Kia has enumerated details of the U.S.-spec 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid, which essentially carries over the 2015 model with some changes. The sedan will be offered in two trims, Hybrid and Hybrid EX.
The exterior has been enhanced with aerodynamic elements that set it apart from the standard variant. Up front, the bumpers have additional vents that increase airflow and reduce drag. The tires are also installed with a view to improve fuel efficiency. Depending on the trim level, they are offered in 16-inch alloy wheels shod with low rolling resistance tires or with 17-inchers wrapped in super-low rolling resistance tires. Further distinctive touches include a revised grille and Hybrid-exclusive badges on the fenders. To compensate for the extra weight of the batteries, aluminum has been used for certain components instead of steel.
The U.S.-spec 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid is powered by a 2.4-liter inline four cylinder gasoline engine which is assisted by an electric motor. The combined output is 199 hp and 235 lb.-ft. (319 Nm) of torque. Power is supplied only to the front wheels, through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor is fed electricity through a 47 kW lithium-polymer battery. Being a hybrid, the base model offers an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 38 mpg (16.16 km/l) with the EX trim returning a figure of 37 mpg (15.73 km/l).
The Optima Hybrid comes with a wide range of standard safety features such as front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Traction Control System (TCS).
To up the premium feel of the vehicle, optional packages can also be equipped. The Convenience Package, if opted, brings along a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, LED front positioning headlights, UVO eServices with rear-camera display and an acoustic laminated windshield as well as front door windows that offer more sound insulation. The EX grade also has the Technology Package available, this adds Panoramic sunroof with gloss black B-pillars, Back-up Warning System and Blind-Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
The next-gen Kia Optima Hybrid that was unveiled in South Korea earlier this month will likely be launched in the US in H2 2016 for 2017 model year.