Kia Optima saloon (2016-2019) - MPG, running costs & CO2
The Kia Optima has good fuel economy, while the plug-in hybrid version should be very cheap to run
Previously, the Kia Optima was only available with a 1.7-litre diesel engine – if you wanted anything else you had to look elsewhere. Now, though, Kia has unveiled a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid version, which boosts the Optima’s green credentials further and makes it cheaper to tax. A powerful Optima GT is also due shortly, which will have a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
Kia Optima MPG & CO2
The Kia Optima’s 1.7-litre diesel engine returns 67.3mpg and emits 110g/km of CO2; choosing the automatic gearbox sees fuel economy drop slightly to 64.2mpg. While these figures are by no means disastrous, the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb are available with a wider range of engines, the most efficient of which can return almost 80mpg. All petrol and diesel Optimas will cost £140 per year to tax, while the hybrid model costs £130.
Still, these numbers pale into insignificance when one considers the Optima plug-in hybrid (PHEV). This comes with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, which together return 176.6mpg and emit just 37g/km of CO2.
That’s low enough to escape road tax and the London Congestion Charge and – perhaps most importantly – means the Optima PHEV attracts a company car Benefit-in-Kind rating of just 7%. While it’s fair to say the gulf between claimed and real-world economy tends to be significant with hybrid cars, the Optima PHEV should be a very cheap car to run indeed. Further savings can be found in the batteries, which can be charged up using a conventional socket and have a range of up to 33 miles; this means many will be able to complete their daily commute without using a drop of petrol.
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It’s safe to assume the Optima GT saloon will offer similar economy to its SW estate sibling, so expect to see around 34mpg and CO2 emissions of 191g/km if you choose this powerful model. That relatively high CO2 figure means you’ll pay £270 a year to tax the Optima GT under the current system, but be warned if you buy after April 2017, you’ll be taxed under a new set of rules.
Assuming the GT saloon has the same CO2 emissions as the SW model, you paying a whopping £1,200 for the Optima GT’s first year of tax, although the GT saloon only needs to emit 1g/km less of CO2 than the SW estate for that figure to drop to £800. Whichever of those is the case, each subsequent year of road tax will be a more reasonable £140.
Insurance for the Optima shouldn’t be too expensive: the Optima 3 is rated in group 20 (out of a possible 50) while the Optima 2 sits a couple of groups below. The hybrid model will be a little pricier to insure as it sits in group 25, partly because the extra mechanical sophistication means it’ll be more expensive to repair, should anything bad happen.
Kia’s class-leading seven-year/100,000-mile warranty is longer than any other manufacturer’s, although Hyundai’s five-year policy does without a mileage cap.
The Optima is available with fixed-price servicing, which offers great value for money. A three-year plan costs just £329, while a five-year plan is £609. With servicing costs as low as these, the Optima makes a good case for itself in this area.