2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

Optima Plug-In Hybrid

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2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Overview

The Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) came out last year, so this model year is mostly a carryover with no significant changes. This fuel-efficient sedan is offered in a single trim level with only one optional package that adds numerous safety and convenience features.

The Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX’s base price is $35,210, and it comes standard with single projection headlights, LED daytime running lights, anti-fog headlights, power-folding heated outside mirrors, and acoustic front door windows. There’s also a unique hybrid radiator grille design, blue and silver bumper and side sill accents, and a blue side fender garnish with EcoPlugin badge.

Inside, there’s a tilt and telescopic steering column, 12-way adjustable driver’s seat with 4-way power lumbar, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and steering wheel, dual-zone automatic temperature control, and rear vents for heating and air conditioning. Standard infotainment includes an 8-inch color touchscreen with navigation, radio, MP3, Bluetooth, satellite radio, HD Radio, a reversing camera, and an integrated wi-fi modem.

Upgrades are available through the EX Technology Package, which is priced at $5,250. It adds a 10-way power adjustable passenger seat with 2-way power lumbar, a panoramic sunroof, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking assist, front collision warning, lane departure warning, LED headlights with dynamic bending light, high beam assist, LED front and rear reading lamps, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, and rear side window sunshades.

Power for the Kia Optima PHEV comes from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 154 horsepower and 140 pound-feer of torque paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is supplemented by a 50 kW electric motor for a combined 202 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque.The PHEV can be charged two different ways: a Level One 120-volt charger for overnight charging or a Level Two 240-volt charger, which is available at public charging stations and can be installed in homes, to charge it in under three hours. There's an all-electric driving range of approximately 29 miles with a combined driving range of 610 miles. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 103 MPGe 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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