2017 Kia Optima Hybrid
Hybrids have been paving a new road for the auto industry for years, and they’re starting to become more popular than ever. Nearly every major brand has a hybrid, PHEV or electric vehicle on their lineup. One reason companies shy away from the new tech is because of costs, but with the tech and manufacturing becoming more affordable and the demand for fuel efficiency rising, brands are expanding their fuel efficient lineup.
Kia has long been known for fuel efficient vehicles, but Kia started adding batteries into their vehicles a few years ago with the Kia Soul EV. Well, not too long ago, Kia also introduced the Kia Optima Hybrid and it has proven to be an excellent new vehicle. The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid has a great fuel economy at an affordable price, requires no plugging in and is a very stylish and comfortable ride.
Engine + Motors
When it comes to a hybrid vehicle, there’s a lot going on under the hood. The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid runs on a 2.0-liter I4 Full Parallel Hybrid system, or simply put, two motors. One is a 2.0-liter gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT). The other motor is a 38 kW electric motor. Power is transfered to the vehicles wheels via an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission. In total, the Kia Optima Hybrid produces 193 horsepower and has a fuel economy of 39/46 mpg city/highway.
The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid recharges itself using a process known as regenerative braking. Simply put, every time the vehicle decelerates, the kinetic energy that could be lost is instead repurposed to recharge the electric motor’s 1.76 kWh lithium polymer battery.
GDI is a form of fuel injection Kia vehicles are known for; unlike traditional fuel injection that mixes gasoline and air together before combustion, GDI injects highly-pressurized fuel directly into the cylinders of an engine during its combustion cycle, therefore improving fuel efficiency and power output.
CVVT is a process of altering the valve lift event in internal combustion engines, or controlling an engine’s air intake; unlike some VVTs. Instead of different timing frequencies for each speed, CVVT uses a continuous infinite adjustment of valve timing that can be optimized for all speeds at any given moment.
Unlike some hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) variations of their counterparts, the Optima Hybrid doesn’t lose any of its glamour or looks from the original Kia Optima. Sculpted to perform at high efficiency, the design for the hybrid integrated an aerodynamic shape for less resistance and maximized fuel economy. Built with active air flaps, the air flaps open to cool off the engine and reduce air resistance and close at lower speeds and cooler temperatures. This isn’t the only kind of modern technology drivers will find on the Kia Optima Hybrid, though.
Built with power adjusting exterior mirrors that are heated and have LED turn signal indicators, drivers will always have clear visibility as will other vehicles. An available panoramic sunroof with power sunshade can open up the vehicle for some fresh air while on the open road, or if it’s a little too sunny, the solar control glass throughout the vehicle will reduce heat build up. Furthermore, the front door windows are sound-absorbing to reduce noise for a comfortable ride. Other available features include auto-leveling LED projector beam headlights and the Kia Smart Trunk that allows hands-free opening of the trunk when in proximity of the Smart Key.
The inside of the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid is classy, with YES Essentials fabric cloth on the Premium (base) seating trim, and leather seat trim on the Optima Hybrid EX with the option of white leather. Some of the luxury features drivers will find available are heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a leather wrapped and heated steering wheel, and a driver’s seat integrated memory system. Both trims have features to give the driver peace of mind and keeping their attention on the road, such as a high-resolution TFT LCD trip computer on the dashboard keeping an eye on vehicle performance, and dual-zone automatic temperature control.
When it comes to seating arrangements, the Premium trim comes with 8-way manual driver seat adjustment with the option of upgrading to 12-way power adjustment (standard in EX). Both trims come with 6-way manual passenger seat adjustment (optional upgrade to 10-way power for EX). The total cargo space in the trunk is 13.4 cubic-feet. If opting for more cargo space, or simply packing a larger item, the rear seat is a 60/40 split-fold that can open up for more space.
Kia vehicles are known largely for their safety features, but they are not without their entertainment. Each trim is packed with its own assortment of high-tech items and systems. Both trims come with Bluetooth wireless hands-free connectivity, steering wheel mounted audio controls, and hands-free phone service.
For entertainment in the Optima Hybrid Premium, drivers will find a 6-speaker audio system complete with AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM functionality, UVO eServices, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, all controllable through a 7-inch touch screen. The Optima Hybrid EX trim goes up a notch with an 8-inch color touch screen, SiriusXM Traffic and HD Radio, and a voice-controlled navigation system. Oh, and it has a Harman/Kardon QuantumLogic Premium Surround Sound 10-speaker system…so there’s that.
Safety Features and Warranty
When it comes to safety, Kia definitely does not joke around. Both trims have all the basics - dual stage advanced front and front-side airbags, drivers knee airbag, full-length side curtain airbags, ABS, stability and traction control systems, side-impact door beams, front and rear crumple zones, and LATCH ready anchors for child seats with LATCH tethers. Now, with all the advanced systems out there, Kia provided many options to both trims of the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid. These include a rear-camera display, rear parking assist system, blind-spot detection system, rear cross traffic alert, advanced smart cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and autonomous emergency braking.
All Kia vehicles come with the 10-year/100,000 mile warranty program which includes: a 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty; a 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty; and a 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty.