Launched in 2011, the Optima Hybrid introduced a new level of efficiency to the brand’s most popular model. Kia is now launching an updated version of this Optima Hybrid, following the launch of its updated cousin, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
The updated 2013 Optima Hybrid features a more performance-driven and fuel-efficient powertrain as well as more cargo space and premium features.
For 2013, Kia said the Optima Hybrid features numerous powertrain refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a more robust 47 horsepower electric motor, a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a more powerful 47 kilowatt lithium polymer battery.
Although the combined 199 horsepower rating is slightly lower than before, reduced from 206, the combined 235 pound-feet of torque is 40 pound-feet higher. According to Kia, this will result in a more responsive and powerful Optima Hybrid.
The Optima Hybrid is now available in two trim levels in the U.S., base and EX. The base model achieves an EPA estimated 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined, making the Optima Hybrid more efficient than its predecessor.
The EX model delivers an EPA estimated 35/39/37; the difference being due to additional equipment and different wheels. The EX adds, amongst others, navigation with back-up camera, an 8-speaker Infinity audio system4, panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and 17-inch wheels.
The 2013 Optima Hybrid benefits from greater trunk space than before, thanks to the repackaging of the vehicle’s battery pack.
The Optima Hybrid builds on the gasoline-powered Optima, offering improved aerodynamics and using lighter weight components. Lighter and more aerodynamic 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels, base and EX respectively, reduce weight and drag, while superbly integrating with the Optima’s stunning design. Extensive use of aluminum instead of steel for the lower front and rear control arms, tie rod ends and rear knuckles helps offset the weight of the hybrid components.
According to Kia, improved aerodynamics are gained via the Optima Hybrid’s lowered ride height, full belly pan and rear spoiler. Other Optima Hybrid differentiators include satin finished front grille surround and trim on the lower front fascia and side sills, and unique front and rear lighting.