2019 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

#31
in Sedans
2019 MODEL
$35,390
INDIGO

2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Firstly its hard to compete in the mid-size hybrid market and that’s not even the hard part. Brands need to load their car with features, back it with enough power, deliver remarkable efficiency and then convince the pedantic buyers to actually buy your car. It feels daunting but it seems like Kia has a cheat code for everything. The fourth generation of Optima Hybrid is amongst the highest selling midsize sedans. It has power, technology, and efficiency in its back pocket, with that, Kia plans to retain and ascend from its current position in the sedan market.

With a price of $29,015, Kia backs the Optima with a 2.0 L Inline-4 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Complimenting the gas powertrain is a 9.8-kwh lithium-polymer battery. Together this hybrid powertrain pumps out 202 horsepower and 276-pound-feet of torque. Compared to the usual the Plug-in hybrid has a bigger battery and a maximum range of 29 miles.

See detailed review »

Pros

Easy to use infotainment

Functional interior

Cons

Low cargo volume

Front seats lack lateral support

What's New?

TBDMinor tweaks to the exterior

More driver assist and safety features

Revised Infotainment


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$35290

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

horsepower

202 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

276 lb.-ft. @ 2330 rpm

transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

suspension rear

Independent multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

Ventilated solid rear disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

110.4 in.

length

191.1 in.

width

73.2 in.

height

57.5 in.

curb weight

3788 lbs.

ground clearance

5.1 in.

capacity

passenger volume

37.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

37.2 cu ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

TBD/40/TBD mpg

warranty

basic warranty

5 years/60000 miles

drivetrain warranty

10 years/100000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/100000 years

roadside assistance

no


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan in Aluminum Silver color  2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan in Aurora Black Pearl color  2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan in Gravity Blue color  2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan in Snow White Pearl color
Aluminum Silver

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan EX

EX

power
154 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
40 combined

$35,390


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) Starting at $35,390 MSRP (39/40/45) 154 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

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MPG: 27 combined

2019 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid SUV
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MPG: 46 combined

2019 Kia Cadenza
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MPG: 23 combined

2019 Kia Stinger
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MPG: 25 combined

2019 Kia Sorento
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MPG: 25 combined

2019 Kia Sportage
7.3/10

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2019 Kia Niro hybrid
7.3/10

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MPG: 50 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial August 16, 2019


The 2019 Kia Optima Sedan Plug-in Hybrid is a well-rounded sedan, but Kia does not have the patent rights to victor the Hybrid market. Other brands are all set to retain their piece of the pie by matching Kia's deliverables on the Optima. Sedans like Ford Fusion Energi, Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, and Toyota Camry Hybrid are ready for the race.

2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan Features

Offered at the price tag of $35,390, the Optima Hybrid goes both ways, typical hybrid and a plug-inversion . The EX trim is powered by a standard 2.0 L Inline-4 cylinder gas engine and with a hybrid motor mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Kia flaunts its impressive total range of 29 miles on battery alone but sacrifices its boot space along the way.

Trim

EX

MSRP

$35,390

Key Features

17-inch alloy wheels

 

Cruise control

 

Height-adjustable front seats (with two-way power lumbar adjustment for the driver)

 

Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

 

Remote locking and unlocking

 

Heated mirrors

 

Automatic headlights

 

60/40-split rear seat

 

7-inch touchscreen

 

Apple CarPlay

 

Android Auto

 

Six-speaker audio system with a USB port

We Recommend-

The unmoored version of the Optima lineup does not enjoy options like the petrol version does. Though you will live with the standard equipment and features we would recommend to throw in the Technology package which adds features like ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, and a lot of driver assist.

2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan Engine

'Unlike the 2.0T, the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and its unconventional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission suffer from a disappointing lack of responsiveness when accelerating and driving at low speeds. The brakes can be a bit touchy, but handling is decent for the class- Edmunds

Engine and Transmission

Pop up the hood and you will find a 2.0 L Inline-4 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor. The powerplant cranks out a 202 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque which is better than the entry level Optima. As aforementioned before it can go all electric for 29 miles which frankly is way more than what an average traveler need.

