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Kia’s extremely handsome and efficient Optima Hybrid gets a facelift for 2014

An Optima hybrid might not have been flashy enough to get its debut at Detroit, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. The Kia Optima is already one of the best cars in its class, and a dramatic step forward for a company that is making waves with its new cars.

Unlike the K900, or the GT4 Stinger concept, the Optima hybrid isn’t flashy, but unlike those cars you can afford it on something much closer to an average salary. So what are you getting for that money? Well for starters you are getting 38 combined mpg, which is pretty darn good.

More impressive is the fact that there is only a 4 mpg difference between the city and the highway mileage. That means this car is efficient in all types of driving, making it a sensible choice regardless of the what your daily commute looks like.

The Optima hybrid doesn’t even sacrifice that much power, with a combined 199 horsepower and 235 pound feet of torque from its combined gas and electric powerplants. This is not the sort of power that is going to have BMW drivers running scared, but it is enough to have some fun, and you won’t have to sacrifice your first born to afford the down payment.

The efficiency also comes by way of some aerodynamic improvements. The front bumper is peppered with additional vents that direct airflow over the radiators while also reducing drag. Otherwise, the Optima Hybrid remains basically the same car as the standard Optima, with features like an eight-inch touch screen display and an excellent and very loud stereo.

Cars like the Optima Hybrid are what is changing it means to own a hybrid car. No longer are you making a big public statement regarding your eco-righteousness or for that matter sacrificing driveability and fun for the sake of gas mileage. The fact that the Optima Hybrid isn’t exciting is exactly what makes it special.  

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