Along with many other Kia models, the Optima Hybrid had its official EPA-rated mileage downgraded, but that trend stops with the updated 2013 model. As a result of a number of changes, the 2013-model-year Kia Optima Hybrid sedan now has more torque, trunk space, and mpgs than last-year’s model.
Both 2013 Optima Hybrid models get the same powertrain adjustments: a combined horsepower rating of 199 hp (down from 206 hp) yet 235 lb-ft of torque — up from 195 lb-ft. The hybrid sedan, which uses a six-speed automatic transmission, has a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator as well as a 47 kW lithium-polymer battery.
If you want an EPA-rated 40 mpg, go with the 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid base model, which will be rated 36/40 mpg city/highway, up from the 2012 model’s revised 34/39 mpg rating. The loaded 2013 Optima Hybrid EX is expected to be rated at 35/39 mpg, the same as its mechanical twin, the revised 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
Kia has yet to release pricing on the 2013 model, but the separation of the 2012′s base model into a new EX trim essentially makes a new trim level out of certain equipment from the 2012 model’s Hybrid Premium Technology Package. The 2013 Optima Hybrid EX includes an eight-speaker premium sound system, a navigation system with a backup camera, panoramic sunroof, heated/ventilated front seats, and 17-inch alloy wheels. HID headlights and leather seats should also be available. On the 2012 model, the base price is $26,450 with destination, and $32,500 with the convenience and premium technology packages. The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid starts at $26,445 while the Limited model is priced at $31,345.
The only aesthetic update for the Optima Hybrid is a revised Kia badge on the hood, trunk lid, and steering wheel. The Optima sedan has emerged as the clear sales leader in Kia’s U.S. lineup, with 24,447 sold through January and February of this year, representing about 31 percent of total sales.