Recently, I had the opportunity to drive a Kia Optima Hybrid for a week and I have to say that I loved that car! It was so easy and smooth to drive that when I got back into my truck it felt like I was driving a loud tank even though it’s quite!
Now, I do have to say that there is only one real downside to this car and it’s what would keep me from buying one. It’s to small for a family of 6.
I have 4 kids and one of them is still in a car seat and that means when all 6 of us go out together there isn’t enough room for all of us. The only other option is to shove one of the kids in the trunk but I don’t think it’s all that safe. Now, for a family of 4 or even 5 this car would be perfect for them.
The bells and whistles on this car were awesome! Let me share a few of my favorites with you;
Back up camera – This made it so unbelievably easy to back up and not hit things. Not that I normally hit things when I back up but with this you could see a lot more than by using mirrors alone.
Panoramic moonroof – This was just beyond cool! Honestly… I’m not sure that there are words to explain it.
Bluetooth capabilities – Okay, I’ll be honest. The geek in me totally came out when I found out that I could sync my phone to the car. It was one of the first things that I did and then started making phone calls just to see how it worked. The result… perfect! I think that this has to be one of the best features and cut down on the amount of time that I hand my hands on the phone.
Sound system – I like music and always have it on when I’m in the car. But the Infinity speaker system that is in the car made everything sound so much better. Smooth & crystal clear.
I’m pretty sure that my husband was jealous… he is a car type person and for a week the car that I was driving was superior to his! I enjoyed it to say the least.
So, hybrid…. you’re thinking did you have to plug it in or what? Nope! With incredible gas milage like 34mpg city and 39mpg highway I used very little gas (estimated annual fuel cost is $1550) and the engine cuts off automatically when the car stops and the electrical load is low, which saves on gas and reduces emissions. Because of this the electric motor will kick in at just about any speed, the gas engine saves fuel by expending less energy and emits fewer pollutants through the exhaust.
Whenever the brakes are applied the Regenerative Braking System charges the battery and because of this the car is virtually silent. It’s like the car isn’t even running and I loved showing that to a few of my co-workers when we were out to lunch.
I also loved that I could start the car without actually putting the key into the ignition and turning it. Who ever came up with the idea of smart keys and push button ignition was a genius! Of course, there were a few times that I wasn’t paying attention and got in the car and forgot to push the button but by the end of the week I had it down!
If you’re looking for a few more stats on the Kia Optima take a look at these.
Safety Awards & Features
NHTSA 5 Star Crash Safety Rating
2012 IIHAS Top Safety Pick
US EPA “Smart Way” Certification Mark
Electronic Stability control and ABS
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Duel front advanced airbags
Duel front seat mounted side airbags
1st and 2nd row side curtain airbags
Truck with pass-through
Made in the USA!
Set the Guinness World Record for the lowest consumption by a gasoline car traveling through all 48 contiguous US states while getting nearly 65mpg over 8,000 miles
Official Automotive Partner for the NBA
The Optima is made at Kia’s manufacturing facility that is located in West Point, GA and supports 1,200 direct jobs and 7,500 other regional jobs.
The Kia facility is 2.2 million square feet on 2,200 acres and is capable of producing 300,000 vehicles annually.
The Kia Optima that I test drove includes the Hybrid Convenience Package ($700) and the Premium Technology Package ($5,350).
Premium Technology Package includes:
Navigation system with Back-up Camera & Sirius Traffic
Infinity Audio System
Power Folding Outside Mirrors
Auto-dimming Rear View Mirror w/ Homelink and Compass
17″ Tires with Alloy Wheels
HID Headlights with Auto Leveling
Leather Seat Trim
Driver’s Seat memory
Heated and Cooled Front Seats
Heated Outboard Rear Seats
Heated Steering Wheel
Power Front Passenger’s Seat
Total Cost for the model I drove is $32,500.
Is this a car that I’d recommend? Yes, most definitely! Between the features, gas mileage, and the fact that it’s made in the U.S. I would suggest it to anyone that is looking for a new car. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that my ex in-laws (yes, we’re still close) are looking into getting one!
I received a one-week test drive of the Kia Optima Hybrid for this review. All opinions are 100% mine.