2020 Kia Optima Hybrid

#16
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$29,310
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2020 Kia Optima hybrid Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


Abhinandan Banerjee's image

Abhinandan Banerjee Senior Correspondent Updated on: December 6, 2019


With the world getting more and more obsessed with Electric and Hybrid vehicles, manufacturers are including and introducing more and more Hybrids to their Existing lineups. Kia has been a segment leader in bringing Hybrid’s to the market and the Optima Hybrid is the first one, for 2020. The Optima Hybrid builds on Kia’s sturdy and Durable Hybrid Tech and is up for sale with some subtle changes for 2020.

See detailed review »

Pros

Good Noise Insulation from Outside

Stylish Exteriors and Interiors

Generous Cargo Capacity

Plenty of Standard Safety Tech on-board

Cons

Average MPG Figures

No AWD even as an option

Handling feels devoid of character

What's New?

Standard 17” Alloy wheels

Standard 8” UVO Audio System with Android Auto, Apple Car Play

Standard Wireless Charging, Kia Drive Wise Technology


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$29310

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

192 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

271 lbs.-ft. @ 1770 rpm

transmission

6 speed automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

dimensions

wheelbase

110.4 in.

length

191.1 in.

width

73.2 in.

height

57.5 in.

curb weight

3496 lbs.

ground clearance

5.1 in.

capacity

cargo volume

13.4 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.6 sec.

zero to 100 mph

8.1 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

40/42/45 mpg

ev range

636 mi.

highway range (evs/hybrids)

715.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

5 yr./ 60000 mi.


Pictures

Exterior
 2020 Kia Optima hybrid Left Side View  2020 Kia Optima hybrid Front View  2020 Kia Optima hybrid Front View  2020 Kia Optima hybrid Left Side View  2020 Kia Optima hybrid 3 Quarter View
Interior
 2020 Kia Optima hybrid Trunk Space  2020 Kia Optima hybrid Seating Layout  2020 Kia Optima hybrid Rear Seats  2020 Kia Optima hybrid Sunroof  2020 Kia Optima hybrid Rear View Mirror

Styles

 2020 Kia Optima hybrid in Aurora Black color  2020 Kia Optima hybrid in Gravity Blue color  2020 Kia Optima hybrid in Runway Red color  2020 Kia Optima hybrid in Snow White Pearl color
Aurora Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.0

Engine

6.0

Fuel Economy

9.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

8.0

7.3

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Kia Optima hybrid EX

EX

power
192hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
42 combined

$29,310


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) Starting at $29,310 MSRP (40/42/45) 192hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.3

Overall Rating


Mechanically, the 2020 Optima Hybrid remains unchanged from 2019. However, in terms of new additions, you get the standard 17” Alloys, 8” UVO Enabled Touchscreen Infotainment System with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Kia Drive Wise Technology as well. The Optima Hybrid is just available in the EX Trim and has been priced at $29,310. Power and Torque figures are rated at 192 hp and 271 lb-ft. Respectively that comes from a 2.0L Inline-4 Gas-powered engine and an Electric Motor.

Speaking of the rivals, Optima Hybrid competes with the likes of segment stalwarts the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord Hybrid and the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Kia has earned a lot of respect around the globe all due to its impressive build quality and features. We believe that the carmaker will continue this tradition for more years to come. 

2020 Kia Optima hybrid Sedan Front View
2020 Kia Optima hybrid Sedan Front View
2020 Kia Optima hybrid Sedan Rear View
2020 Kia Optima hybrid Sedan Rear View

7.0/10
Features

 

6.0/10
Engine

 

9.0/10
Fuel Economy

 
 

7.0/10
Exterior

 

8.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Kia Optima hybrid Features

7.0/10

Kia is offering the Optima Hybrid in just a single EX trim. That being said, the Optima Hybrid is loaded to the brim with a plethora of features and Kia has left no stone unturned, in offering the best to its customers. For 2020, Kia is adding some of the optional features, found in the Technology Package in 2019 as standard.

