Kia Reveals Niro And Optima Sportwagen PHEVs, On Sale Now
Kia has expanded its offerings in UK by two new plug-in hybrids – the first is the Optima Sportswagon PHEV (in addition to the ‘standard’ Optima PHEV), and the second is the compact crossover Niro PHEV. Both cars were announced this past Spring.
The Niro PHEV begins from £27,995 ($36,228 USD) on the road after taking into consideration the Government plug-in car grant of £2,500.
Kia advertises that its 8.9 kWh battery will be enough for 36 miles (58 km) in all-electric mode, but it will be hard. The plug-in will also arrive in the US in a few weeks, and we expect a real world/EPA range rating of about 27 miles (43 km).
The latest PHEV from Kia is considered the company’s most efficient car to also feature a combustion engine ever.
Kia Niro PHEV spec:
- 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine (104bhp and 147Nm) paired with a 44.5kW (60bhp) electric motor – Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED). System output is 139bhp, with 265Nm of torque. Drive to the front wheels is through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (6DCT).
- 0-60mph in 10.4 seconds and has a top speed of 107mph
- 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack
- up to 36 miles (58 km) in all-electric range , ~27 miles real world
- potential fuel economy of well over 200mpg and CO2 emissions of just 29g/km
- drag coefficient (Cd) of .30
- 4,355mm long, 1,805mm wide and 1,535mm tall
- curb weight to 1,594kg
- luggage space – 324 litres
Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV is priced at £32,645 ($42,245 USD) after Government plug-in car grant of £2,500, compared to £31,495 for Optima PHEV.
It will be sold as a single, highly specified stand-alone model. And if you want one, and you don’t live in Europe…tough beans, as it won’t be coming to North America.
Battery holds some 11.26 kWh (yes, we are surprised by the precise data on this one from Kia too) some 15% more energy than in the saloon Optima PHEV (9.8 kWh). The range is expected at up to 38 miles (61 km), up from 33 miles in the Optima PHEV.
In U.S. Optima PHEV was rated by EPA at 29 miles, so we suspect the real world range of the Sportwagon to be about 33 miles/52 km – although again, we will never see that rating without the model’s introduction into America.
Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV spec:
- Combined power output of 202bhp, with 375Nm of torque. Combines a 154bhp 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engine with a 50kW (67bhp) electric motor. The motor replaces the torque converter in the smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission.
- 11.26 kWh battery – up from 9.8 kWh in saloon)
- Up to 38 miles (61 km) of all-electric range
- Cd 0.28
- The Sportswagon’s combined fuel economy figure is 201.8mpg (saloon 176.6mpg). CO2 figure of just 33g/km (saloon 37g/km)
- can carry 440 litres of cargo with the 40:20:40 split rear seats upright, or 1,574 litres when they are folded, and it has a payload of 390kg
Here is photo gallery and press on both models:
KIA ADDS PLUG-IN HYBRID TO NIRO RANGE
- The first plug-in hybrid compact crossover to go on sale in the UK
- Kia’s third plug-in hybrid after the Optima and Optima Sportswagon
- Delivers low-cost, high-efficiency motoring in a stylish crossover package
- With fuel economy of more than 200mpg and CO2 emissions of just 29g/km, Niro PHEV is Kia’s most efficient car with a combustion engine ever
- Built on an all-new platform and featuring an all-new powertrain
- Available with the latest connectivity and driver assistance features
- Stand-alone model priced at £27,995 after Government plug-in car grant
Kia is today adding a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Niro crossover to the parallel hybrid models launched in 2016. The PHEV is priced at £27,995 on the road after taking into consideration the Government plug-in car grant of £2,500.
With potential fuel economy of well over 200mpg and CO2 emissions of just 29g/km, the Niro PHEV is easily the Korean company’s most efficient car to feature a combustion engine ever. It will be a cornerstone of Kia’s drive to reduce the average CO2 emissions of its range by 25 per cent, based on 2014 figures, by 2020.