Models

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Hyundai Sonata SE hybrid sedan

Honda Accord Hybrid

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

MSRP

$29,015

$26,670

$22,830

$22,830

$28,945

$37,490

$29,070

$34,395

$37,420

Engine

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L Inline-4

1.5L i4

1.8L i4

2.0L i4

2.5L i4

2.5L i4

1.5L i4

Transmission

6 Speed automatic

6 Speed automatic

Continuously Variable Automatic

Continuously variable automatic

1-speed direct drive

Continuously variable automatic

Continuously variable automatic

Continuously variable automatic

1-speed direct drive

Horsepower

202 hp@ 6000rpm

193 hp@ 6000rpm

212 hp 6200 rpm

151 hp@ 6000 rpm

160 hp@ 5700 rpm

188 hp@ 6000 rpm

208 hp@ 5700 rpm

215 hp@ 5700 rpm

149 hp

Torque

276 ft-lbs@ 1770rpm

140 ft-lbs@ 5000rpm

232 lb-ft

99 ft-lbs@ 5000 rpm

184 ft-lbs@ 2500 rpm

129 ft-lbs@ 4000rpm

163 ft-lbs@ 3600 rpm

163 ft-lbs@ 3600 rpm

294 ft-lbs@ 0 rpm

The gas engine contributes 154 horsepower and the rest is amassed by a 9.8-kwh lithium-polymer battery sitting in the cargo bay. The normal hybrid Optima homes a smaller battery pack which makes this one around 250 pounds heavier. The 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth and compliant with the hybrid powertrain.

Acceleration

There is a lot of power to initially kick start the Hybrid Optima. The peppy base engine feels ready to take on the road and the transmission backs the engine while it does that. The average hybrid make the 60 mpg test in 8-second acceleration and the Optima makes it in 7.7 seconds which pretty fair. As you drive further, the Hybrid Optima took 15.9 seconds to hit the quarter-mile light.

Models

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Hyundai Sonata SE hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

0-60 MPH

7.7 sec

N/A

6.7*

8 sec

8.5 sec

N/A

N/A

N/A

7.5

Quarter mile

15.9 sec

N/A

15.4*

16 sec

15.8

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Engine

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

 

1.5L i4

1.8L i4

2.0L i4

2.5L i4

2.5L i4

1.5L i4

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

4.3

4.2

 

3.4

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Possibly one of the quickest, Kia Optima zoom in with its 7.7-second acceleration. Other sedans like the Chevrolet Malibu are way too slow to catch up this cyborg. But it gains up in the qurter mile run with its 15.8 second performance.

Ride and Handling

Behind the wheel, Kia Optima inspires confidence with its predictable flat bottom steering. However, the lack of road communication may dwindle your confidence. The engine dynamics of the car puts no limits on its ability to maneuver, the Optima's power is satisfying both on the highway and city. Handling might not feel razor sharp as the Stinger but its entertaining nevertheless. Optima's mid-size dimensions give you a hassle-free ride, cutting traffic is a light day for the Optima. The rather thin tires are silent in the city though on the highway they are a real screamer.

There is no concrete problem with Kia's ride quality but the 7-speed automatic transmission on the EX trim has a mind of its own. The shifts are not smooth and it feels like the car always want to enter the next gear. Also, the EX takes a lot of motivation and push to gain any momentum. The LX, S, and SX trims have a 6-speed automatic and are not bothered by these delicacies.

Braking

The braking dynamics seems fair on paper but in the rear world braking is not this Kia's strong suit. Both the front and rear brake rotors are rated at 12 inches and 11.2 inches, quite reasonable for the industry standards. However, the pedal feels soft and pose a spontaneous vibe.

Model

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Hyundai Sonata SE hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

Brake Front (in.)

12

12

11.5

11.1

11.8

11.8

12

N/A

11

Brake Rear (in.)

11.2

11.2

11.1

10.2

11.3

11.9

11.1

N/A

10

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3486

3497

3342

3000

3366

3986

3472

3638

3550

60-0 MPH (ft.)

N/A

N/A

120

121

N/A

129

N/A

N/A

N/A

2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan Fuel Economy

Good mileage is the meat of the matter for Hybrid cars, and Kia knows this perfectly, but somehow the rivals have a better understanding of the concept. In city, you can expect a 39 mpg mileage and 45 mpg while cruising on the highway. This equals the equivalent mileage of 103mpge which make sit a winner in the mid-sized sedan segment.