Trim

EX

MSRP

$29,310

Key Features

Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel and Gear Shift Knob

 

60/40 Split-Folding Rear Seats

 

8” Touchscreen Infotainment System with UVO link, Rear View Monitor

 

6 Speaker Audio System with AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM Radio

 

Apple Car Play, Android Auto

 

Power Adjust Heated ORVM with Integrated LED Turn Signals

 

Projector Beam Headlights with Auto headlamp control, LED DRL’s

 

LED Taillights 

 

Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers

Which trim to go for?

Available in just a single Trim, the 2020 Optima Hybrid, packs in everything that one would expect from a sedan of this category. Kia has always been ahead of the game when it comes to offering the best in terms of features and the optima hybrid is no different either. Hence, we feel that buying the EX trim will not leave you wanting for more and be satisfied with the available feature set.

2020 Kia Optima hybrid Engine

6.0/10

The five-seater midsize Sedan Kia Optima Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor. The engine produces 192 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Electric Motor generates enough torque, to help you whizz past the traffic from a standstill, without burning much fuel in the process. 

2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Motor
2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Sedan is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engin

The 6 Speed Unit feels decent while shifting through the gears. There is smoothness in the gear shifts but we do feel that transmission could have been tuned for a bit more snappiness from this gearbox, considering the rivals come with more potent units. Some of the prominent competitors like Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid offer better power output than the Optima Hybrid. 

Models

Kia Optima EX hybrid 

Toyota Camry LE hybrid *

Honda Accord hybrid* 

Ford Fusion SE hybrid* 

MSRP

$29,015

$29,080

$26,240

$28,550

Engine

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.5L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

Transmission

6 Speed automatic

Continuously variable automatic

Continuously variable automatic

Continuously variable automatic

Horsepower

192 hp@ 6000rpm

208 hp@ 5700rpm

212 hp@ 6200rpm

188 hp@ 4000rpm

Torque

271 ft-lbs@ 1770rpm

163 ft-lbs@ 3600rpm

232 ft-lbs

129 ft-lbs@ 4000rpm

*2019 Figures used for reference purposes only

The Honda Accord Hybrid, continues to triumph over its rivals in terms of numbers but is being closely followed by the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Kia manages to stay ahead of the Ford in terms of numbers but just by a whisker of a hair.

How much fast is it?

The Kia Optima Hybrid takes 7.6 seconds to complete a zero to 60 mph run. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine paired to the electric motor runs smoothly and acceleration is brisk. Out on the open roads, you won't feel left out for punch while overtaking cars, both in the city and on the motorway.

2020 Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan Front View

However, we could have appreciated a bit more punch at the lower RPM's.

Models

Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan

Toyota Camry LE hybrid sedan 

Honda Accord hybrid sedan

Ford Fusion SE hybrid sedan

0-60 MPH

7.6 sec

7.2 sec

7.0

8.9

Quarter mile

15.8 sec

14.3

15.6

N/A

Engine

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.5L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

Emission 

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 

4.3

3.4

3.8

4.2

Looking at the rivals, you will find that the Camry, manages to be quicker than the Optima. This is due to the bigger power plant of the Camry and a slightly more refined Hybrid powertrain setup. As of now, we can't comment on the performance of the Accord and the Fusion but considering their dimensions and weights, we would expect similar performance from the duo as the Optima.

What about the braking system?

Talking about the braking of the Optima, we must say that the Engineers at Kia have put in a lot of effort in making the Optima Hybrid, a confidence-inspiring sedan. The Brakes feel sure-footed and offer good feel and feedback. Pedal travel isn’t long and the modulation is quite easy. Nosedive is inherent but it isn’t on the same level as some of Kia’s adversaries.

2020 Kia Optima Hybrid brakes
2020 Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan Front Brake 12 in

In terms of handling, the steering is very responsive and is engaging to drive. The Unit weighs up well at speeds and is nimble to play with at the times of heavy traffic. The Suspension of the Optima Hybrid has been tuned towards the comfier side of things and in that sense, the Optima Hybrid does really well. Potholes are handled with authority and it is very little, that can hamper your pleasant ride inside the optima.

Noise Insulation is excellent and very little can creep inside the cabin of the Optima. The Road Noise is also very well contained and it's at motorway speeds that you could feel the Engine making slightly higher levels of noises.

