2012 Kia Optima Hybrid HybridCars com

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35 / 40MPG

TYPE: Sedan

TECHNOLOGY:

BASE MSRP: $25,700

We had a to spend some time the Kia Optima Hybrid around the Keys. You can read about our here .

The 2012 Kia Optima – the brand’s first hybrid last year – borrows the found in the 2012 Hyundai Hybrid. It combines a 2.4-liter with a six-speed automatic a 30-kw electric motor and lithium polymer batteries to a total 206 horsepower.

As a full the Optima Hybrid is capable of on either the gas engine, the electric or both. The system requires no charging, the battery pack replenished by energy generated the gas engine and captured during braking. It also saves gas by shutting off the gas engine when the car is

As one would expect, the Optima fuel economy rating is the as its Hyundai cousin: 35 city /40 and 37 mpg combined.

Available in one trim and only one option package, the Optima Hybrid’s base is $25,700, which is $800 than the 2011 model. For the model year, there are no changes.

Exterior and Interior

The Kia and hybrids use the same powertrain, are identical and are built on the same But placed side-by-side, there’s evidence of that. The two share no body panels or interior with each expressing a that is distinctive from the

Both are standout designs in the hybrid class.

Previous designs were forgettable, but the car has striking looks that are in hybrid guise. An expressive blends into a long, hood where the profile on the appearance of a coupe with a raked windshield and curvaceous that ends with a rear deck. Muscular, yet front fenders add an assertive

The hybrid version of the Optima unique exterior aerodynamic – the rear fascia exhaust is – a unique headlight design, ride height, an active air system, lower drag wheels, underbody aero to reduce drag, and low rolling tires. The Optima Hybrid’s coefficient is an exceptionally low at 0.26, not quite as slippery as the Sonata.

to the Optima’s hybrid-ness is what Kia a “Virtual Engine Sound It plays a pre-recorded engine during electric-only operation to people outside the vehicle it is approaching.


On the inside, the fit-and-finish is the ergonomics are solid, and the slight of the cockpit toward the driver is a nice touch. White on gauges are large and easy to with an LCD screen positioned the two dominant gauges that hybrid information.

The sedan easily passes the for midsize-car roominess. In front, the and passenger have more 45 inches of leg space, and passengers in the seats have 34.7 of legroom – more than for most adults in the back, and of room for youngsters.

It’s much a given that cars will have a cargo area because where battery packs The Optima Hybrid’s trunk is small, just 9.89 feet of space, which is than the 10.7 cubic of trunk room in the Sonata However, the fixed rear have a ski pass-through, an uncommon with hybrid vehicles.

Kia Electric Cars

Kia has gone from an also ran to a significant player in the U.S. can be partially attributed to the generous for the price of its vehicles, and the Optima is no exception.

In addition to the extensive list of features found on the standard LX A/T trim, the hybrid offers as standard: eight-way power driver’s seat, dual climate control with vents, push-button start smart key, rearview leather-wrapped steering wheel and knob, automatic up/down on windows, glove box illumination, and reading lamps.

The Optima was the first Kia vehicle to offer the UVO infotainment system ($700). to Ford’s Sync, indexed from an iPod or other MP3 player can be called up by saying the

An optional Hybrid Premium and Package ($5,350) includes a panoramic sunroof, leather power heated and cooled seats, heated rear an Infinity audio system, a system, HID headlights and other

On The Road

The Optima Hybrid is a capable car that offers up a quiet and ride while delivering fuel mileage. Like the hybrid, the Kia’s steering is and has a quick and precise feeling. The suspension is tuned on the soft and it soaks up large bumps and quite well.

While its on the highway is quite admirable, driving in city or the stop-and-go the car’s computer controls and system seem to be miscommunicating. a stop, the hybrid system rolls off in electric mode. 15 mph the gasoline engine starts up a harsh jolt and the six-speed shifts in lower gears are hesitant, actions that are to say the least.

The Hybrid Car For You?

on a sharp design, appealing and a competitive price, hybrid looking for a fuel-efficient mid-size should put the Kia Optima Hybrid in the with the Hyundai Sonata, Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Hybrid. Of course, for the time the Toyota Prius still for overall efficiency in the five-seat hybrid market. But the 2012 Kia Hybrid is one more sign of a hybrid market, with choices of brand, drive price and design.

Prices are Manufacturer Suggested Price (MSRP) at time of and do not include destination charges, or licensing.

Kia Electric Cars

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