Kia sells a terrific midsize sedan called the Optima. From the basic LX to the turbocharged SX, it delivers style, value, and practicality in equal measure. Better yet, the Optima is available in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid format. The former gets 42 mpg in combined driving while the latter provides up to 28 miles of electric range before switching to hybrid operation.
The 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are on sale now, and changes make the cars more appealing than ever. Standard equipment for both cars now includes:
- Kia Drive Wise suite of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS)
- Upgraded infotainment system with UVO Link services and dynamic guidance lines for the reversing camera
- Wireless smartphone charging
Additionally, the Optima Hybrid adds the following standard equipment:
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Electronic parking brake
- 17-inch aluminum wheels
The cars’ optional Technology Package also gains new features. They include:
- A next-generation navigation system (Hybrid only – already standard for PHEV)
- Ambient interior lighting with several different colors
- LED fog lights
ADAS Upgrades Enhance Safety
Kia’s Drive Wise collection of ADAS is robust, designed to make driving easier while helping to prevent accidents. The package includes:
- Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability
- Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
- A driver monitoring system
- Rear parking assist sensors
Though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn’t crash-tested the Optima Hybrid and Optima PHEV, the standard Optima earns a “Top Safety Pick+” rating from the organization. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates the Optima Hybrid for crash protection, giving the car 5-star ratings across the board with the exception of a 4-star result for front passenger safety in a frontal collision.
Both cars are on sale now. The 2020 Optima Hybrid’s price is $29,310, an increase of $295 over last year. The 2020 Optima Plug-in Hybrid’s price is $36,095, which represents a decrease of $355. A federal income tax credit of $4,919 can further reduce the price of the Optima PHEV, in addition to any state or local incentives.
Main Drawback to the 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid and Optima PHEV
Reduced trunk space is the primary drawback to choosing an Optima Hybrid or PHEV. A standard Optima supplies 15.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity, compared to 13.4 cu.-ft. in the Optima Hybrid. The Optima PHEV’s trunk shrinks even more, to just 9.9 cu.-ft.
By comparison, other midsize hybrid sedans provide the following amounts of trunk space:
- Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid: 11.6 cu.-ft.
- Ford Fusion Hybrid: 12 cu.-ft.
- Ford Fusion Energi (PHEV): 8.2 cu.-ft.
- Honda Accord Hybrid: 16.7 cu.-ft.
- Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid: 15.5 cu.-ft.
- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: 13.3 cu.-ft.
- Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid: 9.9 cu.-ft.
- Toyota Camry Hybrid: 15.1 cu.-ft.
Aside from limited trunk space, the 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid and Optima PHEV offer stylish, safe, and value-laden paths to more efficient driving.