2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Price, Review, Specs, what car reviews, Kia Motors America (KMA) is one of the automotive industry’s current fuel economy leaders, and that position was strengthened with the launch of the 2011 Optima Hybrid, the brand’s first hybrid vehicle in the U.S.
Designed to appeal to consumers looking for a stylish and well-appointed sedan that does not sacrifice style, comfort, performance or value for fuel efficiency, the Optima Hybrid offers the same combination of head-turning design and modern amenities that earned critical and consumer acclaim for the Optima following its debut, and adds a more fuel-efficient drivetrain and state-of-the-art lithium-polymer battery pack to deliver up to 35 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and a class-leading 40 mpg2 on the highway.
The Optima Hybrid uses both electric and gas power plants to propel the car, either in tandem or independently, while achieving an EPA-estimated 35/40 mpg city/highway, 37 mpg combined.
The electric motor can power the car on its own — even up to highway speeds when driving conditions and battery level allow. In short, when you hammer on the accelerator the two systems work together, but when cruising at higher speeds the electric (EV) mode kicks in for as long as the battery’s charge allows.
All this interaction works seamlessly and almost imperceptibly, unless you’re looking at one of the information screens that detail the process. A small color display between the gauges is standard, and the optional navigation system provides more detailed information on a dashboard touch-screen.
Steering and ride comfort were similar to the standard Optima four-cylinder I tested previously, but I thought the hybrid’s overall experience was quieter.
Braking was nice and linear, a trait new hybrids have developed despite using regenerative setups to recapture energy for the battery.
The hybrid battery cuts into trunk space, as it does in nearly every hybrid sedan. In the Optima, cargo space goes from 15.4 cubic feet in the regular version to a very small 9.9 cubic feet in the hybrid. The Toyota Camry goes from an identical 15.4 cubic feet in the gas-only model to a very respectable 13.1 cubic feet in the hybrid version. Plus, the Optima Hybrid’s rear seats don’t fold flat.
Navigation, leather and other options can be had, but only as part of a single option package called the Hybrid Premium Technology Package. For $5,000, it adds a panoramic moonroof, a navigation system, an eight-speaker stereo, a power passenger seat, leather seats, heated and cooled front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and high-intensity-discharge headlights.
The Optima Hybrid earned a five-star overall crash test score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It also earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, that agency’s highest honor. Very few cars on the market currently hold both designations.
The Optima Hybrid comes with a standard array of airbags, including side curtain airbags for the front and rear seats and seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants. You can read about more safety features here.
2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Price :
2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Specs :
Drivetrain : Front Wheel Drive
Curb Weight (lbs) : 3490
City (MPG) : 35
Hwy (MPG) : 40
Horsepower : 166@6000
Torque (lb-ft) : 154@4250
Wheelbase : 110.0
Length (in.) : 190.7
Width (in.) : 72.1
Height (in.) : 57.1