2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review The 2017 Kia Optima PHEV adds plug-in capability and EV-only operation on the Optima hybrid’s previously well-rounded attributes and agreeable character. That stated, its acquainted shape does get a few touches shared using the Optima hybrid which might be aimed at lowering drag: a slightly redesigned, model-specific front fascia with active grille shutters that shut at speed, a reshaped rear bumper by using a diffuser that shrouds the exhaust tip, along with a extra aerodynamic wheel design and style.

2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

Items consider a equivalent tack beneath the skin, the Optima PHEV sharing its 154-hp, direct-injected two.0-liter inline-four and six-speed automated transmission together with the standard hybrid. To maximize the efficiency on the gasoline engine within this application, nonetheless, Kia swapped inside a high-voltage electrical oil pump to replace the two (one mechanical pump and 1 low-voltage electrically driven pump) units used in the hybrid. Cooling for the plug-in’s transmission is by means of a liquid-to-air heat exchanger.

A transmission-integrated 67-hp electric motor/generator and a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and that is capable of putting out 68 kilowatts (91 horsepower), has a lot more zap compared to the 51-hp motor and 56-kW battery combo with the standard Optima hybrid. Regarding combined output, this means 202 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque to the plug-in versus 192 and 271 in the hybrid. If these numbers leave you having a case of spec-sheet déjà vu, it is likely because the whole setup is presently in use within the 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV.
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We value how deftly the hybrid powertrain kinds out the particulars of meshing inner combustion with an AC motor. Aspect of this credit score goes to Kia’s decision to implement a six-speed automatic transmission teamed with all the electric motor supplanting a classic torque converter. Although this setup goes towards the prevailing market practice of employing a two-motor CVT (or power-split transaxle) for hybrid powertrains, the six-speed imparts a welcome sense of familiarity for the hybrid driving encounter by downshifting perceptibly beneath heavy acceleration.

2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review - Interior:

At the test track, the PHEV performed nearly identically on the Optima hybrid. An 8.0-second zero-to-60-mph run as well as a 16.2-second quarter-mile time put it just 0.1 second behind its plugless-and lighter-hybrid sibling. The plug-in model also registered 0.80 g of grip on the skidpad and took 185 feet to achieve a halt from 70 mph, neither of which have us extolling its dynamic virtues, however the 215/55R-17 Kumho Solus TA31 Eco tires at the least give lots of warning by way of understeer just before push comes to wreck. Handful of information of what’s occurring with the street surface travel upstream through the synthetic-feeling steering, but responses to inputs at least are linear. Unique mention goes to an enhanced regenerative-braking process that reaps a 10 % achieve in energy recovery by refining the collaboration in between the hybrid handle unit as well as the brake actuation. Though this may sound like a recipe for boring and schizophrenic brake-pedal truly feel, it manages to do the job fairly transparently.

In accordance to Kia, the Optima PHEV is 250 pounds heavier than the hybrid. Our scales unveiled that the PHEV weighs 3892 pounds, or 252 a lot more than the 3640-pound Optima hybrid. Kia’s claimed weight of 3788 lbs for that PHEV might have been just a little optimistic, but the corporation nailed the difference amongst the two. The Optima PHEV’s claim of a 29-mile electric-only range (advisable for urban driving and capable of speeds as much as 75 mph) proved not far off from our real-world testing, which yielded 27.1 miles of EV-only operation just before the battery gave up.

Furthermore to deciding on either Hybrid or EV-only modes, drivers can select Charging mode, which increases the quantity of juice fed for the batteries at increased speeds. This refills the battery around probable, saving electrons for when EV-only mode may perhaps be preferred for that last number of miles of a journey. Other energy-saving measures consist of Kia’s Coasting Manual, which utilizes a blinking icon in the dash in addition to a single audible alert to prompt the driver when to lift and when to brake for greatest efficiency. There is a driver-only HVAC setting that shuts down ventilation and seat heating to all parts of the motor vehicle except to the driver. Each perform as advertised, however the hot, humid climate we professional for the duration of testing created the latter almost unusable.

Unlike the common hybrid, which comes inside a base edition as well as EX trim, the PHEV is sold solely as an EX (EX resides in between LX and SX from the Optima hierarchy). Which has a base price tag of $36,105, the plug-in hybrid requires a not insubstantial $9215 premium more than the $26,890 request for that base Optima hybrid and $4220 more than the $31,885 hybrid EX. (As of this writing, nevertheless, the Optima PHEV was nevertheless eligible to get a $4919 federal tax credit score, which brings its price right in line with that of your hybrid EX; supplemental state incentives could be available.

2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review Features:

Besides the aforementioned powertrain upgrades and exterior streamlining, the PHEV also has an instrument-cluster display detailing powertrain operations and energy utilization, plus an enriched set of UVO infotainment features-not to mention the plug-in capability. Connecting 1 finish from the cable to the single port while in the Optima’s left-front fender and the other to a conventional 120-volt household outlet thoroughly charges the battery pack in much less than nine hours; hooking up to a 240-volt (Level 2) source cuts that time for you to significantly less than three. As to the UVO telematics, coupled with the requisite Android Car and Apple CarPlay, the PHEV adds LTE wireless connectivity that communicates right together with the automobile by way of the UVO smartphone app to execute remote functions like start/stop, preconditioning of your cabin temperature, and lock/unlock. Also integrated in the app are Kia’s My Auto Zone attributes, such as curfew, pace alerts, and geofencing capabilities, which must assist helicopter moms and dads hold tabs on their offspring. A charging-station locator and also the capability to verify your vehicle’s charge status and routine charging sessions are presented at the same time.

These seeking to delight in the common mod cons will want the $5250 Technology bundle, which consists of a panoramic sunroof, a gloss-black B-pillar, a 10-way energy driver’s seat with electrical power lumbar assistance, ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, rear-window sunshades, LED reading lamps, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, LED headlights, automatic high-beams, rear parking sensors, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise handle. That was the sole choice on our test car or truck, and it brought the as-tested selling price to $41,355.

Essentially the most pertinent variety for that plug-in are its fuel-economy figures, however. EPA-rated at a mixed forty mpg, our Optima hybrid returned 40 MPGe total together with the aid of some electrons and 44 MPGe in our 75-mph highway test. Individuals are respectable figures, but we’d be remiss if we did not mention that a plugless 2018 Camry hybrid matched them. As previously stated, we did manage to acquire 27 miles of travel in EV-only mode, which could drastically trim gasoline usage for drivers with short commutes and/or charging facilities at their place of employment. Then yet again, that battery selection pales in comparison towards the 53-mile battery-only figure we recorded during the smaller sized but similarly priced 2017 Chevrolet Volt, allow alone the 238-mile marathon we extracted from your batteries of the a lot smaller Chevy Bolt EV.
But for men and women who reside in certain traffic-heavy urban regions and therefore are nonetheless wary of building the leap to a total EV such because the Bolt, that charging port within the Optima’s fender may in the end reap gains that far outreach any fiscal arguments or environmental altruism, actual or perceived. Following all, it grants them legal entry to HOV lanes so they are able to depart behind a great deal of the rush-hour gridlock.

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