2017 Kia Optima PHEV
The Kia Optima is one of Kia’s most well-known vehicles and recently, Kia expanded the Optima lineup to include a hybrid and plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) options in addition to the standard gas engine. First came the Optima Hybrid during its third generation, and next was the Optima Plug-in Hybrid, which was introduced when the Optima’s fourth generation design was unveiled in 2016. Since it’s release, the Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid has been doing well and making headway as a new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).
Possible Charging Time
Available in a single trim, the Kia Optima PHEV EX, consumers don’t have to figure out which trim they want before purchasing this plug-in. Set up with a 2.0-liter I4 Full Parallel Hybrid system, the Optima PHEV is powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC engine with gasoline direct injection (GDI) and continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) technology. This means the engine has been tinkered with in two ways - (1) with GDI, gasoline is highly pressurized and directly fed into the engine’s cylinders via the fuel line; and with (2) CVVT, the valve lift events for when the cylinders intake and exhaust fuel and air have been altered to match the frequency of fuel injection. All-in-all, it leads to better performance.
The other half of the Optima PHEV’s powertrain is an electric motor powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery. For those not in the know, electric motors are known to generate a lot of torque, and the Optima PHEV’s little battery generates 151 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than its internal combustion counterpart at 140 lb-ft of torque. Combined, the hybrid parallel system generates 202 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque.
Charging and Fuel Economy
When it comes to recharging the electric motor of a hybrid, it all comes down to regenerative braking, a process that absorbs the energy a vehicle’s braking system exerts to stop via a generator for the electric motor battery. With a PHEV, that system is still in play, but consumers may recharge the battery faster if they wish. With a simple level 1 (120v) charger, the Optima PHEV can be plugged into any wall outlet, just like any home appliance, for recharging overnight. If at a public charging station with more advanced outlets, the Optima PHEV can be recharged with a level 2 (240v) charger in less than three hours. The same level 2 chargers can be installed into one’s home for quick recharging.
Hybrid vehicles have been notorious for their increased fuel efficiency while helping to protect the environment. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles go even further, literally. The 2017 Kia Optima PHEV can drive using only the battery for 29 miles before the gasoline engine will need to take over. Together, the vehicle can travel 610 miles with a 103 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). The fuel economy stands at 38/43 MPGe city/highway.
The 2017 Kia Optima PHEV has a lot of the same style as the original Optima, and one may not even be able to tell the difference between the Optima models if not looking for the charging port. Being the sole trim, the Kia Optima PHEV EX has plenty to brag about. Standard features consist of heated exterior mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, solar control glass to keep the cabin from heating up, sound-absorbing front door windows to keep the level of outside noise somewhat muted, automatic on/off headlights, and a smart trunk that opens when in proximity to the smart key.
Optional exterior features include a panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade, LED headlights, dynamic bending light that helps improve visibility in corners when taking a turn, and high beam assist that turns off the high beams when the vehicle detects another vehicle approaching. The Optima PHEV rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and comes with a spare tire. Funny enough, while inside the Optima PHEV, one may not even realize they are in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, due to the virtual engine sound system that mimics the sounds of a normal gasoline-powered engine.
Inside the 2017 Kia Optima PHEV, there is plenty of style and comfort, starting with leather upholstery and heated front seats. Other luxurious features include a driver’s seat integrated memory system, a leather wrapped heated steering wheel, dual zone automatic temperature control, carpeted floor mats, and an auto-dimming mirror. For convenience, an active eco system that will help the driver gauge and control their fuel economy has been installed, and drivers may instantly start the vehicle with push-button start (via smart key proximity). Consumers may opt in for rear window shades or LED interior lighting, along with other options such as ventilated front seats and heated rear seats to get the full package.
If worried about interior space due to the electric motor, don’t. The battery of the Kia Optima PHEV has been cleverly packaged into the trunk floor to make optimal use of cargo space. Inside the vehicle is a total of 9.9 cubic-feet of space with plenty of room for consumers. Enjoy 39.8 inches of headroom and 45.4 inches of legroom and stretch out a bit!
Kia always has its peeps covered with great technology, and the Optima PHEV doesn’t stutter. The standard is an 8-inch color touchscreen with UVO eServices, voice-command navigation, Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto, SiriusXM Traffic, and HD Radio. All those beats will sound perfectly coming through a Harman/Kardon QuantumLogic 10-speaker Premium Surround Sound system with Clari-Fi. Add in Bluetooth wireless hands-free technology and steering-wheel mounted audio controls and hands-free phone controls, and this is one tech-packed PHEV.
Safety Features and Warranty
No vehicle is complete without great safety features. Found throughout the 2017 Kia Optima PHEV are dual-stage front advanced airbags, dual front-seat mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver’s side knee airbag, vehicle stability and traction control systems, a rear-camera display, front and rear crumple zones, and the LATCH anchor system for child seats. There are of course advanced systems available too, such as a rear parking assist system, blind-spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, advanced smart cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and autonomous emergency braking. Get it all, and the driver will barely have to worry about a thing on the road.
All Kia vehicles are covered by a new warranty program that consists of a 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty, a 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and a 5-year/60,000 mile roadside assistance plan. Being a PHEV, the battery is protected for two years and may be replaced and installed at no cost to the consumer while under warranty.