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.