Model

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Hyundai Sonata SE hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

MPG (city)

39

40

48

55

49

43

51

43

MPG (highway)

45

46

48

49

43

41

53

42

MPG (combined)

41

42

48

52

46

42

52

42

Though the Kia Optima is efficient it's average when you compare with its direct adversaries. Hyundai Elantra and Honda Insight and Toyota Camry are the most fuel-efficient sedans with 52 mpg of combined mileage.

2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan Interior

'There isn't a lot of visual excitement inside the Optima, but it is smartly designed for function. The quality of materials and available features make you feel as if you're getting just a bit more for your money. The only major drawback is the compromised rear visibility- Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

Functionality over funk and quality over junk- The Optima's interior may not be the most stylish or loaded with upmarket quality but its smart and practical. All the knobs and buttons feel premium and meet their function, you don't need to improvise fall into the conundrum of ambiguous menus to get what you intended. The cabin is roomy and can fairy hold 5 seaters, you get an 8-way power adjustable driver seat with 2-way power lumbar support. As you climb the trim ladder your Optima will be bequeathed to 10-way power adjustment with heated and ventilated seats.

Model

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Hyundai Sonata SE hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chet

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.8/58.1/45.5

40.4/57.9/45.5

39.5/58.3/42.3

39.3/56.9/42.3

39.1/58.5/41.5

39.2/57.8/44.3

38.3/57.7/42.1

38.5/42.1/58.3

37.8/56.5/42.1

Second

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.8/56.4/35.6

38.0/56.5/35.6

37.3/55/40.4

36.9/55.0/37.4

37.5/57.1/38.1

37.8/56.9/38.3

37.6/55.7/38.0

37.9/40.4/57.1

35.8/53.2/34.7

The cabin is fairly roomy and offers generous seating for five. The front seats offer a lot of legroom and headroom space, 45.3 inches and 39.8 inches to be precise. The second row seats are not that bad either, 6 feet might have to adjust a little to get more legroom as its limited to 35 inches. The rear headroom and shoulder room are not infected with such a problem.

Cargo Capacity

The gas powered Optima leads the segment as far as practicality goes, but the Plug-in version eats up a few cubic feet of cargo volume though the tailgate shares a nice and wide opening. Rear seat features a 60/40 split to open up more cargo space. The cabin utility is top-notch with a lot of door pockets, cubby holes, and a concealed bin under the armrest.

Model

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Hyundai Sonata SE hybrid sedan

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

13.4

13.4

13.0

8.2

15.1

16.1

10.6

Infotainment-

The tech front on the Optima is led by an 8-inch touch screen infotainment. The infotainment is bright, every feature could be easily located except for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which are there but locating them can be a little problematic. Kia backed the touch screen with its Uvo system and used a 10-speaker Harman Kardon music system. The voice controls work really well and the availability of Siri and Google voice assistance makes it even better.

Interior Features

  • Audio And Cruise Controls On Steering Wheel
  • Overhead Console With Storage
  • Front Seatback Storage
  • Cruise Control
  • Turn Signal In Mirrors
  • Dual Illuminating Vanity Mirrors
  • Front And Rear Cupholders
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • Electric Power Steering
  • Tilt And Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Keyless Ignition
  • Climate Control
  • Electrochromatic Inside Rearview Mirror
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan Exterior

'A sporty profile and a handsome cabin lift the 2019 Kia Optima above the family-sedan pack. Now in its second generation, with a handsome shape that emerged in the 2016 model year, the Kia Optima has an attractive look that's worked well enough to loan out to Kia's new sport hatchback, the Stinger- The Connection

Design and Styling

Though the Kia Optima is largely unchanged for 2019, it still goes in strong this year. The new Stinger inspired front fascia imbibes a rebellious vibe to this mid-size. The styling is more curvaceous and striking similar to the 2016 model when it first came out. Considering its distant cousin Hyundai Sonata, Kia has crafted a better-looking car.

Dimensions and Weight-

The Kia Optima is 191.1 inches long better than the usual mid-size sedan segment. The width and height are similar to other sends at 73.2 inches and 57.7 inches. You get a 5.3-inch ground clearance and a tad longer wheelbase of 110.4 inches.

