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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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So tell me why these are impressive.
By Targon on 11/18/2010 7:00:53 AM , Rating: 2
The 2012 Ford Focus with a 2.0L 4 cylinder engine with 160 horsepower is expected to hit 31mpg city/40mpg highway and it won't be a hybrid. Yes, the numbers for city driving look better for a hybrid, but it just seems like these hybrid cars they are looking at really don't give AMAZING numbers and have a number of tradeoffs.

The Prius at least has better numbers, but that is pretty much the only hybrid that has numbers that strike me as impressive.




RE: So tell me why these are impressive.
By GotDiesel on 11/18/2010 1:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
yeh.. not bad for a gasser.. I still find is amusing that 2010 technology still can't equal or better 2001 diesel economy


By therealnickdanger on 11/19/2010 3:14:23 PM , Rating: 2
Disclaimer: I love diesel.

To be fair, the Optima is a mid-size sedan, not some featherwieght. It's similar to a VW Passat (which has a TDI variant) in size. Considering that the Optima is rumored to hit the market around $21-23K and, like most fuel-sippers, emits very little in gases or particulates. The 2011+ Passat TDIs are still nowhere to be seen for US customers, but when we do get one, it will likely be well above $30K.

How much is the Ford Fusion Hybrid? $28K? That's probably the closest competitor that's available. I can see the Kia being a great alternative for a lot of people. I, for one, think it looks attractive.


By hans007 on 11/18/2010 8:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
the optima is a much larger car than a focus.

while we are at it, a 2011 hyunda elantra gets 29/40 and you dont' have to buy the FE version or whatever version of the focus gets 31/40 to get it (which will have to have the dsg tranny etc).

also ford is only claiming 40 mpg fwy. the fiesta which is an even smaller car with smaller engine doesnt even get 31mpg city with the dsg powershift auto , and its hard to believe the focus will either.


Kia's are fine
By Ammohunt on 11/17/2010 5:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
Kia's aren't bad cars for the price. I had a Kia Sportage while working in Kuwait. 100mph(160K) is all it would do which was probably a good thing as top heavy as it was.




RE: Kia's are fine
By Samus on 11/18/2010 7:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
Your sportage probably had a Mazda 1.8l powertrain. It's probably what made it, like my 1993 Hyundai Sonata with a Mitsubishi 3.0 V6, so good.

However, the overall quality, although it has improved, still leaves a lot to be desired. Hyundai and Kia just recently started double weather stripping their doors, a welcome change since my Sisters 2003 Elantra is hissy as all on the highway. The overall ride quality of these cars, even the Genesis I rented a few months ago in San Diego, is good, but handling still leaves a lot to be desired. It's not as fun as a Mazda 6, nor as smooth and quiet as a Toyota Camry.

I did, however, like the electric-assist steering the Genesis had. It felt a lot more solid than the electric steering in a Ford Escape, but the Escape is a different class of vehicle so it's not a fair comparison. Overall, electric-assist steering offers a lot, such as pull-drift comphensation and improved fuel economy.

I'd consider a Kia Soul or something as a daily beater but these cars are still maintenance nightmares in the end. The steel quality is ultra-low requiring frequent replacement of normally reusable parts such as brake rotors and control arms (instead of just replacing bushings.) Truely disposable. I wouldn't be caught owning one more than 5-6 years old.


Not completly new
By DonkeyRhubarb on 11/17/2010 10:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
We have this car here in Korea, without the hybrid drive, but it's called the K5. It really is a nice car and I've said for a while now that I would like one.




Is the old addage still true?
By spamreader1 on 11/17/10, Rating: -1
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
quote:
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.


Achieving 40mpg
By Jeremy87 on 11/17/10, Rating: -1
RE: Achieving 40mpg
By Targon on 11/18/2010 7:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
Those numbers may be diesel, or may be for cars with a much weaker engine, or are TINY. The gas used in Europe is also going to be a bit different I suspect. You probably don't have that 10 percent ethanol mix that we have to deal with over here that kills fuel efficiency.


RE: Achieving 40mpg
By Kurz on 11/18/2010 8:36:10 AM , Rating: 3
Different test cycles...
Different safety standards...
Different emission requirements....

Last but not least I bet you guys use diesel.


RE: Achieving 40mpg
By wordsworm on 11/18/2010 8:40:29 AM , Rating: 3
Couple of things you're missing. They don't do 'mpg'. They likely do 'kmpg.' Second, there are 4 litres in a metric gallon, and 3.78 litres in an imperial gallon (US). I'm thinking those are the two things you're missing.


RE: Achieving 40mpg
By Jeremy87 on 11/19/2010 10:31:03 AM , Rating: 2
We use litres/100km, so I converted it for easier comparison.


RE: Achieving 40mpg
By bruce24 on 11/18/2010 11:46:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
here in Sweden I see advertising everywhere for cars that do everything from 60 to 75mpg


Can you provide an link to an example of a 60mpg+ claim?


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