2012-2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

this is the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid outside there’s very little distinguish the Optima Hybrid from the regular oft when there’s just this one subtle hybrid badge here on the trunk lid another than that we have different wheels here which are quite unique

coming around the front we have a very distinctive Kia grill and this Hybrid has the $5,000 option pack which gives you HID headlamps and the LED tail lamps are standard on the hybrid so our tester was equipped with the $5,000 premium technology package which

includes this nav system with the integrated back up camera with reverse lines which is very nice this replaces the basic UVO infotainment system it also includes the infinity sound system with Infiniti branded speakers the panoramic sunroof

here in the back there as well it also includes this auto dimming rearview mirror the 17-inch wheels you saw on the outside Auto leveling HID headlamps the leather seat trim you can see here also includes driver side to position memory heated and cooled front seats as you can see over here he didn’t cooled front see it’s also includes heated rear seats and I believe maybe a segment first a heated

steering wheel as well which is a handy feature oddly enough it actually helps with efficiency because if you’re cold you can just turn on the heated steering wheel rather than heating up the cabin out on the road the Optima Hybrid feels much more

like a regular car than say a Prius or some other hybrid and that’s largely because the Optima has kept its six-speed automatic transmission from Honda Kia and because of the way the motor is arranged in this setup the motor still uses the transmission as well so even when you’re electric only you still get those normal shifts like a normal car now in order to make this work what kia did is much like

nissan in the Infiniti m35 H they’ve removed the torque converter and then a torque converters place you have a clutch pack so the clutch between the engine and the motor and then the motors connected to the transmission and then after the transmission there’s another clutch pack so what this does is it allows the motor to charge the batteries or the motor to run the car solely without the assistance

of the engine it also means that you have the benefit of start/stop technology so you can actually stop the car to stop light and the engine can turn off without a problem there is a little bit of a delay because of the clutch pack in getting the car up to speed hopefully you can hear this difference so I’m flooring it now and now we have electric power and then the engine engaged and that can really happen at any speed because you have to wait for that engine to crank and then start providing power it’s not quite as seamless as Hybrid Synergy Drive

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