The 2017 Kia Optima Is Available as a Plug-In Hybrid

The 2017 Kia Optima Is Available as a Plug-In Hybrid 9 photos
2017 Kia Optima PHEV2017 Kia Optima PHEV2017 Kia Optima PHEV2017 Kia Optima PHEV2017 Kia Optima PHEV2017 Kia Optima PHEV2017 Kia Optima PHEV2017 Kia Optima PHEV
The 2017 Kia Optima PHEV is a plug-in hybrid. You can put both gasoline and electricity in it, and it will go. That might sound trivial, but it's a big deal. The all-new green sedan was unveiled today at the Chicago Auto Show. Many things are the same as on the regular hybrid model, but this is a superior green machine where it counts.
Chicago might be cold and snowy at the moment, but the Optima PHEV got a warm welcome. The updated Optima models are part of a company offensive to improve its overall fuel efficiency by 25 percent by 2020.

The updated front end is less fussy and features active aerodynamics to reduce drag to Model S levels. In addition, there's a new grille design that's bordering on understated.

The PHEV model features the same new 2-liter four-cylinder engine with 154 horsepower as the regular hybrid. However, the electric motor is upgraded from 38 kW (51 hp) to 50 kW (67 hp). That means it can use electricity more of the time, and that's a good thing considering there's a lot more of it stored.

The hybrid's 1.62 kWh battery pack is replaced by a large lithium-ion system that stores 9.8 kWh. That's bigger than the Golf GTE and the Audi A3 e-tron. Combined with a full tank of fuel, the Optima PHEV will do 600 miles before needing to stop. Meanwhile, when EV mode is engaged, a range of 27 miles is possible. The battery pack is tucked behind the rear seat and tire well, so it's relatively unintrusive.

Charging is done using a port on the front left side of the vehicle. A full charge can take 3 hours using a Level 2 240-volt charger or 9 hours using the primary Level 1 charger that runs on 120 volts.

We don't know the exact total output of the car, but we suspect that it's somewhere in the region of 200 hp. Information regarding pricing and availability is also missing. But the 2017 Optima PHEV will be generously equipped.

Standard assist features include Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), and Front Collision Warning System (FCWS). That's everything Kia has right now.

Right out of the box, the latest UVO system has both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. UVO also gives you access to tens of thousands of charging stations in America. Because engineers used laminated side windows and other forms of insulation, all you are going to hear is what's playing on the 10-speaker, 630-watt Harman/Kardon QuantumLogic Premium Surround Sound Audio System.

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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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