written by my husband
Our family of five just shared a wonderful week with a beautiful Kia Optima Hybrid. The old-faithful SUV got a week off while the Optima took over Mom/taxi duties including mundane trips to the grocery store, back to school shopping and an exciting trip to the Sonoma/Napa wine region. The Kia Optima Hybrid promises outstanding performance, a luxurious cabin, numerous features for entertainment and safety all within a stylish profile that really turns heads.
The Light Graphite exterior paint has an attractive blend of highlights including silvers grays and purples that really caught the eye of my wife and teenage daughter. Extremely beautiful up close yet not overtly flashy, Kia has really come up with an exterior color worth talking about. This color just sets the tone, exterior styling presents a unique mix of class and power that was a privilege to be seen in. [wife here…do I dare say that feeling like a young woman in this car rather than an old mom was a good feeling!]
During our week with the Kia Optima Hybrid we encountered a variety of driving environments including high speed freeway cruising, daily errand running in town and the dreaded Friday afternoon traffic jam. The Active Eco hybrid system seamlessly switched from electric to gas power to optimize efficiency without detracting from performance. You notice the change when you step on the gas and the slight pause/jerk is something you get used to as you drive.
The in-dash eco guide display encourages efficient driving and I was amazed to see the gas engine rpms at 0 so often. It felt really good to drive a hybrid. I commute daily, my SUV gets terrible gas mileage and it felt good to read both the eco guide and the fuel economy’s average gas mileage, it really makes you think! And, for some of us who tend to drive our cars with the gas light on, knowing more accurately how close your fuel tank is to empty can spare us some serious heartache!
Full of bells and whistles, the Kia Optima Hybrid features our family enjoyed the most were the Sirius Radio, air-conditioned seats, panoramic sun roof, in dash USB jack, safety features, integrated Bluetooth, push button start, and backup camera. Just a note on those a/c seats, they are very cool! I don’t have working a/c in my current SUV so when I commuted from work with 90+ degree heat, the air conditioning fans as well as the cooled seats almost sent me straight to the Kia dealership! Also, the glove box is chilled for things like your cell phones, notebook computers, or iPads so they don’t bake in a hot car.
Our experience with this vehicle left us impressed with Kia’s craftsmanship and attention to detail. Take the photos below for instance, we were completely baffled at the passage hole from the back seat to the trunk. If you are a skier, you’re in luck. The center console lays down for an armrest or drink holder, and opens further to allow for your skis to pass through from the trunk. Nothing short of impressed by the Kia Optima Hybrid on all accounts. For a sedan, we’re aware that a 5-seater and 3 young-ish kids is a hard sell just on the fact that they sit so closely together, lending itself to fighting and touching.
But as far as economical, eco-friendly, bells and whistles, this may easily be our next car when the kids are off to college!
Car was offered for a week in exchange for honest review. All opinions are our 100% true accounts, and it was hard to give the car back!