2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid
Save up to $5,009
2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid
Save up to $5,009


  • Roomy interior and quiet cabin
  • Better all-electric range than many competitors offer
  • Feature-packed and easy-to-use infotainment interface


  • Just 10 cubic feet of cargo space, less than hatchback competitors
  • Rear headroom is limited by sloping roofline
Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid years

Which Optima Plug-In Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

The Optima Plug-In Hybrid is only available in one trim level, so the only question is whether you want to opt for the somewhat pricey Technology package. It adds active safety features and driver aids, along with a sunroof and ventilated front seats. In our opinion it's worth the money since the standard car lacks even blind-spot monitoring.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

We like the current Kia Optima for its stylish design, spacious interior, and user-friendly controls and infotainment system. It also comes with an extensive features list and the strongest standard warranty on the market. Starting with this sedan, Kia added a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain to make the Optima Hybrid, then added a larger, rechargeable battery pack for the Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

Twenty-nine miles of all-electric range may not seem like much, but buyers who can charge at home or at work will see a major reduction in their gas use. Of course, that larger battery pack makes for a lot less trunk space: just 9.9 cubic feet. The Plug-In Hybrid is also only available in one thoroughly equipped trim level, so it won't appeal to buyers looking for something basic but efficient.

There aren't a lot of mainstream plug-in hybrid options, but the market is growing. The Ford Fusion Energi is one of the few electrified sedans, but it's less feature-rich than the Optima. The Chevrolet Volt is a hatchback with more electric range but less passenger space and fewer features. There's the ultra-efficient Toyota Prius Prime, which sports idiosyncratic design elements that might turn off some buyers. Honda's Clarity Plug-In Hybrid also offers a lot of range and an upscale interior, but it has a much clunkier infotainment system.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid configurations

The 2018 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 and driver aids. A hybrid powertrain with 29 miles of all-electric range is standard.

The Optima Plug-In Hybrid pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to produce a system total of 202 horsepower and 296 pound-feet of torque. 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, an 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.

Trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid, but we have considerable experience with the regular Optima. Those findings, specifically on comfort and interior quality, remain broadly applicable to this model. We've also sampled the Optima's mechanical doppelgänger, the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In. Otherwise, the following is our first take on what's significant about the Optima Plug-In Hybrid and what you can expect.


We haven't yet driven the Optima Plug-In Hybrid, but the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In accelerates to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, average for a hybrid sedan. Expect a similar time. We prefer the six-speed automatic transmission's shift feel over the CVT automatics more common to hybrids from other automakers.


Both the regular Optima sedan and the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid deliver a smooth ride on all manner 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 front seats (and heated rears) 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 Plug-In 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 function well. The number of features make you feel as if you're getting a lot more for your money, although the overall 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.


The Optima Plug-In Hybrid's trunk is smaller than the regular hybrid's due to a larger battery pack. At just 9.9 cubic feet of cargo room, it's a bit limited. The Toyota Prius Prime's hatchback design, for example, offers far more versatility.


The 8-inch touchscreen has crisp graphics and an intuitive menu, although some drivers might find it a bit of a stretch to reach comfortably. A unique gauge cluster displaying various hybrid functions is one of the few indicators that you're driving a gas-electric car.

Audio & navigation

A navigation system comes standard, as does a premium Harman Kardon sound system.

Smartphone integration

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included with the infotainment system.

Driver aids

Most of the latest driver safety and collision avoidance aids come with the optional Technology package. A rearview camera is standard.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

2018 With all the Bells and Whistles
I had own a Kia Forte before and I enjoyed the car, it was the EX with four doors and it's was pretty simple and good mileage, the Kia Optima Plug In hybrid-Everything is pretty simple to use, it is alot heavier than the Forte, better gas mileage because of hybrid and plugin, the inside interior (I have the technology package) everything is good, from the sunroof, leather, the 10 speaker sound system is really good-dont believe me just go to a dealership and test out the sound, I had a after market speakers in my forte, I do miss my subwoofer extra kick but the optima sound makes it pretty good overall, smaller trunk space is little disheartening but everything else with the car is amazing, my friend has a Camry and I can definitely say this kia feels alot more luxorious and I like the handling better the one thing about the camry is that you can sit in the middle in the backseat more naturally but I don't usually have five people riding with me Update 8 months later: the biggest gripe I can find with this car is the trunk space, if you are someone who likes to use the trunk it's going to be really handicapped
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Features & Specs

N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
202 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid features & specs


Our experts’ favorite Optima Plug-In Hybrid safety features:

