2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review


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2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review - The 2018 Kia Optima PHEV adds plug-in capability as well as EV-only operation to the Optima crossbreed's already well-shaped characteristics as well as agreeable character. That said, its familiar form does get a couple of touches shared with the Optima hybrid that are targeted at minimizing drag: a slightly revamped, model-specific front fascia with energetic grille shutters that close at speed, a reshaped back bumper with a diffuser that shrouds the exhaust pointer, as well as an extra aerodynamic wheel design.
2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review


Things take a comparable tack beneath the skin, the Optima PHEV sharing its 154-hp, direct-injected 2.0-liter inline-four as well as six-speed automatic transmission with the standard crossbreed. To make best use of the efficiency of the gas engine in this application, however, Kia switched in a high-voltage electric oil pump to change both (one mechanical pump and one low-voltage electrically owned pump) devices utilized in the hybrid. Cooling down for the plug-in's transmission is by means of a liquid-to-air warm exchanger.


2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review
A transmission-integrated 67-hp electric motor/generator and also a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is capable of producing 68 kilowatts (91 horsepower), has even more zap than the 51-hp motor and 56-kW battery combo of the routine Optima crossbreed. In terms of combined outcome, this means 202 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque for the plug-in versus 192 and 271 in the crossbreed. If these numbers leave you with a situation of spec-sheet déjà vu, it's most likely since the entire setup is already being used in the 2018 Hyundai Sonata PHEV.

We appreciate exactly how deftly the hybrid powertrain sorts out the particulars of meshing internal combustion with an AC motor. Part of this credit history goes to Kia's decision to use a six-speed transmission teamed with the electrical motor supplanting a standard torque converter. Although this configuration breaks the dominating sector method of using a two-motor CVT (or power-split transaxle) for crossbreed powertrains, the six-speed imparts a welcome sense of familiarity to the hybrid owning experience by downshifting perceptibly under hefty acceleration.

At the test track, the PHEV done essentially identically to the Optima hybrid. An 8.0-second zero-to-60-mph run and also a 16.2-second quarter-mile time placed it just 0.1 2nd behind its plugless-- and also lighter-- crossbreed brother or sister. The plug-in design additionally signed up 0.80 g of grip on the skidpad and took 185 feet to reach a quit from 70 miles per hour, neither which have us proclaiming its dynamic merits, however the 215/55R -17 Kumho Solus TA31 Eco tires a minimum of provide lots of advising via understeer before push comes to trash. Couple of details of exactly what's happening at the road surface travel upstream through the synthetic-feeling steering, however responses to inputs at the very least are straight. Special mention goes to an improved regenerative-braking system that reaps a 10 percent gain in power healing by refining the partnership in between the crossbreed control unit as well as the brake actuation. Although this could sound like a dish for plain and schizophrenic brake-pedal feel, it manages to function fairly transparently.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review


According to Kia, the Optima PHEV is 250 extra pounds larger compared to the crossbreed. Our scales disclosed that the PHEV considers 3892 pounds, or 252 more than the 3640-pound Optima hybrid. Kia's declared weight of 3788 pounds for the PHEV might have been a little positive, however the firm fingernailed the difference between the two. The Optima PHEV's case of a 29-mile electric-only range (suggested for metropolitan driving and efficient in quicken to 75 mph) proved stone's throw off from our real-world testing, which produced 27.1 miles of EV-only operation before the battery surrendered. Other: 2019 Kia Sorento Review

Along with choosing either Hybrid or EV-only settings, chauffeurs could select Billing setting, which boosts the amount of juice fed to the batteries at greater rates. This replenishes the battery as high as feasible, conserving electrons for when EV-only mode may be desired for the last few miles of a trip. Other energy-saving measures consist of Kia's Coasting Overview, which makes use of a blinking symbol in the dashboard and also a solitary distinct alert to motivate the driver when to lift and when to brake for optimal effectiveness. There's a driver-only COOLING AND HEATING setup that closes down ventilation and seat home heating to all locations of the car except for the chauffeur. Both work as promoted, however the hot, humid weather condition we experienced throughout testing made the latter practically unusable.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

Unlike the standard hybrid, which can be found in a base variation as well as EX-SPOUSE trim, the PHEV is marketed solely as an Ex Lover (EX lives in between LX and SX in the Optima pecking order). With a base price of $36,105, the plug-in crossbreed requires a not insubstantial $9215 premium over the $26,890 request the base Optima hybrid as well as $4220 greater than the $31,885 crossbreed Ex Lover. (As of this writing, nevertheless, the Optima PHEV was still qualified for a $4919 government tax obligation debt, which brings its rate right in line with that of the crossbreed Ex Lover; additional state incentives may be readily available.).

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review


Besides the previously mentioned powertrain upgrades as well as exterior streamlining, the PHEV likewise has an instrument-cluster display screen specificing powertrain procedures as well as power use, plus an enriched collection of UVO infotainment features-- not to mention the plug-in capability. Connecting one end of the cord to the solitary port in the Optima's left-front fender and also the other to a basic 120-volt house outlet fully bills the battery cram in less than nine hours; hooking up to a 240-volt (Degree 2) source reduces that time to less than three. As for the UVO telematics, together with the requisite Android Auto and also Apple CarPlay, the PHEV adds LTE cordless connection that connects straight with the auto via the UVO mobile phone app to carry out remote functions consisting of start/stop, preconditioning of the cabin temperature, and also lock/unlock. Additionally included in the app are Kia's My Auto Zone features, including curfew, speed alerts, as well as geofencing capabilities, which should assist helicopter parents keep tabs on their children. A charging-station locator as well as the capability to inspect your car's charge status and routine billing sessions are offered too.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review


Those planning to enjoy the typical mod disadvantages will certainly want the $5250 Modern technology plan, which includes a breathtaking sunroof, a gloss-black B-pillar, a 10-way power driver's seat with power back support, ventilated front seats, heated outboard back seats, rear-window sunshades, LED analysis lights, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, LED headlights, automatic high-beams, back vehicle parking sensors, blind-spot caution, back cross-traffic alert, lane-departure caution, as well as adaptive cruise ship control. That was the sole option on our examination car, and also it brought the as-tested price to $41,355.

2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

The most pertinent number for the plug-in are its fuel-economy numbers, nonetheless. EPA-rated at a combined 40 mpg, our Optima hybrid returned 40 MPGe overall with the help of some electrons as well as 44 MPGe in our 75-mph highway test. Those are respectable numbers, yet we would certainly be remiss if we didn't state that a plugless 2018 Camry crossbreed matched them. As formerly stated, we did procure 27 miles of travel in EV-only setting, which could considerably trim gas usage for drivers with brief commutes and/or charging facilities at their area of employment. However, that battery array pales in comparison to the 53-mile battery-only number we videotaped in the smaller yet similarly priced 2018 Chevrolet Volt, not to mentioned the 238-mile marathon we removed from the batteries of the much smaller Chevy Bolt EV. Other: 2018 Kia Soul EV Review

But for people who stay in certain traffic-heavy urban locations as well as are still careful of making the jump to a complete EV such as the Screw, that charging port in the Optima's fender may ultimately reap advantages that far outreach any kind of economic arguments or ecological selflessness, genuine or viewed. Besides, it provides them legal access to HOV lanes so they can leave much of the rush-hour gridlock.

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