When it was redesigned for 2011, Kia’s midsize Optima established a development towards sedans that stand out in styling, in contrast to the usually-dowdy 4-doorways of the previous. Reworked once more for 2016, the Eurostyled Optima enhanced that notion.
Little has modified for the 2018 mannequin yr, apart from including a sportier-wanting Optima S trim degree, at a very tempting price. As well as, a number of useful lively-safety features at the moment are standard or obtainable for extra fashions. All Optimas now have blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-visitors alert, plus rear parking help. A rearview digital camera is also standard.
Base engine is a 2.four-liter 4-cylinder with direct injection, standard in LX, EX, and new S trim ranges. Creating 185-horsepower and 178 pound-ft of torque, it really works with a 6-velocity automated transmission.
Optionally available on the LX is a extra fuel-environment friendly 1.6-liter turbo, rated at 178 horsepower and 195 pound-ft of torque, mating with a 7-velocity twin-clutch automated transmission. In Optima SX trim, a 2.zero-liter turbo produces 245 horsepower and 260 pound-ft, driving a 6-velocity automated.
Within the Optima Hybrid, a 154-horsepower, 2.zero-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine is coupled to an electric motor and 1.sixty two-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, attaining a mixed fuel-financial system estimate of forty two mpg. Complete output from the Hybrid powertrain is 192 horsepower. The Hybrid can journey brief distances, at low velocity, on battery energy alone.
The Plug-in Hybrid, which could be recharged at an electrical outlet, couples the identical 2.zero-liter engine to a stronger (9.eight-kWh) battery and electric motor. Mixed output, at 202 horsepower, is barely greater than the regular Hybrid. Weighing about 250 kilos greater than the Optima Hybrid, the Plug-in can journey as much as 27 miles on battery energy alone. It’s EPA-rated at 103 MPGe (equal), or forty mpg Mixed when operating on gasoline.
All Optimas have entrance-wheel drive. Every guarantees consolation and satisfying experience/dealing with qualities, although none qualify as sporty in nature. The brand new Optima S seems to be a bit extra sporty, with its personal entrance bumper, decklid spoiler, and 17-inch wheels.
Along with higher availability of superior safety features, led by automated emergency braking, Optima has earned prime crash-test ratings. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security named the 2017 Optima a Prime Security Decide+, after it earned prime Good scores on each crash test, and in addition for headlights. The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration gave the 2017 Optima a 5-star score general, and in every crash-test carried out.
LX 2.four ($22,500) comes with the two.four-liter engine and 6-velocity automated, material upholstery, distant keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview digital camera, sixteen-inch wheels, and a 7.zero-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. (Costs are MSRP and don’t embrace vacation spot cost.
LX 1.6T ($24,300) substitutes the 1.6-liter turbo engine and seven-velocity twin-clutch transmission.
S 2.four ($23,500) will get the two.four-liter engine and 6-velocity automated, including material/leather-based upholstery, 17-inch wheels, distinctive rear spoiler, and 10-approach energy driver’s seat. Choices embrace a panoramic sunroof.
EX 2.four ($25,600) provides leather-based seat upholstery, heated entrance seats, twin-zone local weather management, pushbutton begin, and woodgrain trim. Lively-safety features are elective.
SX 2.0T ($30,500) strikes as much as the two.zero-liter turbo, 18-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, ventilated energy entrance seats, twin chrome exhaust ideas, shiny black trim, foglamps, and LED headlights.
Hybrid Premium ($25,995) consists of material seat upholstery, distant keyless entry, twin-zone local weather management, satellite tv for pc radio, Bluetooth connectivity, leather-based-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, sixteen-inch alloy wheels, and a 7.zero-inch touchscreen.
Hybrid EX ($30,990) provides 17-inch wheels, an eight.zero-inch touchscreen with navigation, 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio, leather-based seat trim, energy driver’s seat, heated entrance seats and steering wheel, and energy-folding mirrors.
Plug-in Hybrid EX ($35,210) is provided just like Hybrid EX.
Lively-safety features are available an non-compulsory Know-how Package deal.
Visually, each Optima, together with the bottom mannequin, qualifies as good-looking and distinctive, with an interesting profile. Seen from the aspect, the Optima appears sufficiently stretched-out to offer it virtually the look of a sporty rear-drive mannequin.
