2011 Kia Optima Hybrid: Review notes

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2011 Kia Optima Hybrid 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid.

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid.

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid.

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid.

By: Roger Hart on 1/05/2012

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EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: This 2011 Kia Optima hybrid is one of the main surprises of the day for me, as to now how high-quality it is. First, it attention actually good. There's a terrific exterior plan so as to determination contain populace mistaking it for amazing as of a German manufacturer. Second, the center is extremely slick, by means of a big radio border and a nice collection of simple, straightforward gauges. You don't require to appreciate writing the owner's physical to operate no substance which here--it's all easy and intuitive.

Third, the hybrid drivetrain is very smooth, by means of nary a hint of at what time the scheme switches recognized by gasoline and battery drive. You contain to be charitable at the dash to see the revs fall to zero to be acquainted with so as to the eco drive has kicked in. And it determination do so if you rear off the throttle at freeway speed, construct is astonishing to me.

Fourth, the rear seat is ginormous. Several times, I was hauling inquisitiveness passengers, and everybody session in the rear seat commented on how spacious it was.

OK, the negatives: I'd similar to the seats to be a bit additional comfortable, by means of additional lateral hold up and thigh bolsters. The tires appear rock hard, by means of a nod additional in the direction of petroleum monetary system supposed ride comfort. Likewise, the suspension doesn't appear extremely healthy tuned for as,at the same occasion as tires. The ride might be a bit suppler. Third, amazing (I'm assuming the battery pack) is captivating up a group of stem space. Actually, all belongings considered, my main disappointment was in the be small of of stem space. And it if that's the worst comment I might approach up with, well, I'd name petroleum a ringing endorsement.

For $32,000, present is a ton of skill wrapped up in a fine-looking, comparatively at ease package. Anyone charitable for hybrid propulsion wants to seem at petroleum preceding to creation a decision.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: Great wrapper--especially persons not obligatory uplevel wheels, construct labor perfectly by means of the black paint job. Inside, it's additional of the same, by means of well-upholstered seats and high-quality ergonomics throughout. I've noted it preceding to on the Optima, but still the turn-signal stalk is contoured to fit by means of finger comfortably. If you do the small belongings well, odds are the big things--like the entire car--will twist out well. That's the container by means of petroleum Kia midsize sedan.

The hybrid powertrain fake swap seamlessly as of gasoline engine to EV or a mixture of the two, and it is a fuel-sipper. My grievance is so as to from occasion to time the built-in bias in the direction of petroleum monetary system gravely hampers performance. I noted a exact lag in on-demand acceleration--enough so as to I establish myself second-guessing consequences the car had sufficient authority to punch out of a slow lane and eager on a earlier lane of traffic. With petroleum type of affirmed authority and torque on tap, so as to shouldn't be an issue.

As one strength expect, the boring reply is chiefly noticeable in super-economy eco mode, construct fights rear after that to fuel-sucking rapid launches, but I too noted it in usual operating mode. The trans too seemed to get hung up in a inferior cog as of occasion to time, as although it was expecting an upshift command so as to by no means came. I too consideration the brakes now way too touchy at low speeds, creation easy parking and driveway maneuvers far additional of an adventure supposed necessary.

That aside, the car is beaut and barely second-hand any petroleum in my 80-mile roundtrip commute, and it appears to contain the variety to undertake the majority of Iowa and Nebraska with no attract for fuel. Usually, so as to characteristic amazing by means of a diesel engine, so if variety is a priority, petroleum Optima hybrid is worthy of consideration.

I trust that what you've read so far has been informative. The following section should go a long way toward clearing up any uncertainty that may remain.

ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: I'm a big fan of the Optima lineup and contain optional as,at the same occasion as cars to numerous populace in excess of the history few months. My drive in an SX account previous petroleum day actually won me in excess of for its mixture of method together in,within and out, excellence center resources and energetic drive nature for the class.

For Kia's primary break at a hybrid, I'm rather impressed. As Roger and Bob mention, the scheme is seamless in operation, switching recognized by the a variety of modes of all-engine, electric propulsion as of the lithium-battery pack or a mixture of the two. However, I too did become aware of the broadcast receiving hung up in inferior gears.

My main gripe by means of all hybrid vehicles is the brake-pedal sense and response. While they've surely approach a extended way in new years, contain stay abrupt, by means of the majority of not any motionless emotion too a great deal similar to on/off switches. This Optima hybrid is additional or fewer the same, but present is a small space to modulate grab if you're careful enough.

The chassis tuning is on the stiffer side, construct I like, and steering is receptive by means of a polite quantity of feedback obtainable from side to side the wheel. Unfortunately, existence form a hybrid by means of low-rolling-resistance tires, hold is missing a bit and hampers reflexes. Then present is the additional heaviness as of the battery pack, construct is a double whammy of belongings so as to result handling. Even so, the Optima hybrid got approximately fine and wasn't a snooze to drive. Compared by means of the Ford Fusion hybrid and the Toyota Camry hybrid, it is the the majority entertaining to drive midsize hybrid sedan.

Fuel-economy rating is on par by means of the competition. The Fusion hybrid has a 41 mpg city/36 mpg highway rating, as,at the same time as the newest Camry hybrid in SE shape income 43 mpg city/39 mpg highway numbers. The Kia stay 35 mpg in the metropolis and 40 mpg on the highway, construct is spirited by means of the more-established entries.

If you're in the marketplace for a midsize hybrid sedan, petroleum Kia counting be my pick.

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid

Base Price: $27,250

As-Tested Price: $32,250

Drivetrain: 2.4-liter I4 hybrid; FWD, six-speed automatic

Output: 166 hp @ 6,000 rpm (total scheme authority 206 hp), 154 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm (total scheme authority 195 lb-ft)

Curb Weight: 3,490 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 37/36.6 mpg

Options: Premium Technology wrap up counting navigation by means of backup camera, Sirius traffic, Infinity audio system, panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror by means of Homelink and compass, 17-inch tires by means of alloy wheels, HID present by means of auto leveling, leather seat trim, driver's seat memory, heated and cooled front seats, heated outboard back seats, heated steering wheel and power-adjustable front-passenger's seat ($5,000)

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