2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX
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2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX

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2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX

Test Drive

Written by Marco Carvajal
Photographs by Marco Carvajal


2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX



Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)


6-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic,® overdrive


2.0-Liter 4-cylinder, full parallel hybrid system


154 hp @ 6,000 rpm


140 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm

Fuel Tank Capacity

14.5 gal.

Fuel economy MPG


combined Estimated EPA MPG

38/43 City/Highway




The beautiful and well known Kia Optima is a mid-sized 4-door sedan manufactured by Kia Motors since 2000 and marketed globally through various nameplates. But its hybrid version was unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show and was launched in the US market in November 2011. With 19,672 units sold, together the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the Kia Optima Hybrid ranked second in hybrid sales for calendar year 2011, after the Toyota Prius.

A plug-in hybrid variant was unveiled at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. The Kia Optima PHEV shares the powertrain of the Hyundai Sonata PHEV, and like its sibling, it has a 9.8 kWh battery pack that delivers an all-electric range of 27 mi (43 km), but the Optima plug-in hybrid has a lower drag coefficient, which at 0.24 Cd is on par with the all-electric Tesla Model S.

Retail deliveries began in the United States in January 2017 with 40 units sold.

J.D. Power’s 2017 Initial Quality Study puts Kia on top once again, and with more awards than any other nameplate. The iconic U.S. study examines the problems new-vehicle owners face within their first 90 days of ownership. And this year’s study reveals that new-vehicle quality is at its highest ever. Making Kia’s #1 brand ranking, for the second straight year, that much sweeter.


2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX is energy wise. Optima Hybrid (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) feature Kia’s Full Parallel Hybrid system, a cuttingedge design that allows both the gasoline engine and electric motor to simultaneously provide power directly to the wheels for optimum efficiency and superb performance in a variety of road conditions.
PHEV also allows you to choose all-electric operation on demand, and plug right into a household outlet to conveniently recharge the lithium polymer battery that powers the electric motor. We will write some specific features above:

  • Type – 2.0L, 4-cylinder, full parallel hybrid system
  • Valve gear – DOHC, four valves/cylinder, Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT)
    Displacement 1,999 cc
    Displacement – 1,999 cc
  • Compression ratio 13.5:1
  • Horsepower (SAE net) 154 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque (SAE net) – 140 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm
  • Fuel system – Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
  • Transmission 6-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic,® overdrive
  • Horsepower:
    50 hp (38 kW) @ 1,770 –2,000 rpm (HEV),
    66 hp (50 kW) @ 2,330 –3,300 rpm (PHEV)
  • Torque:
    151 lb.-ft. (205 Nm) @ 0–1,770 rpm (HEV),
    151 lb.-ft. (205 Nm) @ 0–2,330 rpm (PHEV)


Exterior Features

The 2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid combines meticulously crafted details like aerodynamic lines, uniquely sleek wheels, and an innovative active air-flap embedded in the grille. They all work together to maximize fuel economy, so you don’t have to choose between form and function. At first glance, you’ll notice the smooth, sculpted exterior lines. On first drive, you’ll notice how the lower resistance provides a quieter, more comfortable drive. And the first time you plug in to recharge, you’ll notice just how rarely you have to do it at all, given the all-electric range of 29 miles. From its captivating front end to its aerodynamic alloy wheels, the 2017 Optima Plug-In Hybrid is the perfect fusion of elegant lines, sporty style, and unique detailing. It’s standout style from every angle.
The Optima Plug-In Hybrid is available in such colors: snow white pearl, aluminum silver, platinum graphite, crimson red, gravity blue and aurora black pearl.


Interior Features

With contemporary design and meticulous craftsmanship, the stylish interior 2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX invites you to enjoy every moment behind the wheel. Driver and passengers alike will appreciate the comfort of spacious seating, generous headroom and legroom, and the welcome pleasure of a quiet ride.
Let us talk about it in more detail.

    To create personalized climate zones for both the driver and front passenger, the dual-zone automatic temperature control has individual temperature settings. Rear-seat passengers have their own rear vent.
    The split-folding rear seats on the HEVEX let you quickly fold down one or both sides of the seat to expand the trunk’s roomy cargo area.
    Rear-seat passengers can enjoy a cool and comfortable drive with available side-window sunshades.
    The Smart Trunk unlocks when you simply stand within a few feet of it for three seconds with the Smart Key in your possession. This is especially appreciated when you have your hands full.
    The available panoramic sunroof creates a feeling of spaciousness and features a convenient power sunshade.
    HEV features cloth seat trim with YES Essentials® fabric treatment, including anti-soil surfaces for added durability and easy cleaning.
    Superb interior design and intuitively positioned controls put the driver comfortably in command. In addition, a wealth of available premium features are designed to increase comfort and convenience and enhance every aspect of your daily drive.
    Available heated front seats are perfect for cold days. Plus, driving in warm weather is always a pleasure, thanks to available ventilated front seats
    An available memory system remembers two drivers’ seating preferences, recalling stored positions for the driver’s seat and outside mirrors
    HEV EX and PHEV models feature a heated steering wheel that is especially appreciated on cold winter days.
    Available 630-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system provides superb audio entertainment. It includes Clari-Fi,TM13 which instantly restores the quality of compressed, digitized music, providing clear, dynamic sound.




