Kia has expanded its plug-in car line up with not just one new model, but two new PHEVs. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid and Optima Sportswagon Plug-In Hybrid have both been launched in the UK.
Both boast excellent economy figures for PHEVs, with official CO2 emissions of 29 g/km from the Niro, and 33 g/km for the Optima SW. Corresponding fuel economy figures come in at 217.3 MPG and 201.8 MPG respectively.
Electric-only range is therefore pretty substantial, with a quoted 36 miles on a single charge possible from the Niro Plug-In Hybrid, while the Optima estate can achieve up to 38 miles of zero-tailpipe emission motoring.
Each is a practical family car, though focused on two different markets. The crossover Niro was previously only available as a conventional hybrid, and the latest addition to the range retains the model's electrified-only status. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-In Hybrid poins the already available saloon, though makes up one of a handful of PHEV-estates on sale in the UK.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid's electric powertrain is beefed-up from the hybrid models, with an 8.9 kWh battery replacing the hybrid's 1.56kWh pack. This powers a 44.5 kW electric motor, which when combined with the 104bhp 1.6 litre petrol engine, provides a total 139bhp and 265Nm of torque. The 0-62mph time is covered in 10.4 seconds.
The Optima Sportswagon Plug-In Hybrid uses a 2.0 litre 154bhp petrol engine to power the car, alongside a 50 kW electric motor. There is no conventional hybrid version of the Optima, so the addition of a 11.26 kWh battery is a new feature for the estate. Combined power figures of 202bhp and 375Nm of torque will allow the Kia to shift from 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds.
Kia has fitted a larger battery in the Sportswagon than compared with the saloon, mindful of the fact that drivers will often carry larger loads in the estate. To make sure load space isn't compromised too greatly, the Optima Sportswagon has a smaller fuel tank - by 15 litres - than its petrol and diesel alternatives, and the batteries have been placed in the boot floor.
Both new models qualify for the UK Government's Plug-In Car Grant, with £2,500 off the on the road cost available to buyers. This brings prices down to £27,995 for the Niro Plug-In Hybrid, and £32,645 for the Optima Sportswagon Plug-In Hybrid.