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Kia's Optima Hybrid: More Equipped Than The Prius, Sets New Performance Standards

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This year, the month of June brings hot weather and a hot car to match it: the Kia Optima Hybrid – Kia’s first hybrid model. The vehicle present in showrooms next month is not being called “Optima” for nothing – its features are as exciting as the name suggests.

We will start with the basics: for a value-price of $26,500, you get a car that is actually cheaper and bigger than the best-selling Toyota Prius hybrid. So tha’s one better offer from the start. For this price you get a car which runs on LG Chem advanced lithium polymer batteries; you can reach 35 MPG on city roads and 40 MPG on the highway.

There are a bunch of other features that this hybrid includes that do come as a surprise: the full electric mode allows a speed of up to 62 mph, stops the engine when the battery is low to prevent damage, and offers a set of cool features (a start button, rear reading lamps, heated mirrors, seats that are both heated and cooled, a ski pass-through).

Besides the standard traction control and the hill descent control, the Optima features a pre-recorded engine sound that you cannot find in any other car, not even electric-only ones. This may sound funny, but i’s actually useful to prevent accidents: the sound activates when the car is in full electric mode to draw the people’s attention that a car is near.

The enhanced entertainment system doesn’t let you get bored, but empowers you even more: along with the hands-free, the driver benefits from a unique communication technology. All you have to do is give commands vocally and the infotainment activates by itself, not to mention the fact that you can make calls and text-message someone by merely saying a few words.

Finally, the warranty system is not to be overlooked. If you decide to insure the car for 5 years, you have 2 choices: you either get the 60,000-mile limited basic warranty or the 100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. If you’re looking for a longer insurance, then you can opt for a 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty for 10 years.

I think you are already convinced by the performance of Kia’s Optima Hybrid, but if not maybe you should know that Edmunds rates it as one of the best choices.

[via Examiner]

best-selling Toyota Prius hybrid
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