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MSRP: $28,090 - 35,390

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid ranked #7 in Midsize Cars. Currently the Kia Optima Hybrid has a score of 8.4 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 26 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 8.4
Safety: 10.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

Thanks to its comfortable ride, easy-to-use infotainment controls, and above-average predicted reliability rating, the 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid cracks the top half of our midsize car rankings. However, trunk space and rear-seat headroom are limited.

Pros & Cons

  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Generous list of standard features
  • Smooth ride
  • Good predicted reliability rating
  • Less cargo room than other midsize hybrids
  • Tight rear headroom for tall passengers
  • Unremarkable fuel economy for a hybrid

Is the Kia Optima Hybrid a Good Car?

The 2019 Optima Hybrid is a good midsize car. Inside, you'll find a user-friendly infotainment system and two rows of mostly roomy, comfortable seats. The Optima Hybrid also has lots of standard driver assistance features, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist. This Kia provides a relaxed ride and a decent amount of power. It also has a commendable predicted reliability rating that is better than the nonhybrid Optima's rating. While this Kia's fuel efficiency is above average for a midsize car, several midsize hybrids earn higher fuel economy estimates.

Should I Buy the Kia Optima Hybrid?

The 2019 Optima Hybrid is a good option if you're looking for a midsize hybrid. Despite its above-average price, it offers a lot for the money, including a healthy list of standard features and a composed ride. Still, there are other vehicles worth considering. The Honda Accord Hybrid, for example, earns substantially better fuel economy estimates than the Kia, while the Ford Fusion Hybrid provides a more engaging ride.

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

Should I Buy a New or Used Kia Optima Hybrid?

The 2019 Optima Hybrid is part of a generation that debuted for the 2017 model year. There have been few changes since. The 2018 model received no major changes. For 2019, Kia reduces the number of trims from two to one – the EX, which now comes standard with blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, and rear parking sensors.

We recommend the 2017 Optima Hybrid. All the safety features that became standard in the 2019 model were available in the 2017 model, so you can probably find a 2017 Optima Hybrid equipped with these features. Plus, the 2017 model costs less and comes with marginally better fuel economy.

You can shop the prior generation, but you’ll miss out on the benefits of the 2017 redesign. To better understand how the generations differ, read our 2016 Optima Hybrid and 2017 Optima Hybrid reviews. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Optima Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 26 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 26 Kia Optima Hybrid reviews, as well as fuel economy ratings, performance specs, interior dimensions, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This review uses applicable research and data from the current Optima Hybrid generation, which includes the 2017 to 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Kia Optima Hybrid Cost?

Starting at $28,090, the 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid has an above-average base price for the midsize car class. The Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid starts at $35,390.

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 Honda Accord Hybrid?

The Honda Accord Hybrid bests the Optima Hybrid in several key areas. The Accord Hybrid has significantly better fuel economy, more cargo space, more rear-seat legroom, and additional standard safety tech, including lane departure warning and forward collision warning. The Optima Hybrid, however, has standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as a higher-quality interior with soft-touch surfaces throughout. Both cars have adequate power and a smooth ride. Go for the Accord Hybrid for better fuel economy and more space. Choose the Optima Hybrid if a more refined cabin is what you're after.

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

The Ford Fusion Hybrid has agile handling, but unlike the Optima Hybrid, it struggles to merge and pass cars on the highway. Both cars have similar standard features for around the same base price, though the Ford has a few more standard safety features, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. You can't go wrong with either car. Performance-minded shoppers will prefer the Fusion Hybrid, while comfort-oriented folks will favor the Optima Hybrid.

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

Optima Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the Optima Hybrid Seat?

You can seat up to five people in the Optima Hybrid. There's plenty of space in the front row, and rear-seat legroom is abundant. Rear-seat headroom is adequate for average-sized passengers, but larger occupants may wish for more. The rear-seat cushions could benefit from additional support.

Optima Hybrid and Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear-outboard seats and an upper tether on the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The lower anchors are deep in the seat, but it requires little movement and effort to attach the car seat straps. 