The PHEV is a stand-alone model in the Niro line-up, based on the mid-range (grade 3) Niro parallel hybrid (with ADAP). Standard features include the latest connectivity and active safety technologies, including Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom, wireless smartphone charging, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist. It also offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which, via pre-downloaded apps, link smartphones to navigation, music, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition services.
The Niro PHEV is also equipped with a 4.2-inch colour TFT supervision cluster, a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors, roof rails, privacy glass on the rear windows and tailgate and LED tail lights and daytime running lights. It has special 16-inch alloy wheels with aerodynamic plastic covers, dual automatic air conditioning, an automatic windscreen de-fogging system, all-round electric windows and electrically adjustable folding door mirrors with LED indicators. A DAB radio, USB and AUX ports, a leather-covered steering wheel and gearshifter, black leather upholstery, chrome interior and exterior door handles, rain-sensing front wipers and an under-floor tray are also standard. The front seats and steering wheel are heated and there is eight-way power adjustment and powered lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat.
It is available in six colours, including optional Gravity Blue which is exclusive to the plug-in Niro. The standard paint colour is Rich Espresso, while other options are Clear White, Graphite, Midnight Black and White Pearl.
Plug-in hybrid powertrain promotes outstanding efficiency
The Niro PHEV features the same 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine as the parallel hybrid, but in the plug-in model this is paired with a more powerful 44.5kW (60bhp) electric motor. The Niro PHEV is capable of travelling up to 36 miles on the energy stored in its batteries, which means many owners will be able to complete their daily commute without using a drop of petrol or producing any tailpipe emissions.
The petrol engine develops 104bhp and 147Nm of torque, and conforms to Kia’s policy of adopting high-efficiency downsized power units for all new models. In the Niro range it marks the first combination of an Atkinson combustion cycle, cooled exhaust gas recirculation, direct petrol injection and a long-stroke specification for maximum efficiency. The Atkinson cycle holds the intake valve open longer than in a normal Otto cycle engine and also reduces the compression ratio to extract a greater proportion of energy from the combustion process rather than wasting it as heat. Efficiency is further aided by an exhaust heat recovery system which speeds the engine warm-up process.
The 44.5kW (60bhp) electric motor is powered by an 8.9kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack rather than the 1.56kWh system in the parallel hybrid. Together, the two power units produce 139bhp, with 265Nm of torque available in first gear for rapid acceleration from standstill. The Niro PHEV can cover 0-60mph in 10.4 seconds and has a top speed of 107mph.
The greater energy storage capacity of the PHEV’s batteries allows the car to travel up to 36 miles on electric power alone. As a result, its official CO2 emissions figure is just 29g/km, so business users pay only 9 per cent company car tax in 2017-18, while the certified fuel consumption figure is 217.3mpg. A brake energy recovery system recoups energy normally dissipated as heat and stores it in the batteries for use later.
Drive to the front wheels is through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (6DCT) rather than the continuously variable transmission (CVT) used by most hybrids. This gives more direct and immediate response with greater refinement, and incorporates a Manual Sports mode to allow keener drivers to select gears manually.
A Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED) allows the combined 139bhp of the two power units to be transferred to the drive wheels simultaneously, with minimal energy losses. This differs from the power-split system typical of CVT transmissions, which convert a portion of engine output for delivery through the electric motor, resulting in a loss of energy. TMED allows the hybrid system to access battery power directly at higher speeds for swifter response.
Intelligent fuel-saving and energy-harvesting technologies
The Niro PHEV is equipped with a number of technological innovations to help it use the power in its battery pack in the most efficient way and top up its batteries on the move.
Sophisticated technologies include regenerative braking, a driving style guide, an ECO-DAS (ECOnomy Driver Assistance System) featuring Coasting Guide Control, a Drive Mode Select button so that drivers can personalise the powertrain’s dynamics, and an HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) Select switch. It also has an intelligent heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to save battery power.
