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2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Preview

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Pros: Tons of style and quality materials give its competitors a run for their money. And with a combined output of 199 hp, the Optima Hybrid is no slouch. It’s also equipped with a traditional six-speed automatic, unlike many of its competitors.

Cons: A firm suspension, poor rearward visibility, and limited trunk space make the Optima far from perfect. The six-speed automatic, while a pro, can also be a con. Traditional automatics just aren’t as efficient as continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), making you wonder if Kia could have stretched fuel economy a little more had a CVT been equipped.

Kia Optima Hybrid
Photo: Kia

2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Pricing: The Optima Hybrid starts at $30,095 for the well-equipped LX model. EX models add heated rear seats and steering wheel, LED daytime running lights, LED front fog lights, HID headlights, a panoramic sunroof, and many other options for $33,695. Navigation, Infinity premium audio, leather seats, and cooled front seats come standard on the EX Premium model for $36,195.

2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Economy: The Optima Hybrid is rated at 5.4/4.9L (city/highway) per 100 km in LX trim and 5.6/5.0L per 100 km in EX trim.

Improvements and Changes: EX models get LED daytime running lights and LED front fog lights for 2014. Also, a new EX Premium trim is added (splitting the previous Hybrid Premium trim into EX and EX Premium), which includes navigation, an Infinity premium audio system, and leather seats.

Don’t Miss: The Optima Hybrid has a firm ride, so give the different trims a test drive to see if you can live with it. Also, if you want paddle shifters, say goodbye to your heated steering wheel.

2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Powertrain: The Optima Hybrid is powered by a 2.4-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine delivering a combined 199 hp (159 hp from the gasoline engine and 46 hp from the electric motor) and 305 lb-ft of torque (154 and 151, respectively). Only a six-speed automatic is equipped.

Safety: The Kia Optima Hybrid comes standard with six airbags (front, front seat-mounted side, and side curtain). Vehicle Stability Management, Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control systems come standard on all trims as well.

Comparables: Want a midsize hybrid? There aren’t many to choose from: Ford Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX; Toyota Prius and Camry Hybrid; Honda Accord Hybrid; Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.