2018 Kia Optima Hybrid Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid was new.


Interior: 8.7

The 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid has a well-designed interior, but it’s not the most stylish setup. Materials quality is mixed, but nothing about this Kia feels cheap. The seats are spacious but some passengers might need a little more support, and the tech offerings include a user-friendly infotainment system and handy smartphone connectivity features. Cargo space is below average for the class.

  • "There isn't a lot of visual excitement inside the Optima, but it is smartly designed for function. The quality of materials and available features make you feel as if you're getting just a bit more for your money." -- Edmunds
  • "As it is in the standard Optima, the hybrid's passenger compartment is a satisfying place to spend time. It boasts great fit and finish, an easy-to-use control layout, and comfortable seats front and back. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard, and options such as a panoramic sunroof, heated leather seats, and a Harman/Kardon audio system create a premium vibe." -- Car and Driver (2017)
  • "It's a clean design, and one that maintains the driver-oriented tilt of the previous car. All of the interior materials felt very high quality, with soft-touch surfaces on the door tops, dash and pretty much everywhere else you'd want them." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)


The Optima Hybrid seats five and comes with cloth upholstery and a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar control. Leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, power-adjustable front seats, and heated rear seats are available.

Both rows of seats have plenty of space, and there’s enough legroom for just about anyone. The front seats are fairly comfortable and remain supportive on long drives, though they may not have enough side support for some people. The rear seats also lack support.

There are two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats and an additional upper tether in the middle seat. The lower anchors can be hard to reach because they're tucked deep inside the bottom cushion.

  • "The front seats are decently comfortable for long drives. Some people might take issue with the lack of lateral support and the forward-canted head restraints, though. The rear seats are spacious, but the low-mounted cushion might lack support for the average-size adult." -- Edmunds
  • "The seats were plenty comfortable, and the back seat is downright huge, offering ample legroom even for tall passengers." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "The cabin is roomy with clean lines." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Interior Features

Standard features in the Optima Hybrid include dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key, push-button start, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system (UVO), Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and a rearview camera.

Available features include a Harman Kardon premium audio system, a panoramic moonroof, two USB charging ports, HD Radio, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and an upgraded UVO system with an 8-inch touch screen and navigation.

The UVO infotainment system is easy to use, but the menus can be tough to navigate through, and the navigation system occasionally responds slowly. You also can’t program it while moving, but that’s not uncommon for a navigation system. The available Harman Kardon audio system delivers outstanding sound quality.

See 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid specs »
  • "Our tester's 8-inch touchscreen is bright and attractive, with a legible font and redundant physical buttons that make it easy to find what you need. The only exception is the smartphone interface menu, which is tough to find. The navigation system is slow and can't be programmed while traveling." -- Edmunds
  • "Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard, and options such as a panoramic sunroof, heated leather seats, and a Harman/Kardon audio system create a premium vibe." -- Car and Driver (2017)
  • "Although you can find harman/kardon systems in other cars, the QuantumLogic7 surround audio system in the 2017 Kia Optima goes one step beyond. The sound is amazing and even old MP3 files find new life thanks to the Clari-Fi feature that helps restore digitally compressed files." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)


The Optima Hybrid has 13.4 cubic feet of trunk space, and the Optima Plug-In Hybrid has 9.9 cubic feet. That’s a below-average total for a midsize car, but it’s not the lowest total in the class. Kia puts the battery pack under the rear seat, which improves cargo space (most other hybrids have the battery in the trunk), and there’s a split-folding rear seat that gives you some flexibility to haul larger items.

  • "Storage spaces for small items are plentiful throughout the cabin. Each door has a cupholder and a small tray under the grab handle. There's a small, concealed bin under the center stack and a good amount of space under the center armrest." -- Edmunds
  • "Another impressive element of Kia's hybrid system is the way the battery pack fits neatly under the rear seat. … The Optima hybrid also maintains the 60/40 split-folding rear seat, which provides a wide pass-through for larger items." -- Car and Driver (2017)

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