Not only did Kia choose to debut the Kia Soul EV at Chicago this year, the automaker also chose to show its Kia Optima Hybrid.
A press release from Kia said the hybridized Optima 47-horsepower electric traction motor powered by a 47-kW lithium polymer battery. In combination with the gasoline engine, the Kia Optima Hybrid’s electrified powertrain makes 199 horsepower and 235 ft-lbs of torque. Aerodynamic changes to the front and rear fascias help the Kia Optima Hybrid score EPA scores of 36 MPG city, 40 MPG highway, and 38 MPG combined in LX trim. In EX trim, Kia said the Kia Optima Hybrid will be only slightly less-efficient at 35 MPG city, 39 MPG highway, and 37 MPG combined.
Kia Motors America Vice President of Product Planning Orth Hedrick said, “The Optima Hybrid is an important and integral component of Kia’s advanced propulsion story. It’s unique in its segment because it not only gives owners savings at the gas pump and a smaller carbon footprint, but it also delivers world-class design, robust performance and an upscale personality, making it a truly attractive and well-rounded hybrid offer.”
The Kia Optima Hybrid is the only Optima to get LED front lighting, Kia said. Meanwhile, the interior features more upscale amenities including a 4.3-inch TFT gauge cluster and an 8-inch central navigation and infotainment display that runs Kia’s UVO E-Services. Sound comes from an eight-speaker Infinity audio setup. The head unit will play media from AM/FM, HD, or XM radio and can get XM NavTraffic information upon request. All Kia Optima Hybrids come standard with driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), according to Kia.