Kia is pretty late to the hybrid game; a move which they claim was because they wanted to be sure they had it right before entering the fray. The new Optima Hybrid is certainly quite a bit better than those first-gen Insights, but we can't help but wonder if the delay was due to the fact that Kia's level of quality is only now on par with the Japanese companies that have been building hybrids for more than a decade. Whatever the reason, this first hybrid is well done.
Based on the 2011 Optima, the Optima Hybrid is certainly better-looking than a good deal of the competition, although the 35mpg city and 40mpg highway mileage is hardly revolutionary. The price is as competitive as you would expect from Kia, coming in at $26,500. The low price and the fact that it doesn't look like a hybrid will surely make it appealing to those who care more about saving money at the pump than they do about enviro-posing. Fine with us.