2021 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review


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2021 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review - The 2021 Kia Optima PHEV adds plug-in capacity as well as EV-only operation to the Optima hybrid's already well-shaped features as well as acceptable character. That said, its acquainted shape does obtain a couple of touches shown the Optima crossbreed that are focused on decreasing drag: a slightly redesigned, model-specific front fascia with active grille shutters that close at speed, a reshaped rear bumper with a diffuser that shrouds the exhaust pointer, as well as an extra aerodynamic wheel design.

2021 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review


Things take a similar tack beneath the skin, the Optima PHEV sharing its 154-hp, direct-injected 2.0-liter inline-four and also six-speed transmission with the traditional hybrid. To take full advantage of the effectiveness of the fuel engine in this application, however, Kia exchanged in a high-voltage electric oil pump to change both (one mechanical pump and one 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 warmth exchanger.


2021 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

A transmission-integrated 67-hp electrical motor/generator and also a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which can producing 68 kilowatts (91 horsepower), has even more zap compared to the 51-hp electric motor and 56-kW battery combination of the normal Optima hybrid. In terms of combined outcome, this suggests 202 horse power and 276 lb-ft of torque for the plug-in versus 192 and 271 in the hybrid. If these numbers leave you with a situation of spec-sheet recognition, it's most likely due to the fact that the whole setup is currently in operation in the 2021 Hyundai Sonata PHEV.

2021 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

We appreciate just how deftly the crossbreed powertrain sorts out the details of fitting together inner burning with an A/C motor. Part of this credit report mosts likely to Kia's decision to utilize a six-speed automatic transmission teamed with the electrical motor replacing a standard torque converter. Although this configuration goes against the dominating market method of employing a two-motor CVT (or power-split transaxle) for hybrid powertrains, the six-speed gives a welcome feeling of knowledge to the crossbreed owning experience by downshifting perceptibly under hefty acceleration.
2021 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review


2021 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

At the examination track, the PHEV carried out virtually 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 second behind its plugless-- and lighter-- crossbreed sibling. The plug-in design also registered 0.80 g of grip on the skidpad and also took 185 feet to get to a stop from 70 mph, neither of which have us proclaiming its vibrant merits, but the 215/55R -17 Kumho Solus TA31 Eco tires at least provide a lot of advising via understeer prior to press involves ravage. Few details of just what's happening at the road surface travel upstream through the synthetic-feeling steering, yet actions to inputs a minimum of are straight. Special mention goes to an enhanced regenerative-braking system that gains a 10 percent gain in energy recuperation by fine-tuning the collaboration between the hybrid control unit and also the brake actuation. Although this may seem like a dish for plain as well as schizophrenic brake-pedal feeling, it manages to work sensibly transparently.

2021 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review


Inning accordance with Kia, the Optima PHEV is 250 pounds heavier compared to the crossbreed. Our scales revealed that the PHEV weighs 3892 extra pounds, or 252 greater than the 3640-pound Optima crossbreed. Kia's claimed weight of 3788 pounds for the PHEV might have been a little positive, yet the company toenailed the difference between both. The Optima PHEV's claim of a 29-mile electric-only range (recommended for city driving and efficient in quicken to 75 mph) verified stone's throw off from our real-world screening, which produced 27.1 miles of EV-only procedure prior to the battery gave up.

In addition to picking either Hybrid or EV-only settings, motorists can select Billing setting, which enhances the quantity of juice fed to the batteries at greater rates. This replenishes the battery as long as possible, conserving electrons for when EV-only setting might be preferred for the last few miles of a journey. Other energy-saving steps consist of Kia's Coasting Guide, which uses a blinking icon in the dash and also a solitary audible alert to motivate the driver when to lift and when to brake for maximum efficiency. There's a driver-only HVAC setup that closes down air flow and seat home heating to all areas of the auto except for the driver. Both job as marketed, yet the warm, moist weather we experienced during testing made the latter essentially pointless.

Unlike the conventional hybrid, which is available in a base variation as well as EX-SPOUSE trim, the PHEV is marketed specifically as an EX-SPOUSE (EX stays in between LX and also SX in the Optima pecking order). With a base price of $36,105, the plug-in hybrid requires a not poor $9215 premium over the $26,890 ask for the base Optima crossbreed and $4220 more than the $31,885 crossbreed EX-SPOUSE. (As of this writing, nonetheless, the Optima PHEV was still eligible for a $4919 government tax credit rating, which brings its cost right in accordance with that of the crossbreed EX; added state rewards may be readily available.).


2021 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

Besides the previously mentioned powertrain upgrades as well as outside streamlining, the PHEV also has an instrument-cluster display detailing powertrain operations as well as energy usage, plus an enriched collection of UVO infomercial attributes-- not to mention the plug-in capacity. Linking one end of the wire to the single port in the Optima's left-front fender and the other to a standard 120-volt home electrical outlet completely charges the battery pack in less than 9 hours; hooking up to a 240-volt (Degree 2) resource reduces that time to less than three.

As for the UVO telematics, in addition to the requisite Android Car as well as Apple CarPlay, the PHEV adds LTE cordless connection that interacts straight with the automobile through the UVO smartphone app to execute remote functions including start/stop, preconditioning of the cabin temperature level, as well as lock/unlock. Likewise included in the app are Kia's My Auto Zone functions, consisting of time limit, speed informs, as well as geofencing capabilities, which should certainly aid helicopter moms and dads keep tabs on their offspring. A charging-station locator as well as the ability to check your car's fee status and also timetable charging sessions are given also.

Those wanting to delight in the common mod disadvantages will certainly desire the $5250 Modern technology bundle, which consists of a panoramic sunroof, a gloss-black B-pillar, a 10-way power driver's seat with power back assistance, aerated front seats, warmed outboard back seats, rear-window sunshades, LED reading lights, forward-collision caution, automated emergency braking, LED fronts lights, automated high-beams, rear parking sensors, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure caution, and also flexible cruise control. That was the single option on our examination cars and truck, and also it brought the as-tested rate to $41,355.

The most appropriate number for the plug-in are its fuel-economy figures, nevertheless. EPA-rated at a consolidated 40 mpg, our Optima crossbreed returned 40 MPGe overall with the help of some electrons and 44 MPGe in our 75-mph highway test. Those are commendable figures, yet we would certainly be remiss if we didn't discuss that a plugless 2018 Camry crossbreed matched them. As previously specified, we did manage to get 27 miles of travel in EV-only mode, which can considerably cut fuel use for motorists with brief commutes and/or charging facilities at their place of work. Then again, that battery variety pales in comparison to the 53-mile battery-only number we taped in the smaller sized yet likewise valued 2021 Chevrolet Volt, not to mentioned the 238-mile marathon we extracted from the batteries of the much smaller Chevy Bolt EV.

But for people that live in particular traffic-heavy urban areas and are still skeptical of making the leap to a complete EV such as the Bolt, that billing port in the Optima's fender may inevitably gain benefits that far outreach any type of monetary disagreements or environmental altruism, actual or viewed. Besides, it provides them legal accessibility to HOV lanes so they can leave behind much of the rush-hour gridlock. See Also: 2020 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Review

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