The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid was unveiled at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show today, with aerodynamic tweaks and a few other updates.

Kia's hybrid mid-size sedan gets a few small changes to increase efficiency and keep its styling current.

It's not surprising that the changes are minor; the car had already received significant mechanical and packaging changes for the 2013 model year.

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A refreshed front fascia includes added vents in the front bumper that Kia says increase airflow and reduce drag.

The car also features new 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels (for LX and EX models, respectively), which were designed to reduce drag and also weigh less than the previous model's wheels.

As before, hybrid models also feature aluminum suspension components to reduce weight, and a lower ride height, flat underfloor panels, and rear spoiler to aid airflow.

Hybrid models are visually distinguished from their siblings by front LED lighting, and an optional white leather interior trim package. Like the non-hybrid Optima, they also get a 4.3-inch TFT instrument cluster and optional 8-inch center-stack screen for navigation.

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Underneath the slightly-restyled skin, the 2014 Optima Hybrid has the same powertrain as last year.

That powertrain consists of a 2.4-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine, electric motor, and lithium-polymer battery pack. Total combined output is 199 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque.

Fuel-economy ratings are also unchanged. The base Optima Hybrid is rated at 38 mpg combined (36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway).

Step up to the EX model and its larger 17-inch wheels, and the rating decreases slightly to 37 mpg combined (35 mpg city, 39 mpg highway).

Pricing for the 2014 models has not been announced, but the 2013 Optima Hybrid starts at $26,700 (including destination).


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