While hybrid family sedans sell in big numbers south of the border, they’re relatively rare here in Canada. Despite this, Kia has opted to bring the second generation of its Optima Hybrid to Canada, which has been completely redesigned for 2017.
The revamped Optima Hybrid integrates the latest styling and equipment that debuted on the Optima last year and adds unique aerodynamically optimized bumpers, plus a pair of grille flaps that open only when the engine needs cooling. Slick new 16- and 17-inch wheels and light blue hybrid badging complete the look.
The Optima shares its platform and powertrain with the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, which itself launched just last year. Central to the revamped hybrid system is a 2.0-litre direct-injected four-cylinder engine that develops 154 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque; it’s smaller than the old 2.4-litre engine, but is more efficient. It’s paired with a 1.6 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack and a 50-hp electric motor that bumps total power output to 192 hp, a figure that’s competitive for the segment. Unlike most hybrids, the Optima uses a six-speed automatic transmission instead of a CVT, which cuts back on engine noise while accelerating.
Thanks to all of this, the Optima Hybrid has a fuel economy figure of 6.0 L/100 km city and 5.1 L/100 km versus last year’s 6.1 L/100 km city and 6.7 L/100 km highway.
While the Optima’s battery pack sits under the floor of the trunk, overall trunk space is slightly less than the gas-powered Optima. Oddly a split-folding rear seat is not standard; to get one, you’ll need to move up to the EX trim level.
A plug-in hybrid version of the Optima will arrive later in the year, with details to come.
The Optima Hybrid is available in three trims: LX, EX, and EX Premium.
Equipment on the EX includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, LED daytime running lights, wiper de-icer, power folding side mirrors with LED turn signals, solar-tinted glass, chrome exterior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key with push-button start, heated steering wheel, 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat, driver memory, heated seats, cloth upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, hands-free power trunk, Supervision instrument cluster, 7.0-inch display audio system with reverse camera, Android Auto, USB, Bluetooth, auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The EX adds 17-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, acoustic side window glass, automatic interior de-fog, rear door sunshades, stainless steel door scuff plates, leather upholstery, 60:40 split folding rear seats, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The EX Premium adds adaptive full-LED headlamps with automatic high beams, radar cruise control, emergency autonomous braking, lane-departure warning, an 8.0-inch infotainment display with navigation, 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, wireless device charging, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 10-way power front passenger seat, electronic parking brake, tire-pressure monitoring, and an overhead parking camera system.
Pricing for the new Optima Hybrid starts at $29,895 with the EX Premium selling for $39,095.