,03/11/2018
Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
I couldn't imagine a better hybrid. I tried the Camry hybrid, didn't like the CVT (continuous variable transmission), which was noisy when pushed even slightly. It was pricey but not as well equipped as the top of the line Optima Hybrid. I bought it with the technology package, which added $5K to the price but was well worth it for the safety features. I kept my last car, an indestructible 2003 Acura TL, for 15 years; I intend to keep the Optima Hybrid for the same length of time. The Acura was great on the highway but it was a gas guzzler in the city, where I now mainly drive, and the gas it guzzled was premium. The new car sips regular gas. It's much safer as well as far more advanced technologically. I've been getting very good gas mileage (it's rated 39 city, 46 highway but on two occasions I got 48.1 mpg). Gas mileage in the city tends to be mediocre. Besides outstanding safety and comfort, the car offers a wide variety of entertainment options thanks to Sirius XM and Android auto. Consumer reports gave the Optima a top rating. It was right about the Acura in 2003; so far it's been right about about the Optima Hybrid.
I love this car
James ,07/18/2020
Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Great car, awesome mileage, and rides really smooth


Our experts like the Optima Hybrid models:

Blind-Spot Detection System
Illuminates a light on either of the Optima's side mirrors when a vehicle enters its blind spot.
Autonomous Emergency Braking
Sounds a warning if the Optima detects an imminent front collision. Brakes automatically engage to lessen or mitigate the impact.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Sounds a warning if a vehicle is approaching the Optima from the side while it is in reverse.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.8%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid

Used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid Overview

The Used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Optima Hybrid Sedan. Available styles include Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), and EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A). The Used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid EX is priced between $19,971 and$19,971 with odometer readings between 40117 and40117 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2018 Optima Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $19,971 and mileage as low as 40117 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid.

Can't find a used 2018 Kia Optima Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Optima Hybrid for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $16,744.

Find a used Kia for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $25,186.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Optima Hybrid for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,605.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 8 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $11,321.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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