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MSRP: $29,310 - 36,090

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid ranked #11 in Hybrid and Electric Cars. Currently the Kia Optima Hybrid has a score of 7.8 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 20 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.9
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.8 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

The 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid ranks in the bottom third of the hybrid and electric car class. It has a below-average predicted reliability rating and poor fuel economy estimates compared to other hybrids.

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of standard features
  • Smooth braking system
  • Subpar predicted reliability rating
  • Lower fuel economy estimates than rival hybrids
  • Small trunk

Is the Kia Optima Hybrid a Good Car?

Its ranking aside, the 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid is a decent sedan in the competitive hybrid and electric car class. It has a very nice interior, replete with comfortable seats, a straightforward infotainment system, and a lot of standard safety features.

However, many of its rivals are more fuel-efficient, and some have bigger trunks too. This Kia also suffers from a subpar predicted reliability rating.

Should I Buy the Kia Optima Hybrid?

Although the Kia Optima Hybrid's pricing is about average for a hybrid of its size, there are plenty of competitors that offer more bang for your buck. The Honda Accord Hybrid has better fuel economy and more space for passengers and cargo, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid has sportier handling.

Compare the Optima Hybrid, Accord Hybrid, and Fusion Hybrid »

Should I Buy a New or Used Kia Optima Hybrid?

The 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid belongs to a generation that began with the 2017 model. For 2020, Kia made several features standard in this hybrid, such as wireless device charging and the Drive Wise suite of safety features. Many of these features were available in older models, so you might find a similarly equipped used Optima Hybrid, which likely costs less.

Kia made some safety features – blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and lane change assist – standard in the 2019 model too. The 2018 model was largely unchanged.

If you’re interested in a used model, read our 2017, 2018, and 2019 Optima Hybrid reviews to help make your decision. You can also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Optima Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 20 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about the Kia Optima Hybrid in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates and cargo space dimensions with professional evaluations from 20 automotive sources. This Kia Optima Hybrid review incorporates applicable research for all vehicles in this generation, which includes the 2017 through 2020 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Kia Optima Hybrid Cost?

The Kia Optima Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $29,310. That’s typical among midsize hybrids. The plug-in-hybrid (PHEV) model retails for $36,090.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

Kia Optima Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Kia Optima Hybrid or Ford Fusion Hybrid?

The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a good midsize hybrid car. Unlike the Kia, the Fusion Hybrid has sportier handling and an above-average predicted reliability rating. Otherwise, these two cars are similar, offering comparable fuel economy estimates and plug-in powertrain options (we review the plug-in Ford Fusion Energi separately). The base Fusion Hybrid costs around $1,300 less than the Optima Hybrid. In this head-to-head comparison, the Fusion Hybrid is the better pick.

Which Is Better: Kia Optima Hybrid or Toyota Camry Hybrid?

The Toyota Camry Hybrid is one of the best picks in the hybrid and electric car class. It has an energetic powertrain, great fuel economy estimates, and a larger trunk than the Kia. The Camry Hybrid also has plenty of space in both rows, and it has more available safety features than the Kia, such as a surround-view parking camera system and a head-up display. While the Optima Hybrid has a plug-in powertrain option, the Camry Hybrid does not. In this matchup, the Camry Hybrid is the better choice.

Compare the Optima Hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, and Camry Hybrid »

Optima Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the Optima Hybrid Seat?

This Kia seats five people in two rows. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are standard. A power-adjustable front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Legroom is generous in both rows, and the front seats are comfortable and supportive. However, the sloping roofline cuts into rear-seat headroom.

Optima Hybrid and Child Car Seats

The Optima Hybrid has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The lower anchors are set deep in the seats, but it requires little effort to attach the car-seat straps.

Optima Hybrid Interior Quality

This Kia has some nice cabin materials, and even the plastics seem well-made. Still, don't expect a fancy cabin design like you'll find in some rivals. The Optima Hybrid's cabin errs toward functional more than anything else.

Optima Hybrid Cargo Space

The placement of the Optima Hybrid's lithium-ion battery pack makes it have less cargo room than its nonhybrid counterpart. This hybrid Kia has 13.4 cubic feet of space, which is small compared to most hybrids. PHEV models have an even smaller 9.9 cubic feet of trunk space.

Optima Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The base Optima Hybrid EX comes with the UVO infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, wireless device charging, a six-speaker sound system, satellite radio, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

The UVO infotainment system attracts praise for its ease of use. The touch screen displays crisp graphics and has quick response times, and there are lots of well-placed physical controls for some settings. A premium 10-speaker stereo, HD Radio, and navigation are available.

Read more about interior »

Optima Hybrid Performance

Optima Hybrid Powertrain: Capable

Standard in the Optima Hybrid are a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 192 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid has the same basic setup, but it produces 202 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque.

