2018 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

Optima Hybrid

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2018 Kia Optima Hybrid Overview

The Kia Optima Hybrid was overhauled last year, so there are few changes for the 2018 model year. Updated color, trim, and package options are available.

The Premium trim has a starting price of $25,995 and includes auto on/off headlights, power-adjustable heated outside mirrors, door handle pocket lighting, and a unique grille design that differentiates the hybrid from the rest of the Optima lineup.

Inside, there is a tilt and telescopic steering column, cloth seats, 6-way adjustable driver’s seat with 2-way lumbar, dual-zone automatic temperature control, rear heating vent, and cruise control. The infotainment system includes a 7-inch color touchscreen with radio, MP3, Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio, and reversing camera. A 4-speaker audio system and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard.

The EX starts at $30,990 and adds LED daytime running lights, power-folding outside mirrors, acoustic front door windows, and automatic windshield defog system. Inside there is a 12-way adjustable driver’s seat with 4-way lumbar, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. The infotainment system is upgraded to include an 8-inch color touchscreen, HD Radio, and a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound system with subwoofer and ClariFi sound enhancing technology.

Both trims include safety features like electronic stability control, hill-start assist, vehicle stability management, and traction control. Additional safety features are available through package options. The Premium trim has the Hybrid Convenience Package at $1,795. It adds a 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat with 4-way lumbar, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking assist, driver’s seat and outside mirror memory, laminated front door windows, power folding outside mirrors with heat, rear air conditioning vents, and a USB charger.

The EX offers additional safety through the Technology Package, priced at $5,000. It includes a 10-way power adjustable passenger seat with 2-way lumbar, panoramic sunroof, autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking assist, front collision warning, lane departure warning, LED headlights with dynamic bending, high beam assist, overhead LED front and rear reading lamps, heated rear seats, rear side window sunshades, ventilated front seats, and auto dimming rear-view mirror.

Power for the Kia Optima Hybrid comes from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 154 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). A 38kW electric motor with 50 hp and 151.2 lb-ft of torque provides 192 net system hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard. The Kia Optima Hybrid achieves an EPA-estimated 39 mpg city, 46 highway, and 42 combined.


Nicole Wakelin's passion for cars started on the day she went for a ride in a bright red Ferrari as a teenager. She writes reviews and covers everything cars for CarGurus, The Boston Globe, BestRide, AAA, Autobytel, and numerous other outlets.

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