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2011 Kia Optima Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Kia Motors' vice-president of marketing, Michael Sprague, says that the 2011 Optima Hybrid is the vehicle that will legitimize the Korean automaker as an eco-friendly company. In speaking with Ward's Auto, Sprague stated:
In our studies, some people would reject the brand outright because they wanted to do business with a company they felt was environmentally friendly. They may not necessarily buy a hybrid, but they want to be associated with a company that offers that technology or that option.
Enter the Optima Hybrid, which Kia is promoting as a no-compromise vehicle. According to Sprague, this makes it unlike some of the competition's gas-electric vehicles. For example, Sprague says that the Optima Hybrid's compact lithium-ion battery pack doesn't rob the vehicle of precious cargo space.

Priced from $26,500 (excluding $750 for destination and handling), the 2011 Optima Hybrid is a bargain. For the sake of comparison, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, starts at $28,305 (not counting a $795 destination and handling charge) and the Toyota Camry Hybrid has a base MSRP of $27,050 (plus $760). The only mid-size gas-electric sedan that undercuts the Optima Hybrid's price is its mechanically identical twin, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.


2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid


[Source: Ward's Auto]


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  • 20 Comments
      skierpage
      • 6 Months Ago
      fueleconomy.gov doesn't list the Optima Hybrid MPG yet even though Kia says it's a 2011 car. It's rumored to be 36 city / 40 highway, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is 35/40. As such the Korean cars get worse city mpg and better highway mpg than the Fusion Hybrid, but Ford says their new e-CVT debuting in 2012 will boost Fusion mpg. Choice and competition are working, as @Marco Polo says.
      Neil Blanchard
      • 6 Months Ago
      I'm pretty sure I know what he is trying to say by "no compromise" -- but ALL designs are full of compromises. It's the *balance* of the design intentions that is important -- did they make the right choices and did they achieve what they wanted to with the design. Neil
      usbseawolf2000
      • 6 Months Ago
      "Sprague says that the Optima Hybrid's compact lithium-ion battery pack doesn't rob the vehicle of precious cargo space." Optima hybrid robs 5.54 cu. ft. cargo space when compare to the non-hybrid version. In comparison, Camry hybrid robs 4.4 cu. ft. with NiMH battery pack.
      Noz
      • 6 Months Ago
      This car is so bland from every angle except the front....that's the only strength it has styling-wise...otherwise it's side profile was designed by a kid with a ruler.
      Marco Polo
      • 6 Months Ago
      With Hyundai and Kia seriously joining the EV/Hybrid advance, the Hybrid in various forms, (PI-REEV) will become the dominant mass manufactured, volume, automotive technology until the energy storage logistics of pure EV's is sufficient to make hybrid technology obsolete. With PRC manufacturers like Geely, buying European EV technology and manufacturing methodology, the other Asian manufactures, will face real competition, The US , and France, are adopting EV and hybrid technology. Only Germany, still lags behind. Even new automakers like the ROC's Yulon are bypassing ICE and going straight to Hybrid. All this competition will spur on EV and battery/energy storage development. The era of the EV has dawned!
      amygjung
      • 6 Months Ago
      Seriously awesome share! The k5 Hybrid looked great when I saw at the Seoul Motor Show back in February. I shared this on the FB wall of project Advanced Technology and Design Korea (www.facebook.com/advancetechKOR) and twitter (@advancedtechkr). Have a good one and keep up the great posts Eric!
      krona2k
      • 6 Months Ago
      I prefer the styling of KIA over Hyundai these days! Just got to wait for their plugin hybrid then put up some money.
        amygjung
        • 6 Months Ago
        @krona2k
        If Hyundai and Kia are your thing, you should check out the posts on project Avanced Technology and Design Korea blog's automobile section! Test-drives, spyshots, reviews, and technology info. (http://www.advancedtechnologykorea.com/?cat=4) Have a good one!
          krona2k
          • 6 Months Ago
          @amygjung
          Thanks - I'm certainly a fan and always interested in more info about them!
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 6 Months Ago
      no plug no green it's a conventionally heavy car running entirely on fossil fuels. not green at all.
        reconfreya
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        "no. that's why it's the truth. not just my arbitrary standard as you thoughtlessly suggest. think a little." Shut your mouth Dan. No wonder you have no friends, or dates. I am going to look for you in your spandex riding your bike in the middle of traffic and run you over.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @reconfreya
          Sadly DF, never learned to ride a bike! But, by all means run him over!
        SprinterMatt
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        It may not fit your idea of green. Which is obviously a single type of vehicle that won't suit everyone's tastes. I'm sure Hyundai isn't sitting on their duff waiting for everyone else to put out a PHEV... they have fast development schedules, and when all these other companies announce a great new idea and then tell you it'll hit the market in 7 years, I think that's where the Hyundais and Kias are going to stomp them. Regardless of it being a plugin or not, all these hybrids need to come stock with start stop.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @SprinterMatt
          Matt, there is an argument taht contends, if all vehicles were hybrids, the environment would benefit far more than the time and effort in producing a relatively small number of pure Ev's, therefore we should be concentrating on Prius type vehicles. The point is moot, since Hybrids are rapidly becoming the chosen technology to reduce emissions and consumption. However, it is inevitable that EV technology will improve and develop into more practical applications with time. FCV technology has not yet expanded to occupy enough of the market to enable a proper evaluation, but I wouldn't rule it out absolutely. Like biodiesel, it has supply and infrastructure problems, but time will tell.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 6 Months Ago
          @SprinterMatt
          if all cars in the world were this type would it avert global warming and peak oil crunch? no. that's why it's the truth. not just my arbitrary standard as you thoughtlessly suggest. think a little.
      SprinterMatt
      • 6 Months Ago
      I don't know how Kia got to keep their nice looking font end and Hyundai got a big black rubber bumper thing slapped on it's grill. My guess... the Hyundai SoHy will have a quick facelift for the next model year. That's a pretty harsh compromise, vs the regular Sonata. They are great craftsmen and engineers, I'm sure they can figure out how to put a better face on the Sonata Hybrid, as this is one sweet looking vehicle in person.
        Spiffster
        • 6 Months Ago
        @SprinterMatt
        Looks-wise I love everything but the wheels, on both the Sonata Hybrid and the Optima Hybrid. Heck, I actually like design differences on the Sonata. Wheels look hubcap-ish IMO. Can always change the wheels out though.
          MarcCBR
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spiffster
          I think they do it mor for aerodynamics. The more flat the surface of the side of the wheel the better aerodynamics. I'm not a fan of the wheels but I can see why they would make them that way.
          SprinterMatt
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spiffster
          What they look like is.... HOT WHEELS!
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