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2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

What’s new

  • More driver assistance features are standard this year
  • Part of the fourth Kia Optima generation introduced in 2016

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy interior and quiet cabin
  • Feature-packed and easy-to-use infotainment interface
  • Just 10 cubic feet of cargo space, less than hatchback competitors
  • Sloping roofline reduces rear headroom and visibility
Other years
Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid for Sale
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Which Optima Plug-In Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

There's only one trim level available for the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid. Other than color, the only decision to make is whether you want the slightly pricey Technology package. You certainly don't need it, but it'll be worth getting if you want extra features such as a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats and more advanced driver assistance features.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

The 2019 Kia Optima is a solid pick for a midsize sedan thanks to its wealth of standard features, easy-to-use infotainment system and robust warranty. For greater fuel economy, however, you'll want to look at the 2019 Optima Plug-In Hybrid. It has a hybrid powertrain with a large rechargeable battery that allows for fully electric driving on short trips.

With the Plug-In Hybrid's estimated range of 29 miles on electric power, many drivers should be able to complete one direction of their daily commute, if not both, without using gas. The ability to plug in at work or at home would yield significant savings in fuel costs. But that larger battery pack eats into valuable cargo space, leaving the Optima Plug-In Hybrid with less than 10 cubic feet of cargo space. Fuel tank capacity is also down a bit.

There aren't a lot of mainstream plug-in hybrid options, but the market is growing. For maximum efficiency, you still can't beat the Chevrolet Volt and its 53 miles of all-electric range. As sedans go, the Ford Fusion Energi and Hyundai Sonata Plug-In (which is related to the Optima) are comparable to the Optima in many ways. Honda's Clarity Plug-In Hybrid or even Kia's Niro Plug-In Hybrid are two newer entries to consider. Among these cars, however, we think the Optima Plug-In Hybrid is well-placed and competitive.

2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid models

The 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid is available in a single EX trim level. It pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to produce a system total of 202 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is also standard.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, keyless entry and 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, and a power-adjustable driver's seat.

Tech features include 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. For 2019, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors have been made standard.

The optional Technology package adds adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and a host of collision avoidance technologies, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.

Trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of the 2019 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 twin, 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.


Overallundefined / 5


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, so 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 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 its function well. The generous number of features makes you feel as if you're getting a lot more for your money.

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 touchscreen can be a bit of a stretch for some drivers, but the primary controls are all within reach.

Getting in/getting out

The tall door openings, when 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. A unique gauge cluster displaying various hybrid functions is one of the few indicators that you're driving a gas-electric car. A navigation system comes standard, as does a premium Harman Kardon sound system.

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

Trending topics in reviews

    Features & Specs

    EX 4dr Sedan features & specs
    EX 4dr Sedan
    2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A
    MPG N/A city / N/A hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower202 hp @ 6000 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2019 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.

    Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid vs. the competition

    Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid vs. Chevrolet Volt

    The Chevrolet Volt is the king of the hill in the plug-in hybrid market. Because of its EPA-rated 53 miles of all-electric range, the Volt can frequently be used on a daily basis without having to switch over to the gas engine at all. It also offers good handling and decent acceleration. But the Volt's interior plastics leave a lot to be desired, as does its somewhat tight back seat.

    Compare Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid & Chevrolet Volt features

    Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid vs. Honda Clarity

    The Honda Clarity comes in three flavors, and the Plug-In Hybrid version might just be the most sensible of the bunch. It can go an estimated 47 miles on all-electric power while offering more space for passengers and cargo than the Volt. But the Clarity's styling might not be everyone's cup of tea, both inside or out.

    Compare Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid & Honda Clarity features

    Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid vs. Ford Fusion Energi

    The Fusion Energi is more like the Optima Plug-In Hybrid since they're both traditional sedans converted to be plug-in hybrids. The Fusion Energi can go an estimated 21 miles under electric power but benefits from having a 14-gallon fuel tank when the juice runs out. The Fusion's roomy, quiet cabin is appealing, but there's a distinct lack of cargo space.

    Compare Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid & Ford Fusion Energi features
    Is the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid a good car?
    The Edmunds experts tested the 2019 Optima Plug-In Hybrid both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Optima Plug-In Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 40 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Optima Plug-In Hybrid has 9.9 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid. Learn more
    What's new in the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid:

    • More driver assistance features are standard this year
    • Part of the fourth Kia Optima generation introduced in 2016
    Learn more
    Is the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid reliable?
    To determine whether the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Optima Plug-In Hybrid. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Optima Plug-In Hybrid's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
    Is the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid a good car?
    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2019 Optima Plug-In Hybrid is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more
    How much should I pay for a 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid?

    The least-expensive 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid is the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $35,390.

    Other versions include:

    • EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) which starts at $35,390
    Learn more
    What are the different models of Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid?
    If you're interested in the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid, the next question is, which Optima Plug-In Hybrid model is right for you? Optima Plug-In Hybrid variants include EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A). For a full list of Optima Plug-In Hybrid models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

    2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Overview

    The 2019 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 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid and all its trim types. 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 2019 Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 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 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid?
    Which 2019 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) 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid for sale near. 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

    Can't find a new 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid for sale - 10 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $23,339.

    Find a new Kia for sale - 6 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $16,376.

    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 2019 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