Model

Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan

Toyota Camry LE hybrid sedan 

Honda Accord hybrid sedan

Ford Fusion SE hybrid sedan

Brake Front (in.)

12

12

11.5

11.8

Brake Rear (in.)

11.2

11.1

11.1

11.9

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3486

3472

3342

3668

60-0 MPH (ft.)

127

128

135

123

The Ford Fusion stays true to its dynamic characters by offering the best performance in the braking department. The Kia follows it next, with its impressive 127ft stopping distance. The Camry falls short of Kia’s performance by the smallest of margins but is way ahead of the worst performer in this respect, the Honda Accord Hybrid.

2020 Kia Optima hybrid Fuel Economy

9.0/10

The 2.0-liter powertrain with 1.62 kWh battery pack and electric motor returns 39 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway. What is surprising is the way Kia has managed to amalgamate the Petrol and the Electric Power trains. There is great refinement and very little reduction in efficiency hence making for good MPG figures.

2020 Red Kia Optima Hybrid Charging socket

While these may not sound the best in the segment, the Kia’s near 16-gallon fuel tank ensures that the Kia, never runs out of miles for when you want are on the go. That is courtesy of the big 15.9-gallon fuel tank that allows the Kia to go at least 620 miles and a maximum of 716 miles. 

Model

Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan

Toyota Camry LE hybrid sedan 

Honda Accord hybrid sedan

Ford Fusion SE hybrid sedan

MPG (city)

39

51

48

43

MPG (highway)

45

53

48

41

MPG (combined)

41

52

48

42

Range (miles) (city/highway)

620/716

663/689

614/614

602/574

Tank Capacity (gal)

15.9

13.0

12.8

14.0

Talking about the rivals of the Kia, you will find the best MPG performance from Toyota, followed by the Honda and the Fusion respectively. The Toyota also bests its rivals in terms of range and is best matched by the Kia. The Accord Hybrid comes 3rd in this respect and the Ford fares the worst here. 

2020 Kia Optima hybrid Interior

Inside, the 2020 Optima Hybrid is quite similar to the regular Optima model. The cabin design is straightforward and clean and Kia hasn't done any mucking about in designing the same. We would have appreciated a slightly higher level of materials on use but considering the price aspect, we can't blame Kia for this.

2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Rear Seats
The cabin design is straightforward and clean and Kia hasn't done any mucking about in designing the same

There’s plenty of space for front passengers, but the taller passengers might face problems in rear accommodation due to the sloping roofline. Shoulder room is decent for 2 passengers at the rear and squeezing a 3rd for short travel durations won't be much of an issue either.

 

There’s plenty of plastic used within the cabin but somehow it makes the look sturdy and appealing. In comparison to other Sedan in the class, the Optima Sedan stands upmarket. The seats offer superb levels of comfort and have been bolstered very well, to offer the maximum comfort to the occupants of the optima hybrid.

Model

Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan

Toyota Camry LE hybrid sedan 

Honda Accord hybrid sedan

Ford Fusion SE hybrid sedan

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.8/58.1/45.5

38.3/57.7/42.1

39.5/58.3/42.3

39.2/57.8/44.3

Second 

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.8/56.4/35.6

37.6/55.7/38.0

37.3/56.5/40.4

37.8/56.9/38.3

When compared to its rivals, the Optima feels like it's running out of space when you compare it to the likes of the Accord and the Fusion. Both these Cars tend to accommodate wider variations of people unlike the Optima, which may feel claustrophobic for taller passengers. In terms of the rear space, all these sedans will pamper the occupants with a good level of space and there is not much, separating the Sedans here.

Creature Comfort Inside

Kia has always been one of the most feature-loaded cars in their Category and the 2020 Optima Hybrid, is no exception either. You get a plethora of features as standard in the Optima Hybrid that will ensure that you would get spoilt by using them.