HEV Select gives access to two driving modes via a button in the centre console. In EV (charge depletion) mode the car runs as a purely electric vehicle when the energy stored in the batteries is adequate, and is able to regenerate electrical power on the move to recharge the batteries. HEV (charge sustaining) mode allows the powertrain to balance the use of motor and petrol engine for a seamless combination of electric and internal combustion power. In this mode, a greater proportion of propulsion comes from the petrol engine and the charge level of the batteries is constantly being topped up for later use.
Drive Mode Select gives the driver the choice of Eco and Normal settings to obtain maximum energy efficiency or greater performance. This switch is also located in the centre console. A driving style guide delivers information through the instrument panel about how efficiently the car is being driven so that drivers can adapt their driving style as necessary.
Kia’s regenerative braking system allows the car to harvest kinetic energy – energy created by motion – to top up the batteries when coasting or braking.
It is linked to Coasting Guide Control (CGC), which takes information from the navigation system so that the car can anticipate road conditions to reduce energy use and identify opportunities to harvest additional electrical power through coasting. CGC alerts drivers to the best time to lift off the accelerator and coast towards a junction, allowing energy to be regenerated. It also means the driver can brake later and maintain momentum when traffic conditions allow, reducing the likelihood of the need to stop at a junction or traffic lights. CGC operates between 37 and 100mph when a navigation destination is set. It can improve fuel economy by up to 3 per cent.
The advanced HVAC system has been adapted from that in the Soul EV, and allows only the driver’s side of the car to be cooled when the other seats are unoccupied to minimise energy usage. It does this through a smart air intake, in contrast to rival systems which merely divert the airflow towards the driver when other vents are closed and consequently do not reduce energy consumption.
Two battery charging cables are supplied with the Niro PHEV; one with a standard three-pin plug allowing the car to be connected to a domestic socket and a Type 2 to Type 2 cable for connection to a public or workplace charging point. The charge time from fully depleted to 100 per cent charged is two-and-a-quarter hours.
The world’s first compact crossover plug-in hybrid
The five-door, five-seater Niro PHEV is the world’s first compact crossover plug-in hybrid and was a joint design between Kia’s studios at Namyang in Korea and Irvine, California. The sleek crossover profile has a low drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.30, while extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminium in the body construction helps to trim the minimum kerb weight to 1,594kg. Both are significant factors in the Niro PHEV’s low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The design features the subtly sculpted surfaces and sharp lines that instantly mark the Niro PHEV out as a modern Kia, and includes the latest evolution of the brand’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille as well as the familiar broad C-pillar. A wide stance gives pointers to the car’s stability and low centre of gravity, while a long bonnet, short overhangs, elevated headlights and a rising shoulder line are other Kia hallmarks. The body tapers towards the rear, where bold wheel arches, a squared-off bumper with a diffuser section and high-mounted C-shaped tail lights emphasise its dynamic stance. The car’s crossover credentials are further highlighted by body cladding beneath the front and rear bumpers, along the sides and around the wheel arches. A subtle roof spoiler aids the car’s aerodynamics.
The PHEV features metallic blue flourishes on the front and rear bumpers. The plug-in charging point is on the left-hand front wing.
At 4,355mm long, 1,805mm wide and 1,535mm tall, the compact Niro PHEV sits between the cee’d hatchback and the Sportage SUV in size. Yet with a 2,700mm wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs it provides generous space. This is reinforced by the styling of the interior, which has a wide dashboard set out on horizontal lines. There is an upper display sector with the instrument panel and infotainment screen at the same height, separated by a cabin-wide trim line from the lower control area, where the heating and ventilation and driver assistance switches are located.
