The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid hasn't garnered enough reviews to earn a valid Total Car Score, but those critiques that have come in give the sedan relatively high marks.
Much of the praise is for the Optima that surrounds the gas/electric powertrain. Reviewers like its European-influenced styling and responsive road manners, and Kia has loaded the Optima with a long list of standard features and a comprehensive warranty.
The media are less enthused about the hybrid’s mechanicals, finding the system a little rough and unrefined, especially when making the transition from gasoline to electric power. And while the Optima earned points for being able to run at relatively high speeds on electricity alone, its fuel economy doesn’t match that offered by other hybrids in the class.
The Kia Optima Hybrid was all-new last year, so the only change for 2012 is the addition of HD Radio and power folding outside mirrors to the Hybrid Premium and Technology Package.
The four-door five-passenger 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid pairs a 2.4-liter gasoline engine, rated at 166 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque, with an electric motor and lithium polymer battery that add 151 lb-ft of torque to the powertrain’s output at up to 1,400 rpm. All that motive force is transmitted through a six-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels.
The Optima Hybrid can travel up to 62 miles per hour on electricity alone, and the EPA rates its fuel economy at 35 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 37 combined.
The Optima Hybrid is offered in one trim level -- LX -- with standard equipment that includes 16-inch alloy wheels, an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM sound system with Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, push-button start, automatic climate control, rear-seat a/c, and a powered driver’s seat with cloth upholstery.
Among the options available for the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is Kia’s Uvo voice-activated entertainment system and the Hybrid Premium and Technology package, which bundles a sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated and cooled front seats, HID headlamps and a navigation system.
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