The Kia Optima is a run-away success for the brand: since its latest design debuted, sales of the model are nearly double what the nameplate has ever achieved before.
To keep this momentum and address buyer priorities, the Hybrid model has rounded out the base and turbo engine options.
For the current model-year, the Hybrid brings a few updates both outside and in. The LED accents in the nose are a Hybrid exclusive, as are the lower double fog-lamp elements. These are not nearly as cool as the quad-LED setup in the SX-L trim, but are still pretty nice elements for the design.
That is because the Hybrid wears the SX-L’s full lower body kit – a very sporty styling upgrade to the design. This extends to the body-color rocker panels and a deeper rear bumper. All provide extra aero smoothness, pairing nicely with the Hybrid’s extra-smooth underbody trays.
The fuel economy and price balance for the Kia Optima Hybrid are the best elements of the car, and true selling points versus the pricey Accord Hybrid. Base pricing is $26,000 with a 36 city/40 highway rating. The $31,000 loaded EX model loses one MPG per tally due to the extra weight of its cabin tech and equipment — but overall the cabin features are worth the upgrade.
In terms of tradeoffs versus the gasoline Optima models, the biggest noticeable change is a drop in trunk volume. Still above 10-cubic-feet, the Hybrid’s trunk is noticeably smaller than most people will be expecting for such a roomy sedan in the back seat.
Lastly, the taillights and wheels gain new designs for the 2014 Hybrid trim level – capping a nice package with some unique and premium style.
2014 Kia Optima Hybrid
Kia’s Stylish Hybrid Mid-size Sedan Returns with Improved Aerodynamic Design and Technological Enhancements
- Efficiency-focused design updated with restyled front and rear fascias
- Hybrid version of Kia’s best-selling Optima now offers more uplevel features and options to enhance comfort and value
CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the 2014 Optima Hybrid mid-size sedan as one of three eco-friendly Kia vehicles introduced at the Chicago Auto Show. The 2014 Optima Hybrid builds upon the advancements of its award-winning gas-powered sibling, which went on sale in late-fall of last year. Debuting with its own exclusive enhancements, including front and rear fascia updates designed to increase aerodynamic efficiency, new wheel designs, and unique grille and lighting elements, the 2014 Optima Hybrid improves upon its predecessor, which was named one of the “Top 11 Most Fuel-Efficient Sedans for 2013” by Edmunds.com.
“The Optima Hybrid is an important and integral component of Kia’s advanced propulsion story,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “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.”
Available in LX and EX trims, the 2014 Optima Hybrid features carryover refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a robust 47 HP electric traction motor, a strong Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a powerful 47 kW lithium polymer battery. The combined gas-electric 199 horsepower rating and combined 235 lb.-ft. of torque remain, resulting in a responsive and enjoyable driving experience. The LX model achieves an EPA estimated 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined1, while the EX model delivers an EPA estimated 35/39/371.
Design Enhancements for Better Fuel Efficiency
The dynamic and sporty design upgrades on the gasoline-powered 2014 Optima are retooled for the Hybrid to increase fuel efficiency. Contributing to improved aerodynamics are a series of additional vents in the Optima Hybrid’s unique front bumper, increasing airflow and reducing drag. Newly designed and more aerodynamic 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels (LX and EX, respectively) reduce weight and drag while superbly integrating with the Optima’s eye-catching new design elements.
In addition to those elements designed with fuel efficiency in mind, the 2014 Optima Hybrid also boasts a unique new front grille design, Hybrid-exclusive front LED lighting, new Hybrid fender badges and an attractive and upscale optional white leather package. Technological improvements to the gasoline-powered 2014 Optima carryover within the cabin of the Optima Hybrid, as drivers are greeted with more upscale and high-tech amenities. Activating the Optima’s push button ignition brings two displays to life: a 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster and optional high-resolution 8-inch navigation and telematics screen, featuring UVO eServices, an 8-speaker Infinity®2 sound system, HD Radio™®3, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio4 and SiriusXM Traffic™4.
