2011 Kia Optima Consumer Review: Went with the KIA hybrid

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid - Consumer Review

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24 of 24 people found this review helpful
Went with the KIA hybrid
By gmafb on


2011 Kia Optima Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)


Bought the car and immediately drove to Las Vegas from Phoenix in July.
The air conditioned seats were very much appreciated.
Gas mileage turned out to be precisely as advertised.
Around town mileage is between 