2020 Kia Optima Hybrid storage spaces
Kia has always been one of the most feature-loaded cars in their Category and the 2020 Optima Hybrid
  • Steering-Wheel-Mounted Audio, Cruise and Hands-Free Phone Controls
  • Tilt and Telescopic Steering Column
  • Power Windows w/ Driver & Front Passenger One-Touch Auto-Up/Down
  • Smart Key w/ Push-Button Start and Immobilizer
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control
  • Rear Air Conditioning Vent
  • Front Center Console w/ Armrest and Storage
  • Folding Rear Center Armrest w/ Cup Holders
  • Day/Night Interior Rearview Mirror with interior lighting
  • Leather Seat Trim
  • 10-Way Driver's Seat Adjustment, w/ 2-Way Power Lumbar Support
  • 6-Way Passenger Seat Adjustment
  • Heated Front Seats
  • 60/40 Split-Folding Rear Seat w/Center Armrest & Adjustable Rear Headrests
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel & Gear Shift Knob

How is the Infotainment System?

Like all Kias, the Optima Hybrid's cabin is loaded with the best that Kia has to offer as far as infotainment goes. You get a super intuitive and fluidic version of the Infotainment System. All functions can be easily accessed and don't require a nerd to decode the same for you. 

2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Infotainment system
2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Sedan 8″ Touch-Screen Display

The standard infotainment system consists of:

  • Six speaker audio system
  • 8″ Touch-Screen Display
  • AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM
  • Apple Car Play/Android Auto
  • Bluetooth, USB, and Aux connectivity
  • Steering mounted stereo and cellphone controls
  • USB/Auxiliary Input Jack
  • Dual USB Power Outlets & 12 V Power Outlet in Rear Console

How much is the Cargo volume?

The Optima Hybrid features a cargo space of 13.4 cubic feet. Due to the hybrid battery pack, the Cargo area loses around 2.5 cubic feet in comparison to the regular gas-powered Optima Sedan. This 13.4 cubic feet of space is good for 2 Suitcases or Travel bags and is enough for your daily errands to the grocery market or weekend shopping.

2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Cargo space
2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Sedan Cargo Volume is 13.4 ft

The 60/40 split-folding rear seats make way for additional storage space on the inside, for when the need arises for carrying even higher cargo. There are enough provisions for cup-holders and bottle holders across the Cabin and occupants of the Kia, won't be left wanting for a lot of spaces inside the same.

Model

Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan

Toyota Camry LE hybrid sedan 

Honda Accord hybrid sedan

Ford Fusion SE hybrid sedan

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

13.4

15.1

16.7

12.0

2020 Kia Optima hybrid Exterior

7.0/10

With a sloped rood and curvy exterior, the 2020 Kia Optima Hybris is a good looking Sedan. It is still handsome than most of the Hybrid Sedans in the market. It weighs 3486 inches and has the same road presence as it’s other rivals, in terms of proportions. We do however aren’t a big fan of the 5.1” of ground clearance but we do understand the reason to why Kia did this.

Model

Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan

Toyota Camry LE hybrid sedan 

Honda Accord hybrid sedan

Ford Fusion SE hybrid sedan

Curb weight (lbs.)

3486

3472

3342

3668

Length(in)

191.1

192.1

192.2

191.8

Width(in)

73.2

72.4

73.3

72.9

Height(in)

57.5

56.9

57.1

58.0

Ground clearance (in)

5.1

5.7

5.8

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

110.4

111.2

111.4

112.2

Track width (in) F/R

63.5/63.8

63/63.2

63/63.4

62.3/62

Speaking of the Optima's rivals, you will find that all these Sedans here have similar dimensions, irrespective of the brand you choose. The Camry is the longest of the lot while the Fusion is the tallest. The shorter wheelbase of the Optima gives it added advantage in the handling department where it feels slightly better to drive when compared to its other rivals.

Exterior Features

Just like the Interiors, Kia has loaded the Optima Hybrid with a ton load of features that will add to your conveniences of driving this Hybrid.

