2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review
Edmunds expert review
Along with the introduction of a redesigned Optima Hybrid model, Kia adds plug-in recharging to its family sedan lineup with the 2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid. The regular Optima Hybrid offers high fuel economy, comfortable road manners, and a wealth of standard features and available options. The Plug-In adds to that with the ability to drive short distances on pure electric power.
The main difference between the two is the Optima Plug-In Hybrid's bigger battery pack and more powerful electric motor. The battery is larger than the standard hybrid's and can be recharged from a standard household electrical outlet or a high-current charging station. Doing so gives the plug-in model the ability to travel up to 29 miles in all-electric mode. After you've used up that power, the Plug-In switches to regular hybrid operation. The EPA estimates fuel economy of 40 mpg combined (38 city/43 highway). That's a bit below average but still likely good enough for shoppers looking to minimize their reliance on gasoline.
In addition to its powertrain appeal, the Optima Plug-In Hybrid includes everything we've come to like about the standard Optima sedan, including a roomy interior, a comfortable ride, and robust infotainment and connected technology. We're still not sold on the Optima's bland interior or the mediocre feel of its materials, however — unfortunate concessions to the Optima's otherwise exceptional value proposition. Still, the Optima Plug-In Hybrid's blend of rechargeable propulsion and midsize appeal makes it a solid pick for a family or commuter sedan.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid is a five-passenger sedan available in a single EX trim level with an optional Technology package that adds extra comfort features and several collision avoidance technologies. Standard features start with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and an electric drive motor that combine to produce 202 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are also standard.
Outside, you'll find 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, heated side mirrors, keyless entry and a hands-free trunk opening. Inside the Plug-In comes with push-button ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver seat, a navigation system, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connections, Kia Uvo services, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with satellite radio.
The optional Technology package adds adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power passenger seat and a host of collision avoidance technologies, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning 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.