2011 Kia Optima Hybrid Priced at Under $27,000

The first ever Kia hybrid vehicle to go on sale in the United States is scheduled to arrive at nationwide dealer showrooms next month, with a starting price of $26,500, the South Korean manufacturer announced today. The vehicle in question is the 2011 Optima Hybrid model, which Kia says is able to deliver up to 35 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway.

Starting June 5, the 2011 Optima Hybrid will be available in two configurations in the US, offering unique front grille design, 16-inch alloy wheel design, headlamp design, fog lamps, heated outside mirrors, front and rear lower bumpers and side sills and LED tail lamp design.

Standard equipment includes eight-way power adjustable driver's seat, dual zone automatic temperature control with rear vents, push-button start with smart key, Supervision meter cluster with LCD display, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, one-touch automatic up/down on front windows, chrome interior door handles, glove box illumination, rear reading lamps, and fixed rear seats with ski pass-through.

The Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS), also standard, plays a pre-recorded engine sound during electric-only operation to help notify people outside the vehicle that it is approaching. The Optima Hybrid is also the first Kia vehicle to offer the company's proprietary UVO powered by Microsoft hands-free, voice-activated infotainment and communications system.

The Hybrid Premium Technology Package, priced at $5,000, will add panoramic sunroof, unique 17-inch alloy wheel design, four-way power adjustable front passenger's seat, driver's seat memory, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel, HID headlamps with automatic leveling, leatherette-wrapped center fascia, auto-dimming rear-view mirror with Homelink and compass, a navigation system with back-up camera and SIRIUS Traffic, and an eight-speaker Infinity audio system.

Safety wise, the Optima Hybrid comes fitted with six airbags, front active headrests, side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Four-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS), a Brake Assist System (BAS) and Hill Assist Control (HAC) also are standard.
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