2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

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
List Price Estimate
$22,550 - $25,691

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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.

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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.

Driving

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.

Comfort

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.

Interior

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.

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

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.

Technology

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 Used 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid.


Safety

Our experts like the Optima Plug-In Hybrid models:

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.

More about the 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

Used 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Overview

The Used 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). The Used 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In 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 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid?

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Which used 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 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 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

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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.

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