Bye-bye 2014 Hybrid, Hello 2017!
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Thread: Bye-bye 2014 Hybrid, Hello 2017!

  1. #1
    OptimaForums Veteran Waynerm002's Avatar
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    Bye-bye 2014 Hybrid, Hello 2017!

    So after checking out the 2017 Optima Hybrid and liking the looks and how it feels, drives, etc., I decided to make the change. One thing of note, driving in Sport brings the battery charge up to full quickly. I switched to ECO and was able to drive it for about 2 miles on gently rolling roads up to 50 mph and still had 3/4 charge left. The new charge/power gauge shows exactly what's going on without the need for an extra display. Whenever you lift off the throttle the car goes into charge mode at about 1/4 of that gauge, applying some brake pedal input shows how much more you are sending to the batteries, this really will be good to help with maximizing the battery usage. The cabin is quieter and the engine noise is low but it does not seem as quiet as I remember the EX being but then again, the place I test drove that car had some newly paved roads and the ones in the area where I got the car weren't. It's certainly quieter than the older models I can't quite put my finger on why I feel it is not on par with the gas model, time will tell. The current tires are the Kumho TA31, while they ride comfortably they don't feel that responsive and TR customer reviews don't give them a high rating. If they don't do well when it get's colder, I am ditching them for the Pirelli P7 AS+. It rained today so it got dirty but I took a couple of shots to share.







    The ASCC is another thing I tested during the drive. The system does a good job of maintaining space, braking and speeding up. When set to sport, if your speed drops and the vehicle in front of you is no longer there, it is rather quick to get back up to speed. I have to say the car really drives well, it is a very comfortable ride, still getting used to the seating position, haven't quite found the sweet spot yet.
    Last edited by Waynerm002; 12-29-2016 at 06:21 PM.

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  4. #2
    Your K5 Optima Vendor K5 Optima Store's Avatar
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    Wow!! Look at you, congrats on getting the new ride!

    Can you take a close up of the side fender vents for me when you have a chance?

    They look similar to the ones we sell for the 2011-2015 models, and I'm curious how different they are.

    ​​





  5. #3
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    I'm wondering if you're getting better overall fuel economy??

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  7. #4
    OptimaForums Veteran Waynerm002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K5 Optima Store View Post
    Wow!! Look at you, congrats on getting the new ride!

    Can you take a close up of the side fender vents for me when you have a chance?

    They look similar to the ones we sell for the 2011-2015 models, and I'm curious how different they are.
    I'll get you some photos soon.

    ---------- Post added at 12:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:37 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by langenet View Post
    I'm wondering if you're getting better overall fuel economy??
    The car is listing 34.7 since I got it, I haven't been driving economically all the time, I actually like the performance in Sport mode more plus I haven't been driving it. I'll report more after a week or so with it.

  8. #5
    Your K5 Optima Vendor K5 Optima Store's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waynerm002 View Post
    I'll get you some photos soon.
    OK great, thank you. Happy new year!
    ​​





  9. #6
    OptimaForums Veteran Waynerm002's Avatar
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    Bye-bye 2014 Hybrid, Hello 2017!

