When the Kia Optima eco-version was introduced to the public in 2016, reviewers praised its excellent handling, contemporary streamlined looks, fuel efficiency and reasonable price. Kia added a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain to make the Optima Hybrid, then added a larger, rechargeable battery pack to create the Optima Plug-In Hybrid.
2018 Kia Optima’s Plug-In Hybrid all-electric range of 29 miles makes it an efficient commuter alternative. Named a Transitional Zero Emission Vehicle (TZEV) by the California Air Resource Board, the Optima Plug-In Hybrid is eligible for a High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) decal in California, meaning you can use HOV lanes even when you’re driving solo. And it qualifies for all the appropriate cost-reducing government incentives.
A combination of a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor and a Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine provide the power to go all-electric. With an EPA-estimated 103 MPGe, the 2018 Optima Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) combines fuel efficiency and electric power convenience.
Kia's 1st plug-in uses a 154-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that works in conjunction with a 67-hp electric motor/generator to deliver a peak system output of 202 horsepower. A six-speed automatic with the electric motor replaces the torque converter to drive the front wheels. The transmission is equipped with an electric oil pump in the interest of efficiency. Kia claims the car's 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack allows the PHEV to go up to 29 miles in electric-only mode and to operate at speeds of up to 75 mph without activating the gas engine. Twenty-nine miles is one of the longer EV ranges in the plug-in segment, well short of the Chevrolet Volt’s 53 miles but 50 percent beyond the Toyota Prius Prime’s 22.
It takes about 9 hours to recharge the car's battery using a 120-volt supply but only 3 hours if you have access to a Level 2 240-volt connection. Hybrid Optima's MPGe range is 103, and Kia claims its Total Driving Range is 610 miles. With the addition of a plug-in drivetrain, Kia provides a plug-in package of 29 pure electric miles before the 4-cylinder 2.4L I-4 159 HP engine takes over, providing an approximate total range of 610 miles. In the mid-size sedan PHEV class, Chevrolet Volt gets nearly double the all-electric range, though Optima compares nicely to the Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion plug-ins, price wise and electric range-wise.
The Optima Plug-In comes with a long list of standard features and has the best standard warranty on the market. Carrying over into its second year, not that much has changed from 2017. The 5-passenger sedan comes in just one trim level – EX. An optional Technology package adds more comfort features, avoidance collision technologies, a sunroof and ventilated front seats, plus more driver aids.
Kia’s free UVO eco App lets you check charging status, schedule charge times, and lock or unlock your doors from remote locations. Optima Plug-In Hybrid's Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ allow you to access your compatible smartphone features right from your Kia’s touch-screen display. Using UVO eco, your voice controls phone calls, your music library, navigation, and more. UVO eco also provides vital real time information detailing battery life and charging station locations, plus it lets you set the cabin climate, and schedule maintenances.
The Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system uses radar to automatically activate the brakes when detecting a potential collision. The available Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) system adapts and turns with the vehicle on curves, helping to improve visibility through corners. Smart Key lets you push button the car on and off. A Harmon/Kardon® 10-speaker premium audio system provides 7.1 surround sound. Dual-zone automatic temperature control lets the driver and front passenger customize their temperature settings. Kia calls plug-in Optima's distinctive front end "tiger-nose" – the grill in high-gloss black and Daytime Running Lights resemble a tiger's eyes and nose. The Optima PHEV’s aerodynamics are superb. Its drag coefficient is 0.24 Cd, which equals the Tesla Model S drag coefficient. The car's sculpted exterior lines provide for lower resistance, which equates to a smoother, quieter, more comfortable ride.
The Optima Plug-In has 9.9 cubic feet of cargo space. The Starting MSRP is around $35,210.
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.