Safety Features 

At Kia, the process of improving all aspects of safety is relentless. Continuous engineering advances and breakthroughs in material design have led to vehicles with exceptionally strong body construction, strategically placed airbags, and advanced sensors, complemented by a variety of active safety systems. NHTSA rated the car with FIVE stars in 5-Star Crash Safety Rating.

    An advanced airbag system helps protect driver and passengers with dual front, front seat-mounted side, and full-length side curtain airbags.AIRBAG & SEAT-BELT
    This advanced system monitors the severity of certain impacts, the presence of a front passenger and seat-belt use, and then controls airbag inflation accordingly.
    All doors are reinforced with steel beams to help absorb impact energy and deflect side-impact force. The body’s support pillars are reinforced to help strengthen the body of the vehicle.
    Pretensioners have been designed to tighten the front seat belts in the event of certain collisions. This can help to reduce the likelihood of injuries.
    The front height-adjustable seat-belt anchors allow the driver and front-passenger seat belts to be raised and lowered for a proper fit, helpingensure effective operation



Model Price
 2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX  $35,105



The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) are engineered to provide all the benefits of Kia’s latest cutting-edge hybrid technology. They also provide an exceptional driving experience and beautiful interior and exterior. Both models deliver an impressive combination of strong acceleration and smooth performance, complemented by a refined ride, precise steering, and agile responsiveness.

For 2017, Kia’s lineup features a growing number of advanced EcoDynamics models with cutting-edge technology to help reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions. They join Kia’s full line of world-class vehicles, each one engineered for superb quality and reliability, and designed to suit most every driving need.

Any Kia you would choose, from the impressive new hybrids to a variety of premium sedans, every one delivers a combination of striking styling, dynamic performance and a wealth of technologically advanced features.

With a price of $35K, the 2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX becomes a great value, an elegant and economic car for a great price.

Marco Carvajal
Follow Marco Carvajal:
Marco Carvajal has many years of experience in the editorial world, in the entertainment industry including events, cars, music and other fields. He also has wide experience in business, e-business and e-commerce. He is actively involved in the development of AutomotorPro.com and other affiliated car publications, from marketing and business management, to the editorial department as a contributing writer and editor for other writers. His passion for automobiles, travel and art, supports the development of AutomotorPro.com in an original and unique way, as a leader in the automobile editorial industry, nationwide in the United States and international territories. Marco graduated from the University of Miami, in addition to additional studies at other universities and institutions. In the field of business, he has created several enterprises and multinational projects related to publishing and entertainment. As a writer, the number one goal for Marco Carvajal is to be able to communicate clear information easy to understand for our subscribers, in an easy language, very detailed, about automobiles and lifestyle. He also likes to show a different perspective, with innovative style, about the information and characteristics of each car, mostly oriented to the daily life, about what each person may want learn about each car, thinking on the practical daily use of cars in real life. Marco Carvajal tiene muchísimos años de experiencia en el mundo editorial, en la industria del entretenimiento incluyendo eventos, autos, música y otros, así como gran experiencia en los negocios, e-business y e-commerce. Se envuelve activamente en el desarrollo de AutomotorPro.com, desde aspectos de mercadeo y manejo de negocios, hasta el departamento editorial donde también escribe y edita artículos de otros escritores. Su pasión por los autos, viajar y el arte, le ayudan a AutomotorPro.com a desarrollarse de una forma original y única, como un líder en la industria editorial automotriz a nivel nacional en Estados Unidos y otros territorios internacionales. Marco se graduó de la Universidad de Miami, además de haber realizado estudios y cursos en otras universidades e instituciones. En el área de negocio ha fundado varias empresas y creado varios proyectos multinacionales en el área editorial y del entretenimiento. Como escritor, la meta número uno de Marco Carvajal es lograr transmitir información sobre automóviles fácil de entender para los lectores, en un idioma sencillo, los más detallada posible. Además de lograr mostrar un lado diferente e innovador sobre la información y características de cada auto, principalmente orientado a lo cotidiano, a lo que cada persona puede aprender sobre cada automóvil, pensando en la vida diaria, en el uso de cada auto en la vida práctica.
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