PHOTO CAPTION: 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid stickers at a base price of $26,450.

Kia Optima Hybrid Scores High As Afford Family Sedan

Thus saith Wall Street Journal's Dan Neil in his review, calling it the 'the best commuting sedan under $35,000.'

Published: 21-Apr-2012

FAITHFUL READERS KNOW I would never bury the lead, so here it is: The Kia Optima Hybrid is my pick for the best commuting sedan under $35,000.

But wait, say the faithful, the Optima Hybrid's base price is only $26,450, including delivery. Exactly.

The Optima Hybrid is not a perfect car, to be sure. The powertrain software is strangely moody at times. The trunk is a little tight. It's about as exhilarating as a bolus of laudanum, thus the "commuting" qualifier. It's just that it is otherwise such a staggering amount of car for the money. Kia's PR team thoughtfully equipped my test car with the Hybrid Premium Technology package ($5,350, for a total out-the-door price of $32,615), a hugely persuasive and Lexus-like list of upgrades including navigation with SiriusXM traffic info; rear-camera display; an excellent Infinity eight-speaker sound system with subwoofer; panoramic sunroof with blacked out B-pillars (those are the roof supports between the front and rear doors that, when blacked out, sleek-ify the car's profile); heated and ventilated front seats; and a heated steering wheel and rear seats.


2011 Kia K5 Hybrid

Hyundai and Kia's lithium-polmer batteries have 63 percent higher power density and is 25 percent lighter than conventional hybrid batteries.

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid fully equipped tabulates out to $32,250.

Price of Optima Hybrid priced just $560 more than non-hybrid Optima SX model.

Hyundai i10 believed to be platform on which Kia EV will be developed.

EVs will be based on Hyundai i10 and some 2,000 will be built for South Korea market.


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