Kia Optima Hybrid Updated for 2013, Has Less HP but More Torque

Kia has slowly been etching upmarket around the world, and most of their latest crop of models are considered among the top picks in their class. The Optima Hybrid, which is priced from under $26,000, is one of those vehicles, and in an effort to keep it up to date, the Korean automaker has announced several updates for the 2013 model year car. The Koreans claim the revised car is more “performance-driven” and fuel efficient, despite the fact that its overall power figure is down from the previous model’s 206 hp, to 199 hp. However, thanks to a new revised 47 hp electric motor, torque is up from 195 to 235 lb-ft (264 to 318 Nm), and this makes the car more responsive in every-day driving conditions. The 2013 Optima Hybrid is also predictably a bit more efficient than the previous model, achieving 36 mpg in the city, 40 on the highway, for a combined overall rating of 38 mpg. It also features more trunk space than before, despite having no exterior body changes. This has been achieved with the installation of a more compact Lithium Polymer battery, which benefits from better packaging techniques. A new set of more aerodynamic rims are also now installed as standard – 16-inch on the base model and 17-inch on the EX. It also rides lower than before, in an effort to reduce drag. Buyers can specify a panoramic glass roof, a reversing camera, an 8-speaker Infinity audio system and heated and cooled leather front seats, to name but a few of the available options. By Andrei Nedelea