2017 Kia Optima Hybrid, Plug-in Unveiled at 2016 Chicago Auto Show

17_Kia_Optima_Hybrid_OEM.jpg 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid | Manufacturer image

CARS.COM — Just a year after the conventional Optima received a full redesign, Kia is rolling out both a redesigned 2017 Optima Hybrid and a new 2017 Optima Plug-in Hybrid at the Chicago Auto Show. The cars feature a revised design inside and out and Kia estimates the hybrid model will be more fuel efficient than its predecessor.

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The Optima plug-in will be available in one trim level  the higher EX and it’s expected to go on sale at the end of the year. Kia says the model’s battery setup produces about 60 percent more energy than the battery pack in the outgoing Optima Hybrid’s system, allowing it to go an estimated 27 miles in full EV mode. The related Hyundai Sonata Plug-in also has a 27-mile electric-only range.

Kia expects the regular hybrid version of the Optima to achieve 10 percent better fuel economy than old model, which got up to 36/40/38 mpg city/highway/combined depending on the trim level. The 2017 Optima Hybrid replaces the previous model’s 2.4-liter engine with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as well as makes other changes to the powertrain to achieve the mileage bump.

17_Kia_Optima_Plug-in_Hybrid_OEM.jpg 2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid | Manufacturer image

Both the plug-in hybrid and conventional Optima Hybrid models look similar to the redesigned-for-2016 Optima sedan, but do bear a few eco-friendly aerodynamic tweaks. The models feature an active grille that closes to improve airflow, a hybrid-specific front air curtain, a beveled rear bumper, a different rear diffuser and an aerodynamic alloy wheel design. 

Both models also get a redesigned, roomier interior as well as hybrid-specific gauges. Also, Kia says the seats have been redesigned to better isolate passengers from vibration; the passenger seat also features height adjustment this year. 

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