The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid is a family sedan that offers distinctive style and hybrid frugality. With its roomy cabin and comfortable ride quality, the Optima Hybrid presents an attractive proposition for shoppers seeking agreeable family transportation.
Kia’s Optima Hybrid is a midsize sedan that seats five passengers, and it’s sold in Premium and EX trims. The Optima Hybrid is powered by a hybrid drivetrain comprised of a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor.
For 2017, the Kia Optima Hybrid has been completely redesigned. Relative to the outgoing model, the current model offers a 10-percent improvement in fuel economy.
The Kia brand is known for design language that’s sporty and assertive, and these motifs are seen quite clearly in the sheet metal of the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid. The sedan has a muscular presence from all angles, and its exterior bears a strength and solidity that attracts attention.
In front, the Optima Hybrid’s hood features a couple of deep character lines, and a slim grille blends seamlessly with the car’s narrow projector-beam headlights. In profile, the Optima Hybrid reveals fluid lines, a gracefully sloping roof and standard heated power-adjustable side mirrors with integrated turn signals. Standard LED tail lamps light up the rear fascia. Base models travel on 16-inch alloy wheels, and 17-inch wheels are available.
The list of exterior upgrades for the Kia Optima Hybrid includes power-folding side mirrors, auto-leveling LED headlights and a panoramic sunroof with a power-adjustable sunshade.
Though it’s a bit less deluxe than the cabins seen in certain rivals, the Optima Hybrid’s interior is an attractive and pleasant space in which to pass the time. The front row is agreeable for passengers of all sizes, and the second row offers lots of legroom for those with longer stems. However, the car’s sloping roofline means headroom is slightly compromised for those seated in the back.
The cabin in our Optima Hybrid EX test car was home to lots of plastics, but most of them were nicely textured. Cloth upholstery is standard, but our test car came with the available leather seat trim. The leather was a bit underwhelming, and it seemed prone to scuff marks.
Base models come with manual driver’s seat adjustment, but our EX review car had the available 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. The seat was supportive and amenable even on longer commutes. All Optima Hybrids come with a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, and this enabled us to easily finesse our position behind the wheel.
The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid offers competitive cargo capacity, and the trunk opens to provide 13.4 cubic feet for your belongings. Rivals like the Honda Accord Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid offer 13.7 cubic feet and 13.1 cubic feet, respectively.
Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, a folding center armrest with cup holders, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, six-way manual passenger seat adjustment and a fixed rear seatback with ski pass-through.
Upgrades include 10-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a heated steering wheel, LED interior lighting and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid teams a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for total output of 192 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission provides timely gear shifts, and all models are front-wheel drive.
Kia’s Optima Hybrid has an EPA rating of 39/46 mpg city/highway. This represents strong fuel economy, but it trails the mileage offered by some rivals models by a notable margin. The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid has an EPA rating of 49/47 mpg, and the family-friendly Toyota Prius achieves mileage of up to 58/53 mpg.
Ride quality in our Kia Optima Hybrid test car was pleasant on all fronts. The car’s suspension shielded us from bumps and jolts, and the powertrain offered enough juice to easily tackle passing maneuvers.
The Kia Optima Hybrid comes with a solid array of technology amenities. Base models include satellite radio, an MP3 player, a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth connectivity, a six-speaker stereo, USB connectivity and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.
Our Kia Optima Hybrid EX test car was equipped with an available voice-command navigation system with an 8-inch touch screen. The navigation system with intuitive and pleasant to use, and the touch screen provided quick responses and appealing graphics.
Our test car was also equipped with the optional 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, which provided crisp, engaging sound quality.
In tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid earned a perfect five stars overall for crash protection.
A rearview camera is standard on all models, and all Kia Optima Hybrid sedans are available with rear parking assist, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. EX models are available with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking.
A base Kia Optima Hybrid starts at $25,995, not including a destination charge of $895. EX models add features such as leather upholstery, heated front seats and a premium Harman Kardon stereo, and pricing starts at $30,990.
The Optima Hybrid has a lower base price than many of its rivals. The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid starts at $29,605, and the 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid kicks off at $26,790. When you consider that the base-model Optima Hybrid is nicely equipped, it becomes clear that that this sedan provides strong value.
Since base models are available with essential safety features such as blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert as part of the $1,795 Hybrid Convenience package, we feel this trim will satisfy most shoppers. The Hybrid Convenience package also includes power-folding side mirrors, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory settings, dual USB power outlets and a 12-volt power outlet located in the rear console. A base model equipped with this package will carry a suggested price of $29,080, including destination.
The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid is less fuel-efficient than certain rivals, but is shines in most other areas. It looks great, it has a comfortable cabin and it delivers a reasonable amount of cargo capacity.
The Optima Hybrid is also competitively priced. If you’re looking for a frugal family sedan that provides good value, the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid is certainly worthy of strong consideration.