Think back to the 2013 New York Auto Show, and you'll recall that the already attractive Kia Optima midsize sedan was re-schnozzed for the 2014 model year. The hybrid version was left alone, visually, though its powertrain was updated to provide more oomph and slightly better fuel economy. And now, the whole thing comes full circle – the fresh-faced 2014 Optima Hybrid is making its debut here at the Chicago Auto Show.

The new look is really the only news here, with a reworked front fascia that combines restyled Hybrid-specific LED lighting elements and new enhancements that Kia says improves aerodynamics. A similar touch-up has been given to the rear end, and new 16- and 17-inch wheel designs are also available.

Under the hood, the Optima Hybrid's powertrain is unchanged, the four-cylinder gasoline-electric system still putting out a combined 199 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is also unchanged for 2014, with the LX model estimated to achieve 36/40/38 miles per gallon (city/highway/combined), and the higher-grade EX estimated to net 35/39/37 mpg.

No word on pricing as of this writing, but considering the fact that the restyled 2014 Optima is already on sale, we don't expect it to be too long before the Hybrid makes its way to dealers. Have a look below for Kia's official release.
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2014 KIA OPTIMA HYBRID UNVEILED AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW

Kia's Stylish Hybrid Mid-size Sedan Returns with Improved Aerodynamic Design and Technological Enhancements


- Efficiency-focused design updated with restyled front and rear fascias
- Hybrid version of Kia's best-selling Optima now offers more uplevel features and options to enhance comfort and value

CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the 2014 Optima Hybrid mid-size sedan as one of three eco-friendly Kia vehicles introduced at the Chicago Auto Show. The 2014 Optima Hybrid builds upon the advancements of its award-winning gas-powered sibling, which went on sale in late-fall of last year. Debuting with its own exclusive enhancements, including front and rear fascia updates designed to increase aerodynamic efficiency, new wheel designs, and unique grille and lighting elements, the 2014 Optima Hybrid improves upon its predecessor, which was named one of the "Top 11 Most Fuel-Efficient Sedans for 2013" by Edmunds.com.

"The Optima Hybrid is an important and integral component of Kia's advanced propulsion story," said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. "It's unique in its segment because it not only gives owners savings at the gas pump and a smaller carbon footprint, but it also delivers world-class design, robust performance and an upscale personality, making it a truly attractive and well-rounded hybrid offer."

Available in LX and EX trims, the 2014 Optima Hybrid features carryover refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a robust 47 HP electric traction motor, a strong Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a powerful 47 kW lithium polymer battery. The combined gas-electric 199 horsepower rating and combined 235 lb.-ft. of torque remain, resulting in a responsive and enjoyable driving experience. The LX model achieves an EPA estimated 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined , while the EX model delivers an EPA estimated 35/39/371.

Design Enhancements for Better Fuel Efficiency

The dynamic and sporty design upgrades on the gasoline-powered 2014 Optima are retooled for the Hybrid to increase fuel efficiency. Contributing to improved aerodynamics are a series of additional vents in the Optima Hybrid's unique front bumper, increasing airflow and reducing drag. Newly designed and more aerodynamic 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels (LX and EX, respectively) reduce weight and drag while superbly integrating with the Optima's eye-catching new design elements.

In addition to those elements designed with fuel efficiency in mind, the 2014 Optima Hybrid also boasts a unique new front grille design, Hybrid-exclusive front LED lighting, new Hybrid fender badges and an attractive and upscale optional white leather package. Technological improvements to the gasoline-powered 2014 Optima carryover within the cabin of the Optima Hybrid, as drivers are greeted with more upscale and high-tech amenities. Activating the Optima's push button ignition brings two displays to life: a 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster and optional high-resolution 8-inch navigation and telematics screen, featuring UVO eServices, an 8-speaker Infinity® sound system, HD Radio™® , SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio and SiriusXM Traffic™4.

Advanced Safety Features

The 2014 Optima Hybrid is equipped with an impressive array of standard safety equipment. All trims come standard with driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Traction Control System (TCS) and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) also come standard on all models.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      Dfelix70
      • 10 Months Ago
      Never imagined that they'd turn one of the, if not the, most attractive mid-size car into a gimmicky-looking, almost unattractive car. Just goes to show how subtle differences go a long way. The front-end looks busy and unaggressive in a Buick-type manner. The back-end looks cheap. And why the need for misaligned taillights line?
      Scooter
      • 10 Months Ago
      I will say that Optima is KIA's only model that began its transformation-generation with an individualistic design. A design that wasn't a clear knock-off other other popular models. It really is KIA's best looking and most original vehicle I know I of. Everything else KIA makes these days clearly targets its competition and seeks to emulate it's looks with a dash KIA design. Optima really does a good job of standing on its own as a design. Personally I'm not ready to buy KIA's just yet, but I do think Optima has been KIA's best design to date.
        Jay
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        I agree with you 100%, although I will say this new design is a step backwards.
      FIDTRO
      • 10 Months Ago
      Over-styling to mask the crap quality, no surprises there.
      Awhattup
      • 10 Months Ago
      The best looking midsize sedan.
      animekyoto89
      • 10 Months Ago
      Horrible front end........
      Black Dyanmite
      • 10 Months Ago
      Aggressively classy BD
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 10 Months Ago
      Those new taillights look like they went to a junkyard and picked lights from different vehicles and grafted them to the trunk.
        bK
        • 10 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        Ford fusion taillights...
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 10 Months Ago
      They're even sharing WHEELS with Hyundais, now?!?! This overlap has GOT to stop.
      Mobis21
      • 10 Months Ago
      The 2014 Accord hybrid is rated at 50 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway with a combined fuel estimate of 47 mpg. The Camry, though trailing the Accord, still manages a respectable 40/39 and a combined mpg of 41. Kia's Optima manages, as the above article states, a mere 35/39/37. Proving once again why Kia and Hyundai are always a step behind their leading competitors.
        knightrider_6
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Mobis21
        Optima hybrid (2013) costs $3200 less Accord hybrid came out in 2014, Optima Hybrid in 2011. Optima looks 100 times better
        MrMonkaroo
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Mobis21
        I disagree. Yes Toyota and Honda are ahead of Hyundai/Kia as far as hybrid tech because they have been doing this alot longer. But in non hybrid models Hyundai/Kia has proven to be more innovative as far as engine technology. Also when is Honda and Toyota going to offer 10 year warranties? If their cars are great they shouldn't have to worry about warranty claims.
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 10 Months Ago
          @MrMonkaroo
          LOL, Hyundai has to offer those long warranties. NO ONE would buy one otherwise. BTW, list for us all those Hyundai "innovations" in engine technology please.
      classasurface
      • 10 Months Ago
      Why don't the two tail light assemblies line up at the bottom? It looks cheap.
        GFB
        • 10 Months Ago
        @classasurface
        Agreed. It has to be a conscious decision because the lighting elements are bent to line up. It might look OK lit up at night but it looks like a bad design decision. I'm also not feeling the front grille-lighting design. It looks like something that would work in theory but does not in practice. They got it backwards. The lights in the back should line up with each other and the lights up front should not line up with the grille.
      futuramautoblog
      • 10 Months Ago
      Used to be so coherent, nice, and fresh. With the mid-cycle refresh - uglier headlight, taillight, bulkier rear bumper, weird front bumper, the car now looks very heavy handed and almost unattractive. How can you mess up the so successful formula you had KIA? WTF!!!
      • 10 Months Ago
      [blocked]
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