    The 2017 KIA Optima Hybrid is a marked improvement on the previous generations thanks in part to the design change and the new powertrain KIA powering the car. Prior to driving the KOH, I took a 2016 Sonata Hybrid out to get a feel for what was to come in the 2017 Optima Hybrid and posted my experience here. My initial drive impressed me so much, I bought one. Today I decided to take it out for a drive and a photo shoot. After about 80 miles of back roads, single and dual lane highways with rolling hills, blind curves and local streets I came away even more impressed. Let's start with the drive modes. ECO in the first version left us wanting and at times feeling unsafe, a software tweak helped it a bit. The 2nd generation system with it's higher torque rating was better, with it being usable most of the time that I left it in that mode a lot more than with it off. This new engine and electric motor provides a lot more torque and a seamless experience, the car feels much like a normal gas power version. In Normal mode you really can't tell you're driving a hybrid (except if you stomp on the pedal then the typical slight delay comes into play), the car just does its thing with an engine note so low that you don't really know which motor is working unless you check the gauges. This also speaks volumes about the sound insulation on the new car which I will go into later. Now let's talk Sport mode. This mode wakes up the hybrid like never before! The car gets up to speed quickly, that 271 lb ft of torque really comes into play and play you will! The suspensions feels the same no matter what mode you put it in but the steering has a slight weightier feel in Sport mode. The body is more composed as well, it handles road imperfections way better than before and does not lean as much the previous generations in corners.I pushed it into some 90 turns and it handles it well with a bit of tire squeal when pushed hard, yep the tires will have to be replaced sooner rather than later. Beyond the normal everyday drive, if you go too hot into that 90 degree turn, it will get off the ESC flashing but I feel that is more due to the tires installed than the car itself. I didn't have this experience with the 2014 as I had them swap my Pirelli P7 AS+ over to the car before I took delivery of it and on the 2012 it eliminated that issue which occurred a lot with the OEM tires, although there was still some body lean doing that kind of turn. So the only weak link on the car is the tires it ship with, but this will be remedied soon, I'm thinking of giving the Michelin Premier AS a shot on this car (Volvo has Pirelli P7 AS, not the plus version). The Pirelli's also gave the car a sporty feel and I feel with this new setup it will make it drive sportier as well. Took it on an unpaved section of road with a lot of dips which required some attention to get through at the speed I was traveling (same road I tested the Volvo with the 19" wheels on), no significant underbody noise report, the car tracked well with the steering however, not as sharp as I would like but enough to get the job done without feeling sloppy. Overall a pretty good package. I also tried some manual shifting but as usual the transmission is more geared for economy so I didn't get the feeling it would be sportier that way. I trailed an A4 on an onramp onto the highway then started to wonder why he backed off at which point I realized we were already 15 mph past the speed limit and the car felt like it was doing 40. This brings up the next item, noise isolation.

    Back in '97 I bought my first European car, the newly redesigned VW Passat. The car was so quiet and composed that anyone driving the car (myself included) would always exceed the posted limit long before we realized were in the triple digit zone while thinking we were going 60! This is exactly the same feeling you get with this 2017 KOH, the cabin is hushed and the suspension setup done in such a way the car now feels like a European luxury car (even with the OEM tires). No floaty feeling when you crest hills at speed, no harsh crashing over bumps, nose diving into corners and pushing wide is no longer an issue as with the previous 2 but when pushed hard. Depending on the road surface you are on, there will be some noise although it's like a background sort of noise as there is no wind noise as we have been accustomed to on the previous versions. I had the audio volume set at 5 and the system was clear and audible at all speeds up to 80. Is it quieter than the S60 T5, yes it most certainly is. The engine note while not being heard all the time can be loud when you dip into the throttle for more power in ECO and Normal modes. In Sport mode however, the power is there earlier so the engine does not have to rev as much. This mode makes full use of the electric motor to boost the cars power more so than the others and it is enough that you feel it as well as seeing traffic dropping back, by this time a check of the gauges lets you know you are well past the speed limit even though it doesn't seem like it. Yeah, I know it's a hybrid but I still like to enjoy my drive no matter what I am driving, plus you guys have seen me post many times about wishing for a "sporty" hybrid, with this car, they have made me happy. Have to warn the wife about that as she is going to be driving this car and she does have a bit of a heavy foot.

    The interior is a step up, way up, it feels luxurious on par with some luxury vehicles (quite a few only give you synthetic stuff on their base model) and better than you get with some at this price point, the leather feels and looks better, the dash is soft plastic, so is the top of the doors. The middle portion looks like a leather insert also soft to the touch and the armrest is as well. To find the hard stuff you have to go lower than the armrest which most of us don't interact with and it doesn't feel bad either. The switch gear feels nice and comfortable to interact with, turning on the heated wheel and seats seem more like a touch than a press to activate and they warm up rather quickly. There are lots of charge ports, three 12 volt and 3 USB (no wireless charging though), the overhead LED lights are a nice touch, I love that the mirror settings can now be saved along with the seats and that they flip down for reversing. The doors closing are much easier with a quality sound to them (so does the trunk), I like the way the sunshade for the roof goes all the way back instead of rolling up in the middle, the HK audio system sounds better overall than the Infinity of the old car but it lacks controls to tweak it more than just the normal bass, mid and treble and the Apple CarPlay works well. I really like the LED headlights, they provide lighting like I have with my Volvo HIDs which the previous KIA HIDs did not. The Dynamic Bending Lights and High Beam Assist works well, the Rear Park Assist is nice but with a camera, they should have provided Front Park Assist as well. This car did not come with the Surround View Monitor which I thought was odd but maybe they will offer that later.

    My gripes are few, the steering wheel could be a bit thicker, it looks good but seems smaller and with a thin rim, would have liked it bigger and it would be nice if it could come out further. The seat adjustment is another area they could improve, I'm having trouble with finding a comfortable position. With the additional adjustment I was hoping they made the rear of the seat bottom adjustable independent of the height. Also, with all that dash space, they could have put in a larger display for the head unit to fit more information in split screen mode and better tires. Other than those things, the car is great!

    On the economy front, my 80 mile drive netted me a 38.5 mpg rating for the trip. Not bad considering the time spent in Sport mode. The charging happens much faster in Sport mode, I use that to get up to full switch to ECO and see how far I can go before the engine comes on a gain. So far I have gone 5 miles in EV Mode on rolling back roads with speeds up to 55mph using some hyper mining techniques, lifting off on the downhill sections, applying power enough to crest the hill while maintaining the speed limit and applying the brakes to get a long coast to a light or stop sign. I could have gone longer but I came across a Tiguan whose driver would be running at 20mph above on the straights and braked for every corner, down to 10 to 20mph to negotiate the turn. Turns that you can take at much higher speeds, it was the weirdest thing. This led to almost a complete stop as one of the hills was steep that you couldn't see over at this point they crawled up it then sped up. I figured they must have been in an accident on this type of road before and was being extra vigilant. Between the Sport Mode and ECO mode, this car has proved to be both fun to drive and economical. It's got stunning looks, luxurious materials, composed ride, somewhat sporty handling and great economy. For those in the market for a hybrid that feels like a normal car, this is the one! If you are on the fence and thinking you should keep your current one longer, don't go drive it, you'll be taking one home. It's that good.






    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bye-bye 2014 Hybrid, Hello 2017!-img_0090.jpg
    Last edited by Waynerm002; 01-01-2017 at 04:25 PM.

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  11. #7
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    Dude, you should write car reviews for a living! You didn't mention it but is this the PHEV or just the regular Hybrid?

    Since you and I are both older guys with Volvo cars also in our stable to drive, it's interesting to get your take on the 2017 Hybrid and how well it fares compared to the older 4th gen Optima's, etc.
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  12. #8
    OptimaForums Veteran Waynerm002's Avatar
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    Hey Will, it's the regular hybrid, the PHEV is supposed to come out next year they say. I'll be adding more to that write up over time as I test it more. I know the other manufacturers are doing more to quell the noise in their vehicles but I was surprised at the 2016 2.4L and am happy the hybrid had similar levels of improvements. KIA is really pushing ahead of Hyundai with their designs and improvements.


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  14. #9
    OptimaForums Veteran Waynerm002's Avatar
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    Today makes a week since I picked up the car and my 2nd day commuting to work with it. I have noticed the steering is much improved as far as tracking on straight roads, no constant adjusting required, it is certainly better than any before it. They suspension has really been dialed in to make the car feel more substantial, the car feels like it's gliding over the road so smoothly. The last time I recall this feeling was when I had installed some Kumho Ecsta 4X on a 2000 Audi A4, felt like I was driving on glass. That tire was very comfortable, good in rain but pushed in corners due to the soft sidewalls.

    We are supposed to get a dusting to an inch of snow overnight here so I will see how the tires performs in the slush. I already noticed the tires develop a flat spot overnight when it gets cold, a few minutes of harsh feeling and then it is smooth. I've had the collision warning come on 3 times already (set for early warning) due to bad merging skills of folks. The auto high beam works quite well, I like it. This one is a keeper. Things I would like and may add later if it can be done, rain sensing wipers, front park assist (wife would like surround view) and headlight washers. They have these things on the Euro standard version. More updates to come.

  15. #10
    OptimaForums Veteran Waynerm002's Avatar
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    Found a couple of youtube videos which will give you an idea of how the car sounds inside the cabin and how it performs. There is a Genesis G90 video in there as well, driving on the same roads so you can get a point of reference on a quieter car.






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