The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid. Photo courtesy of Kia Motors America.

A quick look at the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid


The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is an attractive option in the hybrid sedan segment, one that is still growing despite several months of relatively stable gasoline prices. With an EPA rating of 40-mpg highway and a base price of $25,700, this vehicle warrants the hybrid buyer's consideration.

From it’s attractive exterior to a well-equipped dashboard and comfortable interior, The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid shows the brand is ready to aggressively compete in this widening field of hybrid vehicles.

Exterior

From a sleep mask shaped grill, dividing HID projector auto-leveling headlamps, to a fascia with a mildly menacing grin, the hybrid vehicle features crisp, clean lines running back to a classically sloped rear window. Bottom flares on the doors are protective while blending into the slippery aerodynamics of the sedan.

In the rear, striking red taillights ringed with LEDs cross the trunk lid aesthetically, while additional strip lights are placed just below the bumper. Double five spoke 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels complete the car’s attractive exterior and 17-inch wheels come as an option.

The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid comes with fog lamps in front and a rear deck lip spoiler standard. If you frequent busy malls or shopping centers, the optional power-folding sideview mirrors might help protect your investment.

Safety, interior and technical features
The hybrid sedan features two-stage front, seat-mounted front and full-length side curtain airbags. It addition it comes standard with ABS, traction and stability control, as well as hill assist and tire pressure monitoring.

The optional sport leather and cloth seat trim looks sharp and compliments the optional heated and cooled front seats – a great comfort in climates with hot summers and cold winters. A power lumbar control is sometimes missing in many sedans and/or commuters cars under $30K, but shows up as a refreshing standard feature in the Kia.

Many brands make floor mats an optional charge as well, but not so Kia – floor mats are also part of the standard equipment.

An easy to use cruise control is at right, while audio and media controls are at left on the leather-wrapped, articulated steering wheel. Having the cruise control switches right at your right thumb makes using the feature in heavy traffic much easier than a steering wheel wand activated system. A heated steering wheel is another option in the Premium Technology Package.

Push button starting compliments the usual audio system with Bluetooth, USB, AUX and a three-month subscription to SiriusXM radio. An optional Infinity 8-speaker sound system boosts it up to concert hall audio reproduction. Eight Infinity speakers in a sedan this size will seriously rock your world.

Performance

Most hybrids are designed for the confirmed urbanite, providing the best efficiency on city streets. The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is a good choice for the driver who does the most commuting on intercity freeways, as it gets 5 more miles per gallon at highway speeds.
This would seem to indicate this hybrid leans a little more on the gasoline engine, using the electric motor to augment its mileage, thus it still get better efficiency at higher speeds.

Pages

Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.