An all-new platform exclusively for electrified vehicles
The car’s platform has been engineered exclusively for electrified vehicles and has been designed to accommodate present and future electrical components within a compact vehicle footprint with minimal intrusion into the spacious interior and luggage area. In the PHEV, luggage space has been slightly reduced to 324 litres to make space for the enlarged battery pack, but this has been partially offset by a reduction in the size of the petrol tank from 45 to 43 litres. A slightly raised crossover-style seating position makes getting in and out easier and provides a superior view out.
The structure is particularly strong and includes 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel, which ensures that rigidity and safety do not compromise weight. This is aided by extensive use of aluminium for the bonnet, tailgate panel, front bumper back beam and several chassis elements, including the front knuckles, front lower arms and brake calipers. Even the parking brake pedal, which is made of fibre-reinforced plastic, contributes to the weight savings. To ensure body integrity and rigidity in critical areas, hot-stamped steel is used to reinforce the A- and B-pillars, roof rails and wheel arches.
The front seats save 1.3kg each thanks to their high-strength steel frames, yet they are still able to cushion occupants against bumps and vibrations as a result of their high-density foam, while specially profiled springs and pads provide high levels of thigh, hip and side support.
No compromise in comfort and refinement
By re-engineering some existing components, Kia has endowed the Niro range with a unique chassis specifically designed for hybrids while ensuring it is the equal of the brand’s other compact models for ride comfort, handling and refinement.
The driving characteristics begin with fully independent suspension all round, based on MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement with dual lower arms at the rear. It has been tuned to deliver maximum on-centre steering feel, high-speed stability and immediate response to steering inputs. Because each rear wheel is able to absorb bumps independently, shocks are less likely to be transmitted to the cabin than with a cheaper torsion beam rear axle, while the wide stance and low centre of gravity enhance stability.
Capitalising on the experience gained through the development of two generations of Optima hybrid (neither sold in the UK) plus the Soul EV, Kia has been able to give Niro consistent and linear deceleration and braking feel unusual in an electrified car. Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, which collectively control skids when cornering or accelerating on surfaces with uneven levels of grip, are standard. The Niro PHEV is also fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking and Smart Cruise Control to assist the driver in avoiding collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians.
The car’s exceptional refinement proved particularly challenging to perfect because of the hybrid powertrain. Contributing towards this are asymmetric engine mounts to minimise powertrain movements at the attachment points in the subframe, high-density under-bonnet insulation, an acoustic shield with a special support structure to improve the sound of the combustion engine when accelerating in the most commonly used speed ranges, and the adoption of a 6DCT gearbox in place of a CVT.
Road noise is minimised by high-insulation rigid bushes in the front subframe, high-strength steel in the rear wheel arches and additional insulation in the A- and B-pillars. The low drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.30 contributes towards the suppression of wind noise, aided by laminated windscreen glass, a cowl over the front windscreen wipers, specially profiled door mirror casings and – as an example of the attention to detail of Kia’s engineers – covers over the holes in the roof rails, which sit flush on the bodywork.
The best of connectivity and advanced driver aids
An environmental car does not have to be a fundamental car, and the Niro PHEV is available with the most advanced connectivity services and active driver aids.
Standard advanced driver assistance pack include Autonomous Emergency Braking with Smart Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Hill-start Assist Control and a Speed Limiter. There is an 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a reversing camera and Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom. This provides up-to-the-minute information on traffic hold-ups, weather, speed camera locations and local points of interest. Kia Connected Services is free for seven years from the time the car is bought. A wireless mobile phone charger and an eight-speaker JBL Premium sound system with a 320-watt external amplifier are also standard alongside a DAB radio and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and music streaming.
The Niro PHEV features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which allow smartphones to be paired with the car via pre-downloaded apps. Android Auto works with Android smartphones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher and gives access to a variety of services such as Google Maps navigation, Google Play music, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Apple CarPlay functions with iPhone 5 or newer and enables full Siri voice control of the phone’s apps and functions while linking the car to Apple Maps, calls and text dictation, music streaming and audiobooks.
