If you’re in the market for a mid-size hybrid sedan, your shopping list just grew by one. Kia has announced pricing on their 2011 Optima Hybrid, which will start at $26,500 excluding a destination fee of $750. That puts the Optima Hybrid on par with the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid, which sells for just $175 more. It’s significantly less than the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which has an opening sticker price of $28,405, but surprisingly the Kia is priced above its Hyundai Sonata sibling, which has a base sticker price of $25,575.
In terms of fuel consumption, Kia estimates that the 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid will obtain the same fuel economy rating of 35 mpg city and 40 mpg highway as the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. The Kia fares better than the Toyota Camry hybrid, which is rated at 31 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, but doesn’t do as well as the Ford Fusion Hybrid in the city, which is EPA rated at 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
The Optima Hybrid can be driven limited distances on battery power alone, at speeds up to 62 miles per hour. The car features a start-stop mode which shuts off the engine at traffic lights to preserve fuel and reduce emissions. Two trim levels will be offered, including the base Optima Hybrid and the Optima Hybrid Premium Technology Package, which nets buyers a panoramic sunroof, unique 17-inch wheels, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, HID lighting, a navigation system with integrated back-up camera and an eight speaker premium Infinity audio system, all for an additional $5,000.
Look for the Kia Optima Hybrid to hit dealerships by the end of the year.