The 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid is a fuel-efficient pick among mid-sizers that doesn’t wear its eco credentials on its sleeves.
The 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid is a mid-size sedan with all the right moves. On top of its safe package (its crash-test scorecard is spotless) and relatively handsome looks, a fuel-efficient powertrain is subbed in for fewer trips to gas stations.
For those reasons, the 2018 Optima Hybrid earns a heady 7.2 overall score on our scale, reflective of its good features, great fuel economy, and better safety. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The 2018 version doesn’t change at all from last year, which should be good news for shoppers.
Review continues below
The base powertrain is a 2.0-liter inline-4 with a 1.62-kwh battery pack and electric motor. The combination manages a 39 mpg city, 46 highway, 42 combined rating by the EPA, which falls behind its main rival, the Toyota Camry hybrid, by 4 mpg combined. Those looking for more fuel efficiency may consider the Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid, which mates the same 2.0-liter inline-4 to a 9.8-kwh battery and electric motor combo that can power the Optima PHEV on electrons alone for 27 miles. The combo has been rated by the EPA at 103 MPGe, or 40 mpg combined without a full charge.
The Optima Hybrid borrows liberally from the Optima’s looks, which is a good thing. Only a few small badges give away its electrified powertrain, and its sleeker looks still turn heads on the road. Although not as daring as its predecessor, the Optima lineup (including the Optima Hybrid) focused more on interior refinement and ride quality that sheet-metal bravado.
Inside, the Optima Hybrid is a subtle affair with a plain spoken interior that manages to be functional without being boring.
Normally, we’d say the Optima’s ace is its ride quality and comfort, but the Optima Hybrid smothers rough roads even better.