2019 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

Optima Hybrid

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2019 Kia Optima Hybrid Overview

The Kia Optima has been around for almost twenty years, but it wasn’t until 2011 that the Optima Hybrid joined the family. Kia positions the Optima Hybrid against other midsize hybrid sedans like the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and Toyota Camry. Like its competitors, the Optima Hybrid gives up little to its non-hybrid counterpart aside from a bit of trunk space and a split-folding rear bench seat. There’s still room for five adults and luggage.

Of course, the point of any hybrid is its fuel-sipping powertrain, and the Optima Hybrid does not disappoint. All versions come with a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor and battery for a combined 192 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. The 6-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. Where that power comes from depends on a lot of factors, but Kia says the Optima Hybrid can remain in electric-only mode at speeds of up to 62 miles per hour. It’s all good for 39 mpg city, 45 highway, and 41 combined.

The Optima Hybrid comes in one trim, EX. Standard features include 16-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver’s seat, heated seats, keyless access and start, power heated mirrors with LED indicators, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Harman & Kardon 630-watt sound system. If that’s not nice enough for you, Kia offers a Technology Package that adds 17-inch wheels, an 8-inch infotainment system with navigation, an electronic parking brake, LED projector-beam headlights, a panoramic sunroof, cooled front seats, a 12-way power driver’s seat, a 10-way power passenger’s seat, memory settings, and LED interior lighting.

In the interest of avoiding collisions, Kia bundles every Optima Hybrid with a reversing camera, reversing sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic detection, and lane-change assist. The Technology Package tacks on adaptive cruise control with a traffic-crawl function, automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning. While there is no public crash-test data for the Optima Hybrid, the gas-powered Optima received a Top Safety Pick Plus award when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluated it in 2018.

The Optima Hybrid is a modern and approachable hybrid. Best of all, it comes backed with a class-leading 5-year and 60,000 basic and a 10-year and 100-mile powertrain warranty.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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