STATUS: Unchanged for 2020 - What's striking about the midsize Optima is the physical similarities to the larger Cadenza sedan. As with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, the Optima is also available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions (the latter in limited U.S. states). Buyers can choose from an assortment of four-cylinder engines, including two non-turbo and two turbocharged powerplants. The hybrid uses a six-speed automatic transmission (not the usual continuously variable kind) and is the fuel-economy champ of the bunch with a combined city/highway rating of 42 mpg. Of course that's excluding the plug-in hybrid that provides up to 28 miles of electric-only range and is rated the equivalent of 101 mpg in combined city/highway driving. Given its high value quotient, the Optima's classy looks and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty are just icing on the cake.
Base price (incl. destination): $24,100; $30,200 (hybrid); $37,000 (plug-in)
Type: Midsize sedan
Engines (h.p.): 2.4-liter I-4 (185); 1.6-liter I-4, turbocharged (178); 2.0-liter I-4, turbocharged (245); 2.4-liter I-4 with 47-horsepower electric motor (192/202, plug-in hybrid)
Transmissions: Six-speed automatic; seven-speed automated manual (2.0)
Base mpg (city/highway): 25/35/29 (2.4)
Base weight (lb.): 3,230