Market, warranty and after-care
In keeping with every Kia, the Niro PHEV comes with a unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to wear and tear conditions. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached.
It is also available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for three or five years. Both packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold.
Niro PHEV performance and economy
Model Total power bhp Total torque
Max speed mph Average mpg C02 g/km 1.6 GDi 6DCT plug-in hybrid 139 265 10.4 107 217.3 29
KIA ADDS PLUG-IN HYBRID TO OPTIMA SPORTSWAGON LINE-UP
- Kia’s fourth alternative-powertrain car in the UK and second PHEV
- Up to 38 miles of all-electric range with CO2 emissions of 33g/km
- Fuel economy of more than 200mpg in the official combined test
- All-electric or hybrid drive modes
- Combined power output of 202bhp, with 375Nm of torque
- Active aerodynamics lower Cd to 0.28
- Connectivity features include Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™
- Up to 1,574 litres of cargo capacity with a 390kg payload
- Priced at £32,645 after Government plug-in car grant
- Changes to paint options across the Optima line-up
Kia has added a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the stylish and spacious Optima Sportswagon to its growing fleet of alternative-powertrain models. It will be sold as a single, highly specified stand-alone model priced at £32,645 after the Government’s plug-in car grant of £2,500.
The Optima Sportswagon PHEV joins the Optima saloon PHEV, all-electric Soul EV, Niro dedicated hybrid crossover and Niro PHEV in helping to drive Kia towards its goal of a 25 per cent reduction in fleet average CO2 emissions by 2020, based on 2014 figures.
Thanks to increased storage capacity in its lithium-ion polymer batteries, the Optima Sportswagon PHEV has a longer all-electric range, lower CO2 emissions and better fuel economy than the plug-in hybrid saloon. The increased storage capacity of 11.26kWh (saloon 9.8kWh) takes into account that the Sportswagon is likely to carry heavier loads than the saloon.
The Sportswagon PHEV can travel up to 38 miles in all-electric mode (saloon 33 miles), so it is able to complete many regular urban commuter runs with no tailpipe emissions. Its CO2 figure of just 33g/km (saloon 37g/km) means company car users pay just 9 per cent benefit-in-kind taxation in 2017-18, the same as with the saloon. The Sportswagon’s combined fuel economy figure is 201.8mpg (saloon 176.6mpg).
Ingenious packaging of the batteries in the boot floor, plus a 15-litre reduction in fuel tank capacity, ensures the Sportswagon PHEV is as practical and versatile as it is efficient and clean. It can carry 440 litres of cargo with the 40:20:40 split rear seats upright, or 1,574 litres when they are folded, and it has a payload of 390kg.
A harmonious blend of petrol and electric power
As with the Optima saloon PHEV, the Sportswagon PHEV combines a 154bhp 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engine with a 50kW (67bhp) electric motor. The motor replaces the torque converter in the smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. When working together, the combustion engine and electric motor generate 202bhp and 375Nm of torque.
A package of aerodynamic, styling and technology features contributes towards the Optima Sportswagon PHEV’s low CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. The most significant aerodynamic change is an active air flap grille which lowers the car’s drag co-efficient (Cd) to 0.28 when closed. Every small improvement in drag can have a significant effect on fuel consumption, especially at higher speeds. There are also uniquely profiled front and rear bumpers for the PHEV to reduce air turbulence.
Distinguishing features of the PHEV are blue-tinted headlights and chrome enhancements with a metallic blue finish on the lower front air grille, the ‘tiger-nose’ main grille and the side sills. There are ‘ECO plug-in’ badges on the front wings, while the recharging port for the batteries is housed in the left front wing.
Naturally, such a technologically advanced addition to the Optima family is available with a comprehensive range of connectivity and advanced driver assistance features, including an 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping.