The Optima isn’t as revolutionary because it was, however curves nonetheless run rampant on the shapely physique. Although highlighted by a coupe-like roofline, it’s not angled steeply sufficient to threaten headroom. Apart from some small badges on entrance fenders, and a selected grille, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid fashions differ little from fuel-engine Optimas.
In contrast to some aggressive midsize sedans, whose base variations appear a bit low cost, the Optima feels substantial even in base LX trim. Spacious and properly-appointed, the cabin is wise and sensible, but engaging.
Although snug, entrance seats are decrease than some, however promise area for lengthy-legged passengers. Deep aspect bolstering offers superb help.
Most again-seat passengers get enough head clearance. Six-footers are more likely to be glad, although taller people may really feel restricted by the sloping roof. Broad rear doorways ease entry/exit.
Inside designers extended the Optima’s dashboard ahead in addition to into corners, which helps visibility. Dials, buttons and controls are straightforward to know and use, as is the infotainment interface. Wonderful match and end affirms Kia’s current efforts to rise from its early position as a low-price range selection, nearer to a premium model.
Occupants can anticipate a fairly experience. Steps have been taken on the windshield, entrance home windows, physique panels, and dashboard to suppress any engine thrum and different undesirable noise. SX trim advantages much more from bountiful sound-deadening supplies. So do the Hybrid sedans, that are even quieter.
At 15.9 cubic ft, trunk area is about common for a midsize sedan. Cut up rear seatbacks fold down when additional area is required. Hybrid trunks are much less roomy: thirteen.four cubic ft within the regular model, and solely 9.eight within the Plug-in Hybrid.
Mannerly on the street, the Optima yields a cushty, composed experience. Dealing with is competent and properly balanced, if in need of sporty. Steering feels crisp when turning and sharp on curvy roads. Physique lean is noticeable in fast turns, however applicable for the midsize-sedan class.
Most consumers must be glad with the graceful-operating 2.four-liter engine and 6-velocity automated, although a tough push on the fuel pedal could also be wanted when passing. Torque output peaks round four,000 rpm. Downshifting turns into needed on steep grades in mountainous terrain.
The non-compulsory 1.6-liter turbo responds extra promptly, with higher effectivity, however efficiency is impeded by the indecisive twin-clutch transmission. Missing refinement, it tends to lurch via the seven gear ratios.
Larger driving enjoyment comes from the two.zero-liter turbo within the prime SX trim degree. Downshifts are immediate, and engine output peaks at a low 1,350 rpm. Paddle shifters present best management over the 6-velocity automated. Vibrations from the two.zero-liter are subdued by plentiful sound-deadening supplies.
All Optimas have three selectable drive modes, Eco, Sport, and Regular, which alter throttle response and transmission operation. More often than not, Regular feels best.
Optima Hybrids additionally experience easily, dealing with tough roads higher than a fuel-engine mannequin. Hybrid energy is enough, regardless of the extra weight of the battery pack. The electric motor additionally smooths gearchanges from the automated transmission. In contrast to some rivals, the Optima Hybrid gained’t lock in EV mode.
Kia was among the many first automakers to restrict its midsize lineup to 4-cylinder engines, however fuel financial system trails some rivals. The bottom LX 2.four-liter has been EPA-rated at 25/36 mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or 29 mpg Mixed. In EX trim, the two.four-liter drops to 24/34 mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or 28 mpg Mixed.
The 1.6-liter turbo is estimated at 28/37 mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or 31 mpg Mixed, whereas the two.zero-liter turbo is way much less thrifty, at 22/31/25 mpg. The Hybrid is EPA-rated at 39/forty six mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or forty two mpg Mixed. Gasoline-financial system ratings for 2018 fashions haven’t but been introduced.
Kia provides quite a bit in a midsize sedan. Worth continues to be a robust issue, however Optimas additionally supply handsomely distinctive design, a cushty experience, and ample features. Lively-safety gear is accessible, although most is optionally available just for higher trim ranges. No Optima feels low cost in any means, together with the bottom mannequin. Some Optimas strategy premium standing, with a premium price.
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