TQ Auto Bond: Kia Optima Hybrid

Once the lose the allure that the sedan you are looking for must be one of the top name manufacturer brands, your eye’s open up to the potential of still looking good while saving money and being eco-friendly.

KIA launched a whole new line of vehicles at the 2017 auto shows. The auto manufacturer came with a lot of confidence knowing that the trend in auto is now all about how to look luxurious at a low cost. We had the opportunity to test drive the new Kia Optima HEV, which is their hybrid vehicle. The Optima looks great, extremely comfortable with tons of leg space, obviously fuel-efficient and all around pleasant to drive. The base model starts at $29,895 with standard features and the model we had ran to $31,755 with enough bells and whistles to get you through hot summers and cold winters.

Targeting a 10 percent increase in fuel economy, the Optima Hybrid replaces the previous generation’s 2.4-liter engine with an efficient and compact 2.0-liter GDI four cylinder – estimated at 154 horsepower – coupled with a hybrid starter generator and tied to an upgraded, smooth-shifting six-speed transmission.  A 38 kW electric motor and clutch replaces the traditional torque converter to provide strong off-the-line acceleration and power assistance to the engine when necessary.  Energy flow is fast and seamless between EV mode and hybrid mode.  Total combined output for the Optima Hybrid is estimated at a robust 193 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.  Also adding to the equation is a new electric water pump and a new electric oil pump, which help improve overall fuel economy. 

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The EPA in the city/highway driving: 39/46 mpg. If you work and drive a lot from client to client, travelling in the city, you hardly notice the fuel metre change. Even if you drive to the grocery store, gym, yoga or training, the amount of fuel you will use would be less than $50 over a ten-day span. Take it on the highway and you could literally travel 400km + on a single tank. That’s what you call pleasure.

Inside, the HEV come with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning System, Front Collision Warning System and a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon QuantumLogic premium surround audio system, which also features a 630-watt digital amplifier – just in case you’d rather listen to some good music on XM radio instead of traffic alerts. 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.

Get out there and look at different Kia options. You might be surprised at what you test drive.

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