The touchscreen features additional menus to help the driver achieve the maximum all-electric driving range. It provides valuable information on the status of the batteries, the location of nearby charging stations, energy use based on driving style and the mileage which can be expected from the energy remaining in the batteries.
Intelligent fuel-saving and energy-harvesting technologies
The Optima Sportswagon PHEV is equipped with a number of technological innovations to help it use the power in its battery pack in the most efficient way and top up its batteries on the move.
The car’s sophisticated technologies include regenerative braking, a driving style guide, an ECO-DAS (ECOnomy Driver Assistance System) featuring a Drive Mode Select button so that drivers can personalise the powertrain’s dynamics, and an HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) Select switch. It also has an intelligent heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to save battery power.
HEV Select gives access to two driving modes via a button in the centre console. In EV (charge depletion) mode the car runs as a purely electric vehicle when the energy stored in the batteries is adequate, and is able to regenerate electrical power on the move to recharge the batteries. HEV (sustaining) mode allows the powertrain to balance the use of motor and petrol engine for a seamless combination of electric and internal combustion power. In this mode, a greater proportion of propulsion comes from the petrol engine and the charge level of the batteries is constantly being topped up for later use.
The Drive Mode Select gives the driver the choice of Eco and Normal settings to obtain maximum energy efficiency or greater performance. This switch is also located in the centre console. A driving style guide delivers information through the instrument panel about how efficiently the car is being driven so that drivers can adapt their driving style as necessary.
Kia’s regenerative braking system, now in third-generation guise, allows the car to harvest kinetic energy – energy created by motion – to top up the batteries when coasting or braking.
The advanced HVAC system has been adapted from that in the Soul EV, and permits only the driver’s side of the car to be cooled when the other seats are unoccupied to minimise energy usage. It does this through a smart air intake, in contrast to rival systems which merely divert the airflow towards the driver when other vents are closed and consequently do not reduce overall energy consumption.
Retuned suspension and larger brakes
To compensate for the additional weight imposed by the battery pack, the all-independent suspension of the Optima Sportswagon PHEV has been specially tuned, while the brakes have been enlarged compared with those on the diesel-engined version.
The subframe-mounted suspension – featuring MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear, with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers all round – remains unchanged, but the springs, dampers and alignment have been retuned. The result is agile handling with a cosseting ride. For packaging reasons the Optima Sportswagon PHEV features Kia’s column-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (C-MDPS) rather than the rack-mounted (R-MDPS) system fitted to diesel versions.
To ensure braking performance is at least on par with that of the diesel Sportswagon, the rear brake discs of the plug-in hybrid have been enlarged from 262mm to 300mm.
Fully connected with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
The Optima Sportswagon PHEV is available with a comprehensive suite of connectivity features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. At the heart of it is the latest Kia audio-visual navigation (AVN) system, operated via the 8.0-inch touchscreen and featuring Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity with audio streaming. The navigation screen is linked to a rear parking camera.
Android Auto connects the car to the user’s smartphone and, via pre-downloaded apps, gives access to Google Maps navigation, Google Play music, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Apple CarPlay enables full Siri voice control of the phone’s apps and functions while linking the car to Apple Maps, calls and text dictation, music streaming and audiobooks.
The Sportswagon PHEV is fitted with the full Kia Connected Services package powered by TomTom. This provides live traffic updates, speed camera alerts and local point-of-interest and weather reports. It is provided free for seven years.
The AVN system is linked to a DAB digital radio as part of a 490-watt harman/kardon eight-speaker Premium Sound system, which includes an external amplifier and sub-woofer plus Clari-Fi technology, which restores the sound usually lost when digital music files are heavily compressed.
There are USB sockets in the front and rear, and a wireless smartphone charger is standard.