Model

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Hyundai Sonata SE hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

Curb weight (lbs.)

3486

3497

3342

3000

3366

3986

3472

3638

3550

Length(in)

191.1

191.1

192.2

183.6

194.2

191.8

192.1

195.9

180.4

Width(in)

73.2

73.4

73.3

71.6

73.0

72.9

72.4

72.8

71.2

Height(in)

57.5

57.9

57.1

55.5

57.9

58.0

56.9

56.5

56.4

Ground clearance (in)

5.1

5.1

5.8

N/A

5.9

N/A

5.7

5.3

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

110.4

110.4

111.4

106.3

111.4

112.2

111.2

113.0

106.1

Track width (in) F/R

63.5/63.8

63.5/63.8

63/63.4

60.9/61.6

62.6/62.5

62/62.3

63/63.2

62.3/63.6

60.6/61.8

Ford Fusion is the bigger car compared to the Optima though it's also the heaviest too. Other cars like the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla, and the Civic revolve around 180 inches of total height. The short length equals results into a shorter wheelbase as well. While the Optima sakes up all the bumps from the ride with its 110 inches long wheelbase.

Exterior Features

  • Puddle Lamps
  • Rear Bumper Applique
  • Mud Guards
  • Wheel Locks
  • Paint Protection Package

2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan Safety

It's not the practicality, power, or performance which attracts the buyer, but the unparallel safety gear offered on the Optima which magnetizes the buyers to Kia's showroom. NHTSA awarded a stellar 5-star rating to the 2019 Kia Optima. You get a healthy standard feature list inclusive of safety features like Electronic Stability Control, Hill Assist, active lane control. Lean-departure warning and more.

  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • Emergency Braking Preparation
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Dual Front Side-Mounted Airbags
  • Front And Rear Head Airbags
  • Stability Control
  • Passenger Airbag Occupant Sensing Deactivation
  • Rear Height Adjustable Headrests
  • Remote Anti-Theft Alarm System
  • Dusk Sensing Headlamps
  • Blind Spot And Lane Departure Warnings Accident Avoidance System
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Traction Control
  • Ventilated Front Disc / Solid Rear Disc Brakes
  • Pre-Collision Safety System
  • Engine Immobilizer

NHTSA

Overall Rating

5 star

Overall Frontal Crash Rating

5 star

Frontal Crash Rating Driver Side

5 star

Frontal Crash Rating Passenger Side

4 star

Overall Side Crash Rating

5 star

Combined Side Barrier and Pole Rating Front Seat

5 star

Combined Side Barrier and Pole Rating Front Seat Rear Seat

5 star

Side Barrier

5 star

Side barrier Driver

5 star

Side barrier Rear Passenger

5 star

Overall Side Pole Star Rating

5 star

Rollover Rating

5 star

2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan Competition

Ford Fusion Energi vs Kia Optima

The Ford is one of the dominant brands in the mid-size sedan segment. They have backed the Energi with enough horses to beat the Optima, on top of that the similar 29 miles range makes the choice even more difficult. But price makes a lot of difference, Fusion spikes its price to near 40 grand while the Optima is still under 30 grand slab. The extra money is used to spice up the feature list with better technology. Low practicality quotient catches the Ford buyers off-guard.

Though the Fusion is loaded with savvy features but the 10 grand difference cannot be ignored. The Kia Optima Plug-in hybrid takes the lead on this one.

Chevrolet Volt vs Kia Optima

Where Kia boats its 21 miles range Chevy parks the Volt right in Optima's face with its 53 miles range. However, its small engine spikes a factorable difference in power. But the low engine doesn't stop the Volt from competing and its competitive acceleration confirms the fact. Chevy offers decent driving dynamics but kills the interior quality. Considering the price, the Kia Optima might be a better option.

2019 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan Final Verdict

The 2019 Kia Optima is a lucrative mid-size hybrid rending fair price, adequate power, and excellent fuel economy numbers, and that's about all a buyer in this segment wants right? The feature list is as geeky as one can get while driving. The ride quality might feel average but its better than most sedans offered in the segment. It's a long car that's for sure with av sloping roofline, this may penetrate into the usable headroom space, that's a backdrop, but overall Kia has done a fine job with the Optima, as always.