2019 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet interior around town and on the highway
  • Available 60/40-split rear seats increase the cargo area
  • Plenty of available safety and luxury features
  • Some rival hybrid sedans get better fuel economy
  • The sloping roofline limits rear headroom
Other years
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List Price Estimate
$18,649 - $21,246

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Which Optima Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

With only one trim level available, it's got to be the EX. But we like all the extra features that come as part of the Technology package — the one and only option package available. Even with these extra luxury and technology items added, including a powerful 10-speaker stereo, a panoramic sunroof and ventilated front seats, the Optima Hybrid is still competitively priced.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

The 2019 Kia Optima takes everything you get with a regular Optima — plenty of features for the price, as well as a comfortable interior and a pleasant ride quality — and adds on some extra goodness. You get an EPA-estimated 41 mpg in combined city/highway driving as well as 192 horsepower. Those are noteworthy increases compared to a regular Optima.

It's true that most rival midsize hybrid sedans typically offer a tad better fuel economy than the Optima. Also, some other manufacturers have packaged the battery packs to not impinge on cargo space — the Optima Hybrid loses 2.5 cubic feet to its hybridization. From a driving standpoint, however, the Optima is among the best. While you'll want to consider rivals such as the Honda Accord, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the Toyota Camry, the Optima Hybrid is definitely a competitive option.

2019 Kia Optima Hybrid models

The 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid is a five-passenger midsize sedan available in one trim level. It's powered by the combination of an electric motor and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which together make 192 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. The Optima Hybrid comes well-equipped with standard features, but there is one available package to dress up the Kia even further.

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The only trim level available is the EX, and it comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights and power-folding mirrors. Inside, leather seating includes a 10-way adjustable driver's seat, a six-way adjustable passenger seat and heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Dual-zone climate control and rear-seat air vents are standard, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 7-inch touchscreen, keyless entry and push-button ignition. Reverse assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and lane keeping assist are all included in the Optima's standard suite of driver aids.

The Technology package adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a 10-way power-adjustable passenger seat, adaptive LED headlights and laminated front door windows to reduce road noise for a quieter cabin. Inside, there's a panoramic sunroof and auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 10-speaker, 630-watt Harman Kardon stereo system, an 8-inch touchscreen, a heated steering wheel, LED interior lights, and ventilated front seats. Forward collision warning and assist, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control are also added.

Driving

Though we haven't driven the 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 its initial electric-only power. But outright performance and handling are likely to be a bit disappointing.

Comfort

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 than rivals in this class. The Hybrid's ride quality should not be that different despite the different powertrain.

Interior

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

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

Roominess

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.

Visibility

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.

Quality

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.

Utility

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

Technology

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 competent and easy to use. The navigation system is fine, but we wish it tried to predict street and city names in the input screens.

Driver aids

Reverse assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and lane keeping assist are all now included in the Optima's standard suite of driver aids. But most of the latest driver safety aids, such as lane departure warning and forward collision warning, are optional.

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the Used 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid.


Safety

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. The brakes automatically engage to avoid or lessen an 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
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid

Used 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid Overview

The Used 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Optima Hybrid Sedan. Available styles include EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid?

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Which used 2019 Kia Optima Hybrids are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2019 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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