The Optima Sportswagon PHEV in the UK
The comprehensive standard specification of the Optima Sportswagon PHEV also includes 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 215/55 R17 tyres, LED daytime running lights and headlights – the latter with automatic levelling, welcome and follow-me-home lighting, black cloth and faux leather seats with eight-way power adjustment and four-way power lumbar adjustment on the driver’s side, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera integrated into the navigation screen, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, steering wheel mounted controls, all-round electric windows, cruise control with a speed limiter, remote central locking, an electronic parking brake and a 4.3-inch full-colour TFT (Thin Film Transistor) instrument cluster.
Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management are standard. These automatically counter any loss of traction when cornering or setting off on surfaces with differing levels of grip from left to right. Hill-start Assist Control, which holds the car when setting off on inclines, is also standard.
The PHEV is built around the same, highly protective crash structure as diesel versions of the Optima saloon and Sportswagon, which earned a five-star rating in Euro NCAP impact tests. It provides exemplary passive and active safety thanks to its occupant restraint systems and advanced active driver assistance features.
More than half of the body is made of advanced high-strength steels, particularly to reinforce the A- and B-pillars, side sills, floor and front wheel arches. Six airbags are fitted as standard.
A new phase in Kia’s hybrid development
Hybrids are not new to Kia and indeed the Optima range, but until 2016 they were not brought to the UK because diesels offered greater tax advantages in the all-important company car market. The Optima PHEV saloon and new PHEV Sportswagon, with their extensive all-electric driving range, low CO2 emissions and ultra-low company car tax rating, change this and are important additions to Kia’s fleet line-up in the UK.
Hybrid sales in the UK and mainland Europe have doubled over the past five years and are expected to reach 700,000 a year by the end of the decade. The Optima Sportswagon PHEV, alongside its saloon counterpart, ensures Kia is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this growth.
Market, warranty and after-care
In keeping with every Kia, the Optima Sportswagon PHEV comes with the company’s unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached.
It is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using Kia replacement parts and specified oils. These packages cover the car, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold.
Colour changes for the entire Optima line-up
To coincide with the arrival of the Sportswagon PHEV Kia has adjusted its colour options for the entire Optima range. The standard colour for both the saloon and Sportswagon PHEVs is now Aluminium Silver, replacing Midnight Black, which becomes a £545 option. Both PHEVs are also available in White Pearl and Gravity Blue, while an additional colour – Temptation Red – is offered on the Sportswagon PHEV.
The new standard colour for diesel versions of the Optima and Optima Sportswagon is Pluto Brown, while options, depending on model, are Midnight Black, Satin Silver, White Pearl, Gravity Blue and Temptation Red. All optional paints are charged at £545.
UK Optima saloon line-up:
Version Power bhp Torque Nm 0-60
Comb. mpg CO2 1.7 CRDi 2 139 340 9.7 121 67.3 110 1.7 CRDi 3 139 340 9.7 121 67.3 110 1.7 CRDi 3 7-DCT 139 340 10.6 126 64.2 116 1.7 CRDi GT-Line S 7-DCT 139 340 10.6 126 64.2 116 2.0 GDi PHEV 202 375 9.4 119 176.6 33
Model Price 1.7 CRDi 2 £21,635 1.7 CRDi 3 £23,635 1.7 CRDi 3 7-DCT £25,055 1.7 CRDi GT-Line S 7-DCT £29,555 2.0 GDi PHEV £31,495
UK Optima Sportswagon line-up:
Model Power bhp Torque
Average mpg CO2 g/km 1.7 CRDi 2 139 340 9.8 124 64.2 113 1.7 CRDi 3 139 340 9.8 124 64.2 113 1.7 CRDi 3 7-DCT 139 340 10.7 124 61.4 120 1.7 CRDi GT-Line S 7-DCT 139 340 10.7 124 61.4 120 2.0 GDi PHEV 202 375 9.4 119 201.8 33
Model Price 1.7 CRDi 2 £22,455 1.7 CRDi 3 £24,655 1.7 CRDi 3 7-DCT £26,055 1.7 CRDi GT-Line S 7-DCT £30,755 2.0 GDi PHEV £32,645