2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Front view
2020 Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan 3rd quarte Front view
  • Unique Front Grille, Front & Rear Bumper Valence, and Side Sills
  • Active Air Flap
  • Outside Mirrors, Power Adjusting w/ LED Turn Signal Indicators
  • Heated Outside Mirrors
  • Smart Welcome
  • Solar Control Glass
  • Smart Trunk™
  • Auto Light Control
  • Projector Beam Headlights
  • Virtual Engine Sound System
  • Positioning Lights, LED
  • Rear Combination Lamps, LED
  • Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
  • Heated Rear Glass w/ Timer
  • Locking Fuel-Filler Door
2020 Kia Optima Hybrid Rear view
2020 Kia Optima EX hybrid sedan 3rd quarte Rear view

2020 Kia Optima hybrid Safety

8.0/10

With the growing emphasis on safety features, Kia is acknowledging the same and is providing all its vehicles, a long array of safety features as standard. Some features like occupant airbag detection allow for the passenger airbags to be deactivated for when you are driving without any passengers.

2020 Kia Optima Hybrid safety

The 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid has received “5-star ratings” out of five in the Overall rating from NHTSA. Also, the IIHS has awarded the Hybrid Sedan with “Good” safety ratings in all tests. 

NHTSA Rating

Overall rating

5 star

Overall frontal barrier crash rating

5 star

Frontal barrier crash rating driver

5 star

Overall side crash rating

5 star

Side barrier rating

5 star

Side pole rating driver front seat

5 star

Combined side rating rear seat

5 star

Rollover rating

5 star

Side barrier rating driver

5 star

Frontal barrier crash rating passenger

4 star

Combined side rating front seat

5 star

Side barrier rating passenger rear seat

5 star

IIHS Rating

Side Impact Test

Good

Roof Strength Test

Good

Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint

Good

IIHS Small Overlap Front Test

Good

Moderate Overlap Front Test

Good

Safety Features

  • Dual Front Advanced Airbags
  • Dual Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Full-Length Side Curtain Airbags
  • Driver's Side Knee Airbag
  • 3-Point Seat Belts for All Seating Positions
  • Front Seat-Belt Pretensioners
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/ Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Brake Assist System (BAS)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • High Line Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Side-Impact Door Beams
  • Front and Rear Crumple Zones

2020 Kia Optima hybrid Competition

Kia Optima Hybrid vs. Honda Accord Hybrid

The new Accord has undoubtedly impressed us in terms of design and cabin space. It also returns good fuel economy ratings. At times, the only irritating thing about the Sedan is its powertrain noise, while the brakes can be touchy at high speeds.

With a CVT transmission, the Accord Hybrid offers more power than the Optima Hybrid Sedan. 

2020 Honda Accord Hybrid Sedan
2020 Honda Accord Hybrid Sedan

Kia Optima Hybrid vs. Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Ford Fusion Hybrid has got sleek design styling. In comparison to the Kia Optima Hybrid, the Fusion Hybrid seem to be underpowered. However, the infotainment system is responsive and easy to operate. It is also expensive in the higher order of trim.

2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid
2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Ford is definitely, the SPortier of the 2 to drive but if you seek comfort in your ride, the Kia should be your preferred choice. Overall, if you want to have a bit of sportiness in your daily driving, the Fusion Hybrid should do the job well. However, if you want to give some relaxation to your back and some comfort to your body, the Kia will be the better sedan of the 2 to go for.

Kia Optima Hybrid vs. Toyota Camry Hybrid

There’s too much to speak about the 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid. It has got a surplus fuel economy in comparison to the Kia Optima Hybrid. The LE version especially experiences floaty kind of ride quality, which has been taken care of in the higher trim levels. 

2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid
2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Optima Hybrid kind of comes close to achieving the levels of ride quality that the Camry Hybrid offers. However, it beats the Camry hands down in terms of the Handling manners and outright stability at high speeds. 

2020 Kia Optima hybrid Final Verdict

The Kia Optima Hybrid is one of the most well-rounded hybrid sedans in the segment right now. It offers a great driving range, feels lively and composed to ride on the road and offers a pleasurable experience to passengers on the inside. With the updates to the Infotainment System and few more additional standard features, the 2020 Optima Hybrid has become an even more tantalizing proposition than ever before. If you are in the market, looking for one of the best driving Hybrids that won’t burn a hole in your pocket and is packed with features, look no further than the 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid.