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AutoGuide.com gathered six of the most significant fresh cars for the two thousand seventeen model year for our annual Car of the Year evaluations. This year, our contenders are the Hyundai Elantra, BMWM2, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, two thousand seventeen Kia Optima, Ford Concentrate RS and Chevrolet Cruze. There was no hard price cap on this year’s entrants, but we attempted to make sure none of them were extravagantly priced. We will release a fresh movie on each contender every day leading up to Dec. 13, when we announce our winner. Stay tuned for our Crossover/SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year series, which is also coming soon!
The two thousand seventeen Kia Optima is an significant sedan for the Korean automaker, as the popular family sedan is a superb showcase for how the brand is attempting to stir upmarket. Fresh for 2017, there is also a hybrid and plug-in hybrid model, both of which are treated to the utter redesign that its gas-powered sibling got, making the Optima lineup one of the most significantly switched for the two thousand seventeen model year.
Bringing the fire to such strong cars as the Honda Accord and Nissan Maxima, the fresh Optima boasts one of the classiest interiors in the segment, looking much more expensive than it actually is. The quilted leather seats, aluminum trim, and the fantastic flat-bottomed steering wheel all add up to a premium-feeling cabin that is well built.
The two thousand seventeen Kia Optima lineup backs up its premium aspirations with a entire suite of available technology such as lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and, of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In the gas version, the Optima is powered by a Two.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with two hundred forty five horsepower and two hundred sixty pound-feet of torque, but this engine is truly amazing because it can run on regular-grade 87-octane gas. The two thousand seventeen Kia Optima can also be powered by a carry-over naturally aspirated Two.4L engine or a 1.6L turbo, but the more interesting powertrains are the green ones.
In the hybrid, a four-cylinder engine works together with a thirty eight kW electrified motor to output a combined one hundred ninety three horsepower. The hybrid also gets a higher-density battery pack that Kia promises doesn’t eat into cargo space. All in, the two thousand seventeen Kia Optima Hybrid is rated at an astounding thirty nine mpg in the city and forty six mpg on the highway.
The plug-in hybrid amps things up even more with a more sturdy energy storage system, a total driving range of more than six hundred miles, and an all-electric range of twenty seven miles.
For having such a strong lineup, the two thousand seventeen Kia Optima is a strong contender, but we do wish the brand shoved the sedans to make them even more groundbreaking.