Eco Vs. Normal Fuel Economy - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test
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2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: Eco Vs. Normal Fuel Economy

February 17, 2012

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Eco mode in this turbo-charged sports sedan always struck me as an oxymoron. I was pondering this yesterday on a drive to the Palm Springs area and decided to see what difference eco mode made to the fuel economy. After all, if you're going a constant speed you won't miss the punch. And there are times when you just want to save a few bucks on gas.

So I drove to Palm Springs, 130-miles from my house, in normal mode and monitored my fuel economy using the on-board gauge. The traffic was stop and go most of the way. (Yes, I know these gauges are somewhat unreliable, but I felt if it was consistently unreliable it would at least reveal the difference.) Then, I made the return trip of the same difference in eco mode. The difference was much bigger than I thought.

In normal mode I got 26.6 mpg.

In eco mode I got 34.7 mpg.

If I owned this car I think I would be in eco mode any time I was just trying to get there.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 17,920


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