2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

The 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid has great safety scores, a handsome interior, and a user-friendly infotainment system. However, it falls short of rival hybrids that offer more backseat and trunk space.

Pros & Cons

  • Upscale interior
  • Refined ride and handling
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Subpar fuel economy for a hybrid
  • Small trunk




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Overview

Is the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid is a decent pick among used midsize cars. The Optima has a well-made cabin, user-friendly features, and excellent crash test ratings. Its hybrid powertrain offers respectable pep in city and highway driving as well. However, there are better hybrid options. The Optima’s fuel economy trails that of its top-rated rivals like the 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 43 Kia Optima Hybrid reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid?

You can expect to pay between $16,000 and $20,000 for a used 2016 Optima Hybrid. The average price is $18,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Cost to Own?

The Optima Hybrid’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $19,500 – or $3,900 per year. That’s lower than average for the midsize car class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Optima Hybrid?

The 2018 Optima Hybrid starts at $25,995. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Optima Hybrid, especially if you want a base model with few options. However, you’re better off with a newer model. The Optima Hybrid was fully redesigned in 2017, and these newer models have a more-refined hybrid system and better fuel economy (up to 39/46 mpg city/highway). They also have a higher-quality interior with more advanced safety features like forward collision warning, and they feature the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems. An Optima plug-in hybrid model is also available, which offers 29 miles of all-electric driving range.

Read about the new Kia Optima Hybrid »

You can buy new without spending a great deal more than the 2016 Optima Hybrid’s average price. The 2018 Toyota Prius c starts at just $20,630. It’s a lot smaller inside and out than the Optima, but it boasts far more standard safety features and superior fuel economy (up to 48/43 mpg).

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid?

The Kia Optima Hybrid has an above-average reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Optima Hybrid reliability »

2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are no recalls for the 2016 Optima Hybrid.

See more information on Kia Optima Hybrid safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Kia Optima Hybrid Is Best?

The 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid is part of a generation that spans the 2011 through 2016 model years. Significant changes over this generation include updates to the hybrid system for 2013, which yielded better acceleration and smoother transmission operation. For 2014, the Optima Hybrid received exterior styling updates and newly available safety features (blind spot monitoring and parking sensors). Notably, the Optima Hybrid was unchanged for 2015 and 2016, so you can save money by shopping for used 2014 models while still finding the same features and performance.

The Optima Hybrid’s second generation arrived for the 2017 model year. It boasts a redesigned interior and exterior, much higher fuel economy, a plug-in hybrid model, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and many previously unavailable safety features. If it’s in your budget, the 2017 is by far the better choice.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Optima Hybrid »

Which Used Kia Optima Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

Kia offers the 2016 Optima Hybrid in two trim levels: base and EX. The Optima Hybrid base model comes standard with a satellite radio, CD player, four-speaker stereo, USB and auxiliary ports, Bluetooth, keyless entry, push-button start, cruise control, cloth seats, dual-zone climate control, and alloy wheels.

Although the base model offers a good amount of features, the Kia Optima Hybrid EX trim adds even more for those who like their hybrid loaded. The EX comes with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation system, rearview camera, eight-speaker Infinity stereo, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, and blind spot monitoring.

See 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid trims and specs »

What Does Kia's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Kia offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty, plus a one-year/12,000-mile comprehensive Platinum warranty on non-powertrain parts after the five-year/60,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Every CPO Kia must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Kia has one of the best CPO programs among affordable car manufacturers.

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How Safe Is the Optima Hybrid?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 Optima Hybrid five stars (out of five) in overall, front, side, and rollover crash safety. Kia offers the Optima with an available rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

See Optima Hybrid safety scores »

2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid or 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid?

The 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid is a better pick in this class. The Camry has a supple ride, more seating space, a wider variety of advanced safety features, and an excellent reliability rating. It also tops the Optima with higher fuel economy (42/38 mpg).

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid or 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid?

If you're looking for a sporty hybrid, the 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid is worth consideration. The Fusion’s steering is responsive, and it feels more athletic on twisting roads. Its hybrid powertrain is also more fuel-efficient (43/39 mpg). The Fusion isn’t perfect though; its touch screen infotainment system is slow and can be frustrating to use. Neither are top picks in this class.

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid or 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

The new-for-2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid offers roomier seating, more advanced safety features, a smoother ride, and superior fuel economy (39/42 mpg). The Optima Hybrid has better safety scores and a slightly better reliability rating, though. These related hybrids are pretty even, so your decision may come down to price or your personal preference.

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

2016 Optima Hybrid Performance

How Does the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Drive?

The Optima Hybrid has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor, which yield a combined 199 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. This hybrid system zips the Optima up to speed briskly and supplies adequate passing power at freeway speeds. The transmission operates nicely as well; its transitions from electric to gas power are nearly seamless.

There is one quirk, though. The brakes provide fine stopping power, but the brake pedal feels imprecise, which can make it difficult to slow the car smoothly. This is a criticism of some regenerative braking systems, which use braking force to recharge the vehicle’s battery pack. Otherwise, the Optima pleases with its precise steering and stability in corners. Its ride quality is mostly smooth as well.

Does the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Optima Hybrid gets 35 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, which is good for a midsize sedan. However, these are unimpressive figures for a hybrid car. By comparison, the 2016 Toyota Prius Eco returns an EPA-estimated 58/53 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Optima Hybrid performance »

2016 Optima Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Optima Hybrid Seat?

The Optima Hybrid seats five and impresses with its handsome interior styling. Most of the cabin materials have a quality look and feel. The Optima’s front seats are soft and supportive, and they offer generous head- and legroom. However, the sloping roofline cuts into rear headroom, making the back seat a squeeze for taller passengers. Cloth upholstery comes standard; heated, ventilated, and leather seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid?

The Optima has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats.

2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Features

Technology is one of this car's best attributes. All models come standard with Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary ports, and satellite radio. Available features include navigation, a rearview camera, and Kia’s excellent UVO infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen. The basic audio and climate controls are very straightforward. The available touch screen is easy to use and responsive, and the voice recognition system is similarly straightforward.

See 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid specs »

Read more about Optima Hybrid interior »

2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Dimensions

Kia Optima Hybrid Cargo Space

The Optima Hybrid has 10.7 cubic feet of trunk space, which is small for the midsize car class. The rear seats don’t fold, but there is a slim pass-through area to allow longer items to fit in the trunk.

2016 Optima Hybrid Length and Weight

The Kia Optima Hybrid is 15.9 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,496 to 3,622 pounds, depending on trim level.

Where Was the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid Built?

The Optima Hybrid was built in South Korea.

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