Kia Optima Hybrid Coming In June

We first reported on the first Kia hybrid vehicle, the 2011 Optima, in the spring of last year, and noted some of is features last fall, complete with a photo gallery. But, the wait is nearly over as the automaker recently announced that the hybrid car will begin arriving at dealerships this June.

A mid-size sedan, the 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid boasts a fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon in urban areas, and 40 mpg on the highway. Pricing at $26,500, the manufacturer is hoping to capitalize on a lower cost compared to the Chevy Volt, which retails for $32,780 only after a $7,500 tax credit.

image via Kia

Equipped with a 30 kilowatt lithium polymer battery system and a 2.4 liter engine, the hybrid vehicle can reach a top speed of 62 miles per hour in all-electric mode. The car also switches to all-electric mode when the car idles to conserve fuel.

According to at least one survey from Nielsen, consumers are more interested in extended range vehicles like the 2011 Optima or plug-in hybrids over electric vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf. If market trends remain the same, Kia may have a winning product in the green sector this year.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.