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2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
Kia rolls out its first production hybrid

Hyundai is really stepping up its game these days with fuel efficient vehicles like the 2011 Sonata family and the 2011 Elantra. Likewise, Hyundai is looking to make waves with its Kia brand as well. Kia today unveiled its 2011 Optima Hybrid which will join a field of competitors that include the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

The Kia Optima Hybrid uses the same powertrain as its platform-mate, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. As a result, the vehicle features a 166hp 2.4-liter gasoline engine which is used in conjunction with a 40hp electric motor. The electric motor is fed by a 96-pound lithium-ion battery pack which is mounted in the rear of the vehicle.

Thanks to its hybrid powertrain, the relatively lightweight (at 3,490 pounds) Optima Hybrid is expected to achieve EPA numbers of 36 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. This compares favorably to the Fusion hybrid which is rated at 41/36 and the Camry Hybrid which is rated at 31/35.

"Kia Motors is aggressively expanding its green car investments and R&D in much the same way we committed ourselves to the quality and design innovations over the last decade that have fueled our dramatic brand transformation," said Kia VP of Marketing Michael Sprague. "By adding our first-ever hybrid in the U.S. to the Optima lineup we are providing consumers with three powerful and fuel-efficient powertrain choices, and continuing Kia's philosophy of offering stylish, value-packed vehicles with outstanding fuel efficiency."

There is currently no pricing available for the KIA Optima Hybrid, but the vehicle is expected to be released sometime next year.

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Is the old addage still true?
By spamreader1 on 11/17/2010 5:02:30 PM , Rating: -1
Friends don't let Friends drive Kia's

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By Spivonious on 11/17/2010 5:06:38 PM , Rating: 2
Kia's cars? Or did you mean Kias?

I think this car looks pretty nice and that's a nice improvement from the current model's 22/32 mpg.

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By Naviblue on 11/17/2010 5:08:09 PM , Rating: 3
Personal preferences but I think this one looks sharp.

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By djcameron on 11/17/2010 7:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, this car is gorgeous. Not sure if I'd buy a Kia (yet), but I'd definitely take a look.

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By rtrski on 11/18/2010 3:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
Just bought a 2011 Sportage EX, pretty much fully loaded. I think it looks great. If it weren't for the logo, people would think the outside was an Audi or VW or something. (Even has the string-of-pearls daytime LEDs like the Audis).

Inside is kinda heavy on the hard plastic, but I'm quite pleased with fit and finish so far. Too new to talk reliability (2k miles) but here's hoping I won't regret it.

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By macrogeek on 11/17/2010 5:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
I love my Kia Soul, and it usually get 30ish MPG on my daily drives to and from work.
Kia's come a long way, and has a better warranty than a lot of other of the brands targeting small families and college students.

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By nafhan on 11/17/2010 5:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
I feel like it was true (at least from a reliability standpoint) about 10 years ago, but not so much now.
Also, isn't Kia only partially owned by Hyundai - hence the large amount of product line overlap?

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By MonkeyPaw on 11/17/2010 5:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
Friends don't let Friends drive Kia's

Let's see, our 2008 Spectra 5 has been trouble free and even brought home 38 mpg on vacation. I guess if you aren't really a good friend, you can tell people to buy something else, but I have no problems recommending Kia. The quality is way up since Hyundai bought them, and the styling is definitely way better. We get lots of compliments and questions on our Kia.

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By tng on 11/17/2010 7:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
Last time I drove one was as a rental in '98. Horrible thing it was, couldn't wait to get rid of it.

I am thinking that they have gotten better?

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By sorry dog on 11/17/2010 9:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
it's basically Hyundai now.

I test drove an optima and a forte recently. Not bad but not being able to get a manual was a deal breaker...and the Koreans seem to have this thing about gold cars.

RE: Is the old addage still true?
By Spivonious on 11/17/2010 10:01:51 PM , Rating: 3
I believe they're the same company now.

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