Showing its new look for the first time, the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid made its debut in Chicago. Like the conventional Optima Sedan already in showrooms, the latest version of this greener gas-electric model benefits from the same kind of aero-optimizing nose and tail tweaks along with technological enhancements that further add to its competitiveness.

The most obvious changes to the 2014 Optima Hybrid are seen up front and include a recast grille and new lower fascia detailing that also brings a Hybrid-exclusive LED auxiliary lighting treatment. The rear displays a similar subtle but effective redo that centers on new LED taillamps and a more efficient diffuser. Wheel fitments also are new, with the LX riding on more aero-friendly 16-inch alloys and the EX stepping up to sleeker 17-inch alternatives. 

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Cabin revisions to the new Optima Hybrid parallel those seen on the standard version of Kia's popular mid-size sedan. Here, too, the main dash display features a new 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster and a new 8.0-inch high-resolution screen presents adds sophistication and utility, presenting all pertinent data on models fitted with the optional navigation/telematics system that brings UVO eServices, an 8-speaker Infinity sound system, HD Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio with real-time SiriusXM Traffic. 

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No changes were made to the front-drive powertrain in the 2014 Optima Hybrid which continues to pair a 2.4-liter/159-horsepower gasoline engine with a 47-horsepower electric traction motor fed by a 47kW lithium-polymer battery. The system cranks out a total of 199 ponies and 235 lb-ft of torque while netting impressive 36/40 city/highway mpg EPA numbers on the LE model and 35/39 mpg stats on the EX. 

The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid will go on sale later this quarter. Pricing will be announced closer to the car's arrival in showrooms. 

More Hybrid Cars... 

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