road test post graphic cbs branded VIDEO: The 2012 KIA Optima Hybrid  Almost Perfect. Almost


Here’s Kia’s Sole hybrid offering. The Korean automaker is aiming for the Hybrid Camry from Toyota and the upcoming redesigned Ford Fusion hybrid. The Kia beats Camry in looks department. But the Camry trumps the Kia for power train refinement.

The Optima uses a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine connected to a 40 horsepower electric motor with the battery house in the trunk. The combo makes 206 horsepower.

And you can tell what’s going on at all times on thanks to some pretty wiz bang graphics in the center of the gague cluster and on  seen on a very crisp looking screen in the center of the dashboard.

The Optima Hybrid is smooth, quiet and aerodynamic.

106939340 VIDEO: The 2012 KIA Optima Hybrid  Almost Perfect. Almost

(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Unfortunatly, the hybrid system has some flaws. It’s not nearly as seamless as the Toyota Camry or the Ford Fusion. I have a feeling that Kia has received a lot of feedback about the herky-jerky feeling of the Hybrid system and are working on some software tweaks to smooth things out. They will get it right.

No denying this is a great looking car inside and out.

You get a lot of high quality stuff for your money too.

Heated and cooled seats plus a heated steering wheel. Very supportive and comfortable seats and a great sound system with all the bells and whistles.

Kia knows how to pamper you with top-notch features and high   quality for a price of $32.615. When they get the kinks out of the hybrid system, the Kia Hybrid will be hard to beat at any price.


2012 Kia Optima Hybrid

            Base price: $26,450

            Price as tested: $32,615

            Powertrain: Naturally aspirated 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle in-line four-cylinder with variable valve timing; six-speed automatic transmission; 40-hp permanent magnet electric motor; 1.4 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack; front-wheel drive

            Total system horsepower/torque: 206 hp/195 pound-feet

            Length/weight: 190.7 inches/3,500 pounds (est.)

            Wheelbase: 110 inches

            0-60 mph: 9.5 seconds

            Fuel economy: 35/40 mpg, city/highway (regular)





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