Which Optima Is Right For You?

January 25th, 2018 by


For over 15 years, the Kia Optima has been the Korean automaker’s flagship sedan, combining sleek looks, dependability, and affordability into one. Now in its fourth generation, the Optima comes in three versions to meet your needs: the standard Optima, the Optima Hybrid, and the Optima Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). Each have amazing amenities and options, but the question still remains: Which Optima is right for you?

The Kia Optima

If a plug-in vehicle is impractical or you don’t drive enough to enjoy the fuel savings of a hybrid, the standard, gas-powered 2018 Kia Optima is your ideal choice. With five available trim levels, you’ll find the one that fits you just right. From a power standpoint, the Optima comes with three options.

The standard engine on the LX, S, and EX trims is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that delivers 185 horsepower, 178 pound-feet of torque, and up to 36 mpg on the highway. For a bit more pep, opt for the LX 1.6T, which sports a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Despite its smaller engine displacement, it still churns out an impressive 178 horsepower, 195 pound-feet of torque, and up to 37 mpg, making it one of the most efficient non-hybrids out there. The SX’s 2.0-liter turbo four is the brawn of the group, touting a thunderous 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Optima Hybrid

When fuel economy and going green are high on your priority list, the Optima Hybrid delivers. Perfect for eco-conscious individuals and long commuters, the Optima Hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a 38-kWh electric motor, and a 1.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Optima Hybrid provides a whopping 46 mpg on the highway and 39 mpg in the city.

Unlike other hybrids, the Optima also employs several design ideas to make the driving experience more fluid. The battery pack fits below the rear seat instead of the trunk, opening up more cargo space. A six-speed automatic transmission also comes standard, giving the Optima Hybrid a more familiar ride. If you love driving a gas-powered car and are unsure of hybrids, this Optima is a solid choice.

Optima Plug-In Hybrid

Unless you’re absentminded enough to forget to charge the Optima, opt for the Plug-In Hybrid. On a single charge, it goes up to 29 miles, which is satisfactory for errands and short commutes. Once the gas engine kicks in, the Optima still gets a respectable 43 mpg highway and 38 mpg in the city. On a standard outlet, charging takes about nine hours, but an upgrade to a 220-volt system takes just three. With a total range of 610 miles and all the amenities of a regular Optima, you won’t find anything like this model.

Packed to the brim with spectacular features, the Kia Optima is a versatile sedan that no other company can boast. So whether you’re looking for a sports sedan or trying to save the planet, you can find it all with the 2018 Optima.

Posted in Optima