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Avg. Price Paid:$19,356 - $19,356
Original MSRP: $25,800 - $25,800
MPG: 34 City / 39 Hwy
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2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

Automotive journalists are disappointed with the powertrain in the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid, but they are pleased with almost everything else about this midsize hybrid car.

The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is Kia’s only hybrid offering. Reviewers are very happy with the inside of this hybrid car. There are lots of standard features, including a rearview camera, satellite radio, Bluetooth, push-button start and a USB jack. The Optima Hybrid’s spacious, comfortable interior and sporty exterior styling are also well-liked by critics. The Optima Hybrid also has some of the highest safety scores in its class.

The thing reviewers are most disappointed with is the Kia Optima Hybrid’s powertrain. They say that it’s not as good as other hybrid cars, mainly because the transition from gas to electric power is jarring. They prefer the smoother powertrains in rival hybrids, like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid. Also, several reviewers say they dislike the Optima Hybrid’s regenerative brakes. They say that the pedal feel is a bit numb and they wish the brakes were more responsive.

Overall, reviewers say the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is a good choice for midsize car shoppers who prioritize good fuel economy, modern styling and high-tech features. If hybrid powertrain refinement is a bigger priority, you should shop rivals.

Other Cars to Consider

The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a good sedan to cross-shop against the Kia Optima Hybrid. Reviewers say its handling is the best among hybrid midsize cars, and they also like its spacious, high-tech interior.

Shoppers considering the Kia Optima Hybrid should also take a look at the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Camry Hybrid not only gets better fuel economy than the Optima Hybrid, but test drivers say it has a better hybrid drivetrain. Reviewers say Toyota has practically perfected the 2012 Camry Hybrid’s transition between the gas engine and electric motor. In comparison, many think the Optima Hybrid’s drivetrain is unrefined.

Details: Kia Optima Hybrid

The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is available in just one trim with the option to add a premium technology package. The Optima Hybrid sees no changes since last year. See the full list of 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid specs.

  • "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 with an eco-oriented variation the automaker expects will deliver a class-leading 40 mpg EPA highway number along with a Kia-style value story." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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

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