Advanced Safety Features5
The 2014 Optima Hybrid is equipped with an impressive array of standard safety equipment. All trims 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) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Traction Control System (TCS) and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) also come standard on all models.
2014 Kia Optima Hybrid MSRP
|Optima Hybrid LX||2.4L Hybrid I-4 – 6 A/T||$25,995.00|
|Optima Hybrid EX||2.4L Hybrid I-4 – 6 A/T||$31,995.00|
|Factory Installed Options||Msrp||Comments||LX||EX|
– 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat
– UVO2 eServices with rear camera display
– LED front positioning lights
– Laminated front door windows
– Panoramic Sunroof with gloss black B-pillar
– Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
– Back-up Warning System
|$700.00||Requires Panoramic Sunroof||–||Yes|
|White Interior Package
– White leather seat trim with piping
– Black high-gloss console upper cover
– Black high-gloss power window switch panel
|$400.00||Requires Panoramic Sunroof and Technology Package||–||Yes|
|Port Installed Options||Msrp||Comments||LX||EX|
|Rear Bumper Appliqué||$75.00||Yes||Yes|
|Auto-dimming rear-view mirror with Homelink® and Compass||$350.00||Yes||–|
2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Features & Options
2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Specifications
Select up to 3 trims to compare with:
|Type||2.4L HEV, aluminum block and head||2.4L HEV, aluminum block and head|
|Valve gear||DOHC, four valves/cylinder with CVVT||DOHC, four valves/cylinder with CVVT|
|Displacement (cc)||2,359 cc||2,359 cc|
|Horsepower (SAE net)||159 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 46.9 hp @ 1,630-3,000 rpm (electric motor)||159 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 46.9 hp @ 1,630-3,000 rpm (electric motor)|
|Torque (SAE net)||154 @ 4,500 rpm, 151.2 @ 0-1,630 rpm (electric motor)||154 @ 4,500 rpm, 151.2 @ 0-1,630 rpm (electric motor)|
|System combined power||199 hp, 235 lb.-ft.||199 hp, 235 lb.-ft.|
|Fuel System||Multi-Point Injection (MPI)||Multi-Point Injection (MPI)|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic without lock-up torque converter||6-speed automatic without lock-up torque converter|
|Wheelbase||110.0 in.||110.0 in.|
|Track (front/rear)||63.0 in./62.8 in.||63.0 in./62.8 in.|
|Length||190.7 in.||190.7 in.|
|Width||72.1 in.||72.1 in.|
|Height||57.1 in.||57.1 in.|
|Ground clearance||5.1 in.||5.1 in.|
|Headroom (front/rear)||40.0 in./37.6 in.||40.0 in./37.6 in.|
|Shoulder room (front/rear)||57.3 in./55.7 in.||57.3 in./55.7 in.|
|Legroom (front/rear)||45.5 in./34.7 in.||45.5 in./34.7 in.|
|Hip room (front/rear)||54.7 in./54.5 in.||54.7 in./54.5 in.|
|Interior volume||102.2 cu. ft.||102.2 cu. ft.|
|Cargo volume (rear seat up)||10.78 cu. ft.||10.78 cu. ft.|
|Tires & Wheels|
|Wheels||6.5J x 16||6.5J x 17|
|Body & Chassis|
|Body type||Steel unibody||Steel unibody|
|Front suspension||Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar||Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|Rear suspension||Independent, multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar||Independent, multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|Steering type||Rack and pinion, hydraulic power-assisted||Rack and pinion, hydraulic power-assisted|
|Turning circle, curb-to-curb||35.8 ft.||35.8 ft.|
|Automatic transmission||3,496 lbs.||3,622 lbs.|
|Type||Active hydraulic boost||Active hydraulic boost|
|Front/rear||11.8 in. vented discs/11.2 in. solid discs||11.8 in. vented discs/11.2 in. solid discs|
|Estimated Fuel Economy|
|Automatic transmission, city/highway (mpg)||36/40||35/39|
|Fuel tank capacity (gallons)||17.2||17.2|
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
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