Lane Departure Warning System
Monitors the vehicle position within your lane and warns if you deviate, or begin to deviate, from it.
Blind-Spot Detection
Warns you of vehicles that might be in your blind spots with audio and visual signals, including side mirror indicators.
Forward Collision Warning
Warns of a potential collision with the car in front of you. Bundled with autonomous emergency braking.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid for Sale

Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid 2018 EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
New 2018
Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid
King Kia
16.8 mi away
Est.Loan: $605/mo
Great Deal!
Great Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
Aluminum Silver 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX FWD Automatic 2.0L 4-Cylinder Electric Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX, 2.0L 4-Cylinder Electric, Automatic, Aluminum Silver, Black Leather, Navigation System, Paint Protection Package. Priced below KBB Fair Purchase Price!Recent Arrival!
Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid 2018 EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
New 2018
Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid
King Kia
16.8 mi away
Est.Loan: $613/mo
Good Deal!
Good Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
Aurora Black 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX FWD Automatic 2.0L 4-Cylinder Electric Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX, 2.0L 4-Cylinder Electric, Automatic, Aurora Black, Black Leather, Navigation System. Priced below KBB Fair Purchase Price!Recent Arrival!
Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid 2018 EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
New 2018
Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid
King Kia
16.8 mi away
Est.Loan: $601/mo
Great Deal!
Great Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
Aluminum Silver 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX FWD Automatic 2.0L 4-Cylinder Electric 10 Speakers, ABS brakes, Alloy wheels, Auto-dimming Rear-View mirror, Automatic temperature control, Brake assist, Electronic Stability Control, Exterior Parking Camera Rear, Four wheel independent suspension, Front dual zone A/C, Fully automatic headlights, Heated door mirrors, Heated Front Seats, Heated steering wheel, Leather Seat Trim, Leather Shift Knob, Leather steering wheel, Memory seat, Navigation System, Power driver seat, Radio: AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM Premium Audio System, Remote keyless entry, Speed-sensing steering, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Traction control, Turn signal indicator mirrors.Recent Arrival!

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More about the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

The 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid, or PHEV, adds a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack that can store up to 29 miles of all-electric range to one of our top picks for a midsize sedan. This generation of Optima stands out for its potent blend of features, warranty and price, and the Optima Plug-In Hybrid is ideal for commuters who can charge overnight or at the office, or even drivers who simply need their car for short commutes and trips in and around town.

With only one trim to choose from, the EX, buying a 2018 Optima Plug-In Hybrid largely comes down to a simple choice of which color you want. Even with a lone trim level, the Optima Plug-In Hybrid is loaded with standard features, reinforcing Kia's philosophy of offering a lot for less. The EX includes, among other features, leather upholstery, a navigation system and an 8-inch display, a rearview camera, heated seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a premium Harman Kardon sound system.

An optional Technology package is available for buyers seeking additional creature comforts. Its bundled features include ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a sunroof as well as several collision avoidance systems, such as automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and even adaptive "bending" headlights. Although it packs a lot of features, this package isn't exactly cheap, and we recommend it only for those who crave the most peace of mind and pleasure of gadgetry as is available.

The 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid stacks up well against its competition, largely because it doesn't have much. Though it's not the only plug-in hybrid on the market, it's among the largest and most versatile. Ford offers a plug-in version of its Fusion sedan, but it has just 20 miles of electric range. The Toyota Prius Prime is a plug-in version of the popular hybrid hatchback, and its cargo versatility is hard to beat, but it's hard to consider it big enough for hardcore family duty. The same could be said for the Chevrolet Volt, which is the champion among plug-in hybrids of electric-only miles (about 50 miles in many cases) but has a rear seat that is simply too small for a grown or growing family of five, for example.

Still, the Optima PHEV has plenty to earn our recommendation. That's especially true if you can keep your mileage within the electric limits. A full recharge requires just three hours on a 240-volt charge, and indeed, it could be a long time until you'd need to visit a station to fuel up the Optima's gasoline engine. When you're ready to explore the electric possibilities of the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid, let Edmunds be your guide to the car that's right for you.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Overview

The 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Optima Plug-In Hybrid Sedan. Available styles include EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A).

What do people think of the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Optima Plug-In Hybrid 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Optima Plug-In Hybrid featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our 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.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid?
2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)

The 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $36,250. The average price paid for a new 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) is trending $5,009 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $5,009 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$31,241.

The average savings for the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) is13.8% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 3 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Which 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In 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 Plug-In Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 5 new 2018 Optima Plug-In Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $36,250 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $5,020 on a used or CPO 2018 Optima Plug-In Hybrid available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $10,641.

Find a new Kia for sale - 6 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $20,514.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In 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.

Check out Kia lease specials