Optima Hybrid Interior Quality

The Optima Hybrid's clean, modern cabin is full of high-grade plastics and quality materials like standard leather-trimmed seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Other standard features include heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support. Upgraded leather-trimmed seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat with lumbar support, ventilated seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Optima Hybrid Cargo Space

There's 13.4 cubic feet of trunk space in the Optima Hybrid, which is about average for a midsize hybrid. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid has 9.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

Optima Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include Kia's UVO infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, three USB ports, Bluetooth, satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and six speakers. The standard infotainment system has sharp graphics and physical buttons near the bottom of the control panel that make the system easy to use.

Available features include an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, HD Radio, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Optima Hybrid Performance

Optima Hybrid Engine: Pretty Good for a Hybrid

The Optima Hybrid's powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to make 192 horsepower. A refined six-speed automatic transmission comes standard. This setup provides plenty of power to get you up to speed.

The Optima Plug-In Hybrid has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to make 202 horsepower.

Optima Hybrid Gas Mileage: Great in the Class; So-So Among Hybrids

The Optima Hybrid gets 39 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway. These estimates are great for the midsize car class, but several midsize hybrid competitors have higher ratings. The Optima Plug-in Hybrid gets 40 mpg combined. It can go 29 miles on electricity alone, giving it a 103-MPGe rating.

For more information, read What Is MPGe?

Optima Hybrid Ride and Handling: Tuned for Comfort

With a composed ride and limited body roll through corners, the Optima Hybrid is comfortable to drive. It also does a good job absorbing bumps in the road. This Kia comes with a regenerative braking system that captures energy to recharge the battery whenever you slow down. Reviewers find this braking system smooth, unlike the sometimes grabby-feeling brakes you find in many hybrid competitors.

Read more about performance »

Optima Hybrid Reliability

Is the Kia Optima Hybrid Reliable?

The 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid earns an good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. 

Kia Optima Hybrid Warranty

The Optima Hybrid has a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty for various hybrid components.

Read more about reliability »

Optima Hybrid Safety

Optima Hybrid Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Optima Hybrid an overall safety rating of five out of five, with five stars in each of the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. The Optima earned a 2019 Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the highest rating of Good in all IIHS crash tests. The car recieved the best rating of Superior for the effectiveness of its front crash prevention features, and a score of Good for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead. 

Optima Hybrid Safety Features

Standard features include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist. Available features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, high-beam assist, and lane departure warning.

Read more about safety »

Which Kia Optima Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Optima Hybrid comes in one only trim, the EX, and features lots of standard equipment (detailed below). All you techies will appreciate the Technology package, which adds additional safety, media, and comfort features such as forward collision warning and ventilated front seats. A Technology package is also available for the slightly better-equipped Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

Kia Optima Hybrid EX

The Optima Hybrid EX starts at $28,090 and comes with a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, leather-trimmed seats, and heated front seats. As for safety equipment, it has a rearview camera, lane change assist, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. It also has Kia's UVO infotainment system, which includes a 7-inch touch screen, three USB ports, Bluetooth, satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and six speakers.

The Technology package adds a slew of features for $5,200. It comes with advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and high-beam assist. It also adds a panoramic moonroof, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, a 10-way power-adjustable passenger seat with lumbar support, and driver's seat memory. The package also upgrades the infotainment system, giving you an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and HD Radio.

Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid EX starts at $35,390. It includes all the features from the Hybrid EX trim and adds a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, driver's seat memory, and a heated steering wheel. A Technology package is also available with this model and costs $5,000. It features adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, high-beam assist, a panoramic moonroof, ventilated front seats, and a 10-way power-adjustable passenger seat.

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 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid is a fine midsize car and stacks up well against both its hybrid and nonhybrid competitors. The Optima Hybrid provides a serene ride with compliant steering and handling. This Kia also delivers quick acceleration. Inside, you'll find quality materials such as standard leather-trimmed seats, a good amount of space, and lots of standard features. Some rivals offer higher EPA estimates, however, as well as additional rear-seat headroom and cargo space.

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

  • 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
  • "So what did we think of the hybrid-powered Optimas? Simply put, they aren't the Kia models of years past. They're smooth, they're stable, and they're quiet -- and they're capable of competing with the best that Toyota, Honda or Ford have to offer." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "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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