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2017 Kia Optima Hybrid vs Chevrolet Volt

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid vs Chevrolet Volt

If you're in the market for a hybrid car these days, the choice has increased well beyond the take-it-or-leave-it situation we had not too many years ago. If you want a stylish car that also happens to be a hybrid then, you might want to check out the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid and the Chevrolet Volt.

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid vs Chevrolet Volt

Styling

If you want a good-looking hybrid, basing one on what is already one of the most attractive sedans in the market isn't a bad place to start. That's what we have with the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid. With only a few slight cosmetic differences to the regular Optima, which are there mainly to improve aerodynamics, it's hard to think of a more stylish hybrid for the money.

The Chevrolet Volt is a seriously attractive car too, although it's a stand-alone model as a hybrid in its own right. However, its design doesn't shout "Hybrid" in the way something like a Prius does, so this is just a very attractive and sleek car regardless of what's under the hood.

Powertrain

In the Kia you'll find a 154 horsepower, 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine and a 38 kw (51 horsepower) electric motor set up connected to what's effectively a conventional six-speed automatic transmission. The total power developed is 193 horsepower, and the 1.62 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack is hidden away underneath the trunk floor where a spare tire would normally reside.

There's a larger 18.4 kWh battery in the Volt that allows up to 53 miles of all-electric range. The hybrid system is 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors developing a total of 149 horsepower. However, the Volt is a plug-in hybrid that runs differently to most plug-in hybrids so you'll have to decide if it's for you. The greater power gives this round to the Kia, but only just.

Driving

The previous Optima was already a really good car to drive, but the new one is a notable improvement on its predecessor--and that translates to the Hybrid. It's now quieter, more refined, with a smoother transmission than previous models. It's no sports car, but anyone concerned a hybrid won't drive like a gas-only powered car shouldn't worry.

The Volt is smooth, extremely quiet, and comfortable on the road, and despite being well down on power compared to the Kia it actually feels pretty powerful. Once again, this is no sport sedan, but this a car that anyone would be happy driving to and from work in every day. It's clever and comfortable rather than fun and thrilling, but the larger Optima Hybrid has the edge.

Interior Space and Comfort

The 2017 Kia Optima is a midsize sedan, which means there's a decent amount of space inside that increases the comfort for all occupants. Front leg room is positively cavernous at 45.5 inches and there's a comfortable 35.6 inches for rear-seat passengers too. There's lots of head room in the front and the rear, and the trunk is reasonably generous at 13.4 cu.-ft.

The Chevy is marketed as a five-seater, but in reality it's only really usable for four adults on a long journey. There's more than three inches less front legroom than there is in the Kia, and the compact Volt is down on head room and rear legroom too. Add in the pretty miserly trunk capacity of just 10.6 cu.-ft., and this is a clear win for the Kia.

Learn More about the Kia Optima Hybrid

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid vs Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Volt is a clever, unique hybrid when you look into it in more detail, because the gas engine is used more as an electricity generator than a conventional engine. But unless you want a decent all-electric range, it can be seen as something of a costly novelty. The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid is a bigger, more comfortable, and more powerful car than the Chevrolet Volt--with a better pricetag as well.