2013 Kia Optima Hybrid Preview

If you do a quick Google search for “2013 Kia Optima Hybrid Review,” you’ll find a host of reviews, but they are all incorrect.

Fact is, there is no 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid as of yet.

The Korean automaker has actually put its Optima Hybrid – as is also the case for its sister car, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – in time out.

The 2013 model year is pending updates and more may be known about it by March or April.

Both Kia and Hyundai are keeping mum as to what changes are to be expected. Meanwhile their conventional 2013 Sonata and Optima non-hybrid siblings have already been released.

We could however guess areas that will be addressed – like those related to the powertrain. In case you missed it, the two cars ran into flak when their identical EPA ratings had to be adjusted down 1 mpg, the companies were pursued by disgruntled owners in a class action suit, and a fund was set up by Kia and Hyundai to compensate owners into the future.

Sounds pretty dismal, but really, these are good cars if a little optimistic in their efficiency estimates.

The cars share the same platform, and 2.4-liter engine, six-speed automatic transmission, and 30-kw electric motor. They have class leading horsepower and are lighter than the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid, with sporty styling to go along with.

Even in January 2013, remaining versions of the Optima Hybrid ranked in the upper third overall on the sales chart, outselling a number of other hybrids.

The Kia Optima Hybrid was redesigned in 2011, carried forth in 2012, and its then-stated fuel economy rating was 35 city /40 highway and 37 mpg combined.

As mentioned, you can now subtract 1 mpg from each of these numbers respectively, but the Optima Hybrid was pretty loaded with features for its $25,700 base price.

The 2013 is expected to be an evolutionary design on the 2012, so we’ll tell you about more about that car.

Standard amenities for last year’s model include eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, dual zone climate control with rear vents, push-button start with smart key, rearview camera, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic up/down on front windows, glove box illumination, and rear reading lamps.

Trunk space was on the small side with 9.89 cubic feet, thanks to the lithium polymer battery pack occupying some of the volume.

Interior room was good with 34.7 inches leg room for the back seats and 45 inches up front.

Handling manners were responsive and refined, but the power delivery, while strong, could be a bit abrupt at certain points.

Is this part of what they’re refining in Korea for this model’s unusual late arrival?

We will let you know when we find out. For a more thorough explanation of last year’s car expected to evolve very soon, please also see our 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid review.


Price quote for Kia Optima Hybrid

2013 Kia Optima Hybrid Preview
Base MSRP: $25,700
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