Check Out The New Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid – Review Video

5 months ago by Mark Kane 11

An interesting, and somewhat rare review of the new Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid has been filed by Car Keys UK.

Overall, the Korean plug-in is considered a good choice for all those intending to cover distances within its all-electric range; especially considering its reasonable pricing.

In Europe, the Optima plug-in is rated for 54 km/33 miles of all-electric range, but in reality, around a 47 km/29 mile range (as tested via the US/EPA metric) is a more realistic number.

The Kia Optima PHV is a sister-vehicle to the Hyundai Sonata PHV, with the Kia arriving in the US in the next few weeks (reportedly) after missing its December’s arrival date.

Says Car Keys UK:

Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

“Kia has been spreading its wings in the UK market significantly in the last five years or so, and hybrid power is one of its latest endeavours.

First with its Niro SUV and now with its already established Optima saloon, Kia aims to tackle German rivals like Volkswagen and hybrid kingpins like Lexus.

But Kia is a newcomer to the UK hybrid market – has it got what it takes?

In this review, we take an in-depth look at the interior of the Kia Optima Plug In Hybrid including its boot size, dashboard and back seats. We then run through performance, price and finish up with the all-important verdict – is the Kia Optima Plug In Hybrid a good car?”

Inside the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

Inside the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

Quick specs:

  • 9.8 kWh battery and 27 miles expected EPA range (54 km / 33 miles NEDC)
  • 0-60 mph in 9.1 seconds
  • 50 kW electric motor and 2.0-liter “Nu” four-cylinder GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, power output is targeted for a class-leading 154 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • estimated 600 miles of total driving range
  • Full charge in less-than 3 hours via a 240V (Level 2) charger
  • segment’s lowest coefficient of drag, tied with the Tesla Model S at 0.25 Cd

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11 responses to "Check Out The New Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid – Review Video"

  1. PHEVfan says:

    “class leading 154 hp @ 6000 rpm”
    meaning they went puny on the electric motor and bigger on the ICE.
    Isn’t that the OPPOSITE of what a PHEV is about? Give me a bigger motor and smaller engine.

    Try again Kia.

    1. jsmay311 says:

      It’s easy to nit-pick. But compared to most of the PHEV competition, Kia’s offering is pretty strong.

      The Optima PHEV’s electric range of 29 miles (this article mis-states it as 27 miles) is better than every other PHEV car* in the US apart from the Chevy Volt. (*I’m excluding the Chrysler Pacifica minivan and the i3 REx.)

      The Optima is also larger than the Volt or Prius Prime. It’s comparable the Fusion Energi, which only gets 22 miles per charge.

      Of course, the weak-ish motor will mean the engine has to turn on to achieve max acceleration, but I believe all current PHEV’s (except, again, for the Volt) act this way. It’s really just the nature of having a relatively small battery pack.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Thanks jsmay311,

        Some bad math there on the km to miles conversion…it is 29 miles. Article corrected, (=

  2. Alan says:

    Is it me or is that interior looking very dated ?

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      It’s pretty dated and dull, yeah. If a car maker is going to go with cheaper interiors, they should try to at least make them look unique.

      This looks like a minor step up from the interior of my very first car, A ’92 Mazda Protege. (But with a screen in the middle of the dash, and controls on the steering wheel.) It’s not awful though, just generic.

      I really wish Kia would change their logo though. I think it hurts the appeal of their vehicles.

      As a graphic designer, it’s the kind of thing I might create for a client on a budget who doesn’t want to pay for more than 2 hours of work.

      1. Nix says:

        Their logo could be easily fixed by removing the I, the A, and the K…..

        *grin*

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          Yes an empty black oval would literally be an improvement to Kia’s brand lol.

          I hear the cars are actually decent compared to their poor reputation in the 90s. But the old badge carries a lot of baggage. They need a re-branding to really sell consumers on this.

  3. Bob Nan says:

    Kia-Optima Plugin is priced at $35,210 (excluding destination charge) for its 29 mile electric range and 40 MPG.

    This is nearly $5,000 more than Fusion Plugin just for an 8 mile extra eletric range. Besides, the Optima is sold in just few states.

    Its interior space is 115 cu. ft. which is 6 more than Chevy Volt, but falls far short of its 53 mile electric drive.

    This may not be a high volume seller, at least we have another plugin in mid 30K range and a decent 29 mile electric drive.

  4. Bob Nan says:

    Perhaps Ford C-Max at $28,000 is a far better vehicle considering the fact that its 4 cu. ft. more than Optima Plugin even though its electric range is 10 less.

    Or Prius Prime is a even better option if a 4 seater is good enough.

  5. Todd says:

    By all accounts, the new interior is of great quality even for the segment, but I agree too dull. I like the clean lines of it though, and touchscreen display design. On practicality, this is a step up from the fusion i’d say. More interior passenger volume (more rear headroom particularly), and 20% more boot space (and in these sedan PHEV small boots, that’s awfully valuable). The 8 extra miles of range is more significant then you’d think. Probably results in driving 40% electric vs 60% electric, which is where you gain all the overall reduced carbon impact at the end of the day. Looks like a blended MPG impact would be in the 60-80mpg range for most people.

  6. peter j connell says:

    The pivot of what’s deemed consumer marketable vs an almost all electric urban ev is sustained ~freeway performance.

    This dictates the size/weight/type/power of ICE and transmission.

    FEDEX (or UPS?) in USA, OTH, adopt a philosophy of sufficient battery for a normal days deliveries, with an onboard small ICE charger, as a supplement on atypically busy days.

    a 2 cyl ~800cc ICE suffices for a ~5 tonne GVM truck.

    They have been trialling it for a while on a fleet of 250+ trucks.

    Smaller ICEs are doable and desireable, but folks have to accept lame performance in some situations, as above.

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