Kia Optima PHEV Test Drive Review

2 years ago by Mark Kane 15

Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)

Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)

2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

Autocar is one of the first media outlets to test the pre-production 2016 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid, which will go on sale in second half of 2016 (see announcement and details).

The Optima PHEV is based (or jointly developed, if you will) on the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, with the same battery (9.8 kWh), electric motor (50 kW) and expected all-electric range of 27 miles EPA.

According to article’s title, the first plug-in hybrid Kia will be competition for the Volkswagen Passat GTE and Audi A3 e-tron. In the UK, Optima PHEV might fight the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV as well.

The car was tested “on unfamiliar roads” in Korea, so there is not much insight, nor performance data yet:

“Although official performance figures have yet to be released, the 0-60mph sprint feels adequate rather than startling, while the car’s inert steering and additional weight mean that driver engagement is in short supply – not that motorway-minded business drivers are likely to be overly concerned.

Inside, the Optima PHEV is spacious in the front, rear and boot, and the materials and fit and finish of our test car were impressive. The driving position is good, and the range of adjustments enough to allow any shape or size of driver to get comfortable. That said, both the Passat GTE and A3 e-tron are considerably more polished inside.”

Source: Autocar

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15 responses to "Kia Optima PHEV Test Drive Review"

  1. Murrysville EV says:

    In other words, “here are a few comments about a car we drove for a bit”. Calling that a ‘test drive review’ is a stretch.

  2. GDTRFB Volt says:

    Why would someone buy this next year if they can also buy a Volt with 2x the EV range? It may cost less, but unlikely to cost 1/2 as much as the Volt? Furthermore, when the Bolt comes out, won’t all the sub-100 mile BEV’s be obsolete?

    1. David Murray says:

      1) Not everyone does their homework before buying a car.
      2) Not everyone is concerned with EV range as their number 1 priority in a car.
      3) Some people want a larger car than a Volt.

      1. tom911 says:

        Yes, I’d love something lager than my Volt with the same tech!!

      2. tom911 says:

        Yes, I’d love something larger than my Volt with the same tech!!

    2. MTN Ranger says:

      1. Even as a Volt proponent, I realize people need options – if you need more space and five real seats for example, or If your driving needs are 25 miles or less during the day.

      2. 100 mile or less BEVs will need to drop in price to compete, there will always be a need for shorter range and cheaper vehicles.

    3. Paul says:

      Then why not wait for the Tesla 3 and get a better car than the Bolt?

    4. Ziv says:

      GDTRFB, I would think about buying the Optima hybrid because I drive my Volt with 2 or 3 passengers all the time and the Volt back seat is a bad joke. I really want a roomier car. When my lease ends I will probably not get another Volt because of that.
      Which is too bad, because most things about the Volt are great.

  3. konrad says:

    Does anybody know why Optima and Sonata both have 27 AER EPA, and A3 e-tron only 17 miles? They all have simillar batteries (9.8 kw).

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Gearing, tunning, buffer size, EV motor efficiency and max power rating all plays a role.

      But with their past history of “making mistakes with EPA testing procedure”, I would take anything Kia/Hyundai makes with a grain of salt as far as EPA ratings go.

    2. Nix says:

      As far as I know, neither the Kia, nor the Hyundai PHEV have gotten official EPA numbers yet. Everything I’ve seen are just projections of expected EPA numbers.

      We’ll see if the projections hold up when they actually get official EPA numbers.

      1. Buster says:

        Sonata is official.

        1. Nix says:

          Ah! thanks for the correction.

          I finally found it on the epa website. It isn’t listed with the other Sonata’s. It’s listed separately. My error.

  4. Alaa says:

    The Kia Soul is better

  5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “…expected all-electric range of 27 miles EPA.”

    I continue to be mystified at the fact that nobody, but nobody, is offering a PHEV with an electric range that’s even close to being in the same ballpark with the Volt’s 35-53 miles.

    That was 35 miles in 2010; five years ago. So why, five years later, is 27 miles the best anybody else can do?

    It seems that the EV revolution is progressing only at GM, and at BEV makers. It certainly ain’t progressing in sub-30-mile PHEVs.