2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid Sedan Debuts in Korea

2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid 9 photos
Photo: Kia
2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid2016 Kia Optima Sports Hybrid
Kia has just announced the debut of the K5 Hybrid in Korea. Except for the twin projector headlights, you are looking at the all-new Optima Hybrid that should hit U.S. dealerships within 3 to 6 months.
The powertrain is the same one used by its sister car, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. It combines a naturally aspirated 2-liter engine with an electric motor to deliver motion to the front wheels.

The latest generation of 2.0-liter GDI makes 156 PS and 189 Nm (140 lb-ft) of torque, while the electric motor adds another 52 PS and 205 Nm (151 lb-ft). We have to praise Kia for its choice of gearbox. Sure, the CVT that most manufacturers use is a little more efficient, but the Koreans chose a six-speed automatic for their hybrid because it feels more natural.

The combined output of the hybrid system is rated at 205 hp and 291 lb-ft (395 Nm). 17.5 km/l is the fuel consumption figure advertised by Kia, which is equivalent to 5.7 l/100km or 41.2 mpg (U.S.). It's not going to give the Prius a run for its money, but for a sexy mid-size sedan, it's pretty good. Also, the 1.6 kWh battery pack should be able to drive the car in pure EV mode for a few miles.

Cosmetically, most of the changes have been concentrated at the front. Hybrid versions of the Optima/K5 have a 3-piece fog light cluster that has smaller and cleaner side air intakes without partitions. The front upper grille features an active air flap that shuts at high speed. Model-specific 16- and 17-inch wheels are also aero designed.

As for the interior, the biggest change is that the rev counter has been replaced by a charge-eco-power dial. That aside, it's just a well-equipped Optima sedan, fitted with UVO 2.0 connectivity system, leather seats, electronic parking brake, seat ventilation/heater and rear window blinds, among other things.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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