2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Review
The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid's attractive, high-quality cabin impresses reviewers, but they point out that rivals have better fuel economy and transition more smoothly between gas and electric power.
The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid is powered by a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. According to auto writers, the Optima Hybrid has adequate power and acceleration. However, they note that rivals transition more smoothly between gas and electric power. 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.
The 2014 Optima Hybrid has attractive cabin styling, premium interior materials and lots of available tech features. Auto writers find the Optima Hybrid's front seats to be comfortable, but say headroom is limited for rear-seat passengers. They add that its trunk is small for the class. 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.
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