Whether you choose the plug-in or the regular hybrid, this sedan has plenty of power for driving around town or on the freeway, but don't expect it to feel like a sports car. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quietly.

Optima Hybrid Gas Mileage: Suboptimal for a Hybrid

This vehicle gets an EPA-estimated 40 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway. Those are good figures for a midsize sedan, but most rival hybrids earn better ratings.

The Optima PHEV gets 101 MPG-equivalent and 41 mpg combined city/highway, and it has an all-electric range of 28 miles. Charging the PHEV takes roughly nine hours with a 120-volt household-style power outlet. That can be shortened to less than three hours with a 240-volt Level 2 charger.

Optima Hybrid Ride and Handling: Smooth Cruiser

Like its gas-only counterpart, the Optima Hybrid rides gently over most surfaces. It’s not athletic – the suspension is tuned more for comfort than agility – but it feels composed around turns. Additionally, the regenerative brakes operate smoothly. Front-wheel drive is standard.

Read more about performance »

Optima Hybrid Reliability

Is the Kia Optima Hybrid Reliable?

The 2020 Optima Hybrid has a subpar predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Kia Optima Hybrid Warranty

This vehicle is covered by a basic warranty lasting five years or 60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty lasting 10 years or 100,000 miles. Those are lengthier warranties than many rivals have. Hybrid components get a separate 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Optima Hybrid Safety

Optima Hybrid Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It earned five stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2020 Optima Hybrid.

Optima Hybrid Safety Features

Several active safety features come standard in this hybrid. They include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and Kia’s Drive Wise suite of driver aids. This suite bundles forward collision warning and avoidance assist (forward automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection), adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane change assist, lane keep assist, and a driver attention monitor.

Read more about safety »

Kia Optima Hybrid Dimensions and Weight

The 2020 Optima Hybrid and Optima Plug-In Hybrid sedans are about 15.9 feet long. The hybrid has a curb weight of 3,496 pounds. The plug-in hybrid has a curb weight of 3,799 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Built?

Kia builds the 2020 Optima Hybrid and Optima PHEV in South Korea.

Which Kia Optima Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

Kia offers the Optima and Optima PHEV in one trim, the EX. Choosing between them comes down to price and whether you’re looking for a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid.

Kia Optima Hybrid EX

The Kia Optima Hybrid EX has a starting MSRP of $29,310. It has a generous list of standard features, including the UVO infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless device charging, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker stereo. You’ll also get proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats.

Several active safety features come standard too. These include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, lane change assist, a driver attention warning system, a pre-collision warning and braking system, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control.

The EX Technology package costs $4,510. It adds voice navigation, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium stereo, ventilated front seats, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, automatic high-beam headlights, and a panoramic sunroof.

Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX

Retailing for $36,090, the Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX builds off the Hybrid EX’s base equipment by adding nearly all of the options listed above.

The plug-in hybrid also is available with the EX Technology package. Costing $4,600, it adds a panoramic sunroof, a 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

See 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid is a good car in a competitive segment full of great vehicles. While it has an upscale interior with a lot of standard tech and safety features, it lacks the cargo room and fuel efficiency of many rival hybrids. Coupled with its subpar predicted reliability rating, those drawbacks keep the Optima in the bottom third of the hybrid and electric car class.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "A hybrid-electric vehicle like the 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid offers buyers the fuel-efficiency of a compact car in a larger, more comfortable sedan that is also eco-friendly. … The Optima Hybrid is not alone in offering these advanced technologies, and it faces stiff competition from more efficient hybrids like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Honda Accord Hybrid, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid, all of which get better fuel economy than the Kia. Still, with its sharp lines, stylish wheels and upscale interior, the Optima Hybrid has a certain swagger that adds to its appeal. And it comes with a healthy list of standard and available features, plus one of the best standard warranties in the business." -- Autotrader
  • The 2019 Kia Optima takes everything you get with a regular Optima — plenty of features for the price, as well as a comfortable interior and a pleasant ride quality — and adds on some extra goodness. You get an EPA-estimated 41 mpg in combined city/highway driving as well as 192 horsepower. Those are noteworthy increases compared to a regular Optima. It's true that most rival midsize hybrid sedans typically offer a tad better fuel economy than the Optima. Also, some other manufacturers have packaged the battery packs to not impinge on cargo space — the Optima Hybrid loses 2.5 cubic feet to its hybridization. From a driving standpoint, however, the Optima is among the best. While you'll want to consider rivals such as the Honda Accord, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the Toyota Camry, the Optima Hybrid is definitely a competitive option." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "With an impressive blend of practicality, refinement, and style, the Optima is a solid contender among mid-size hybrid sedans, particularly for those who don't look solely at the EPA numbers." -- Car and Driver (2017)
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