Kia has established a formula for success: Modern, feature-laden automobiles that come with in-demand breakthroughs, all at a reasonable price. The 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid sedan continues this tradition with a roomy, attractive, comfortable and smooth-riding five-seater, loaded with digital treats. Best of all, both the sticker price and the gas bill are ‘worth the price of admission alone’.
Home buyers will tell you curb appeal can be a significant factor in real estate, but cars must meet the eye test too. The Kia Optima passes with flying colors, looking speedy even when not moving at all. On paper, the 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid competes with the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, and Honda Accord, but at first glance, it might bring to mind the higher-end Japanese luxury vehicles. To Kia’s credit, the Optima Hybrid is much kinder on your pocketbook than the aspirational brands, without sacrificing many desirable qualities.
Inside, the 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid can hold five people, including three in back. Of course, backseat capacity will vary depending on the actual human beings along for the ride. Taller passengers may have problems getting in and out, but keep in mind this is a sedan, not an SUV. Headroom and legroom are great in front, however.
Once you’re inside the car, you’ll find a smooth, smart interior. The base-model Optima Hybrid LX includes an AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers and a USB port, steering-wheel-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, a tilt-telescopic steering column, air conditioning, a 6-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar, cloth seating, and remote keyless entry.
Move up the models, and you can add many more features, including leather seating, dual-zone climate control, a 4.3-inch LCD screen, Infinity surround-sound audio, heated seats, and a panoramic glass sunroof, to name a few.
What about cup holders? The middle armrest in front includes a couple of spaces, with two more in back. The doors have space for small water bottles as well. You and your passengers need not fear dehydration while traveling in the Kia Optima Hybrid.
Best of all, despite the long list of features, not even the top-end Optima SXL Turbo will significantly dent your bottom line. It starts at $36,300.
Cup holders and climate controls are nice, but there’s a lot more to the Kia Optima Hybrid LX. All models come with 4-cylinder automatic engines; a 6-speed manual is available as well. Given the lack of 6-cylinder options, the Kia Optima Hybrid can feel sluggish to start, but once it gets going, it delivers a comfortable, competent ride. Then again, who buys a hybrid for power?
Granted, you expect good mileage numbers from your hybrid, and the Kia Optima Hybrid falls slightly short of its competition in this regard. It brings in 36 mpg city, 40 highway, according to the EPA. While not bad, keep in mind the Honda Accord Hybrid notches 50 mpg city/45 highway.
Rounding out the exterior package, the Kia Optima Hybrid includes heated side mirrors, fog lights, and 16- or 17-inch wheels, depending on the model. The trunk could be on the small side for a family car, so you might need to juggle the load at big-box stores or on the way to soccer practice. Last but not least, you may not even notice one of the Kia’s newest and best features: a new acoustic windshield that keeps the interior isolated from wind and road noise.
Fitting for a family car, the 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid racks up fantastic safety ratings, including five stars in every category from government agencies. Front active headrests, front seat-mounted side airbags, and side-curtain airbags all come standard. Move up from the base model, and you can add on blind-spot detection too.
The cherry on top of any Kia vehicle is the unbeatable warranty package: 10 years or 100,000 miles on the powertrain.
Loaded, safe, stylish, and economical, the 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid is the family sedan you’ll both want to be seen in and to drive. This modern car can hold its own against much more expensive competition, but at a fraction of the cost, not to mention the extra savings from all the gas you won’t have to buy.
The accolades hardly end there, with the Optima’s stellar safety reputation and extensive warranty. Kia has come a long way since its U.S. debut, and the 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid continues this winning path.
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Written by Jane Emery