IRVINE, Calif., March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Since its debut, the Optima mid-size sedan has garnered awards and accolades for Kia Motors America (KMA) in recognition of its design, performance and value. In 2011, the Optima Hybrid introduced a new level of efficiency to the brand's most popular name plate. Now, KMA is pleased to announce the arrival of its updated 2013 Optima Hybrid, featuring a more performance-driven and fuel-efficient powertrain as well as more cargo space and premium features. Value continues to be a strong selling point for the Hybrid with the LX starting at an MSRP of $25,900 and the fully loaded EX at an MSRP of $31,950. For 2013, the Optima Hybrid features numerous powertrain refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a more robust 47 HP electric traction motor, a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery. With a combined 199 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque – an increase of 40 lb-ft – the Optima Hybrid is noticeably more responsive and performance-driven than before. The Optima Hybrid is now available in two trim levels, LX and EX. The base model achieves an EPA estimated 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined, making the Optima Hybrid more efficient than its predecessor . The EX model delivers an EPA estimated 35 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined 2. In addition to increases in performance and efficiency, the 2013 Optima Hybrid also benefits from greater trunk space than before, thanks to the repackaging of the vehicle's battery pack. Furthermore, the EX model adds navigation with Rear-Camera Display, an 8-speaker Infinity® audio system, panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and 17-inch wheels to the already long list of amenities.