Kia Optima Hybrid Review
The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid ranks 18 out of 19 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Kia Optima Hybrid, as well as reliability and safety data.
Though reviewers say that the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid has a handsome, high-quality interior, they note that other hybrid sedans offer better fuel economy and smoother transitions between gas and electric power.
The Optima Hybrid comes with a four-cylinder engine, an electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. Test drivers say the Optima Hybrid has sufficient power and accelerates adequately, but they complain that it doesn’t transition as smoothly between gas and electric power as its hybrid rivals do. The base 2014 Optima Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 36/40 mpg city/highway, which is good for a midsize car but lower than most hybrid competitors’ estimates. Test drivers say the Optima Hybrid has poised handling, though they note that other hybrids still handle with more composure. They write that the Optima Hybrid’s ride is fairly comfortable overall, though not quite as smooth as the non-hybrid Optima’s.
Automotive journalists like the handsome design of the Kia Optima Hybrid’s cabin, and they say it has high-quality interior materials and a long list of available features. Reviewers write that the Optima Hybrid’s front seats are comfortable. However, critics complain that headroom is tight in the rear seats, and the Optima Hybrid has a smaller trunk than most of its competitors. Standard features in the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid include satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control and a cooled glove box. Available features include leather upholstery, power-adjustable, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, Kia’s voice-activated UVO infotainment system, an Infinity audio system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof and a navigation system with an 8-inch touch-screen display.
- "… this car hits the bullseye with an urbane cabin and many unexpected options, including cooled front seats, a heated rear seat, and a heated steering wheel." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "All the parts of this car that are regular Optima are satisfying, but the purpose of a hybrid is, well, that it’s a hybrid. Until the powertrain woes are sorted, that more expensive Fusion is going to look like the far better choice in this segment." -- Car and Driver (2011)
- "Kia's first-ever hybrid offering in the U.S. embellishes all of the impressive visual and functional elements that constitute the new Optima formula. …" -- Kelley Blue Book (2011)
- "It's hard not to look at the 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid through the lens of the plain-Jane non-hybrid Optima. This stablemate does everything better than - and looks every bit as good as - the hybrid, and does it for a substantially lower purchase price." -- Edmunds (2011)
Other Cars to Consider
The Ford Fusion Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 47/47 mpg city/highway, which is much better than the Optima Hybrid's fuel economy estimates. Reviewers say the Fusion Hybrid’s powertrain is remarkably quiet and transitions seamlessly between gas and electric power. The Ford Fusion Hybrid won both our 2014 Best Hybrid Car for the Money and Best Hybrid Car for Families awards.
According to the EPA, the Honda Accord Hybrid can achieve 50/45 mpg city/highway. Test drivers say the Accord Hybrid has strong acceleration, transitions very smoothly between electric and gas power and has agile handling. They also appreciate its attractive interior design and premium cabin materials.
Details: 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid
The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid is a five-seat, front-wheel-drive hybrid sedan. It is available in two trims: LX and EX. It has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. The non-hybrid Kia Optima is reviewed separately. The Optima Hybrid has not changed much since its debut in the 2011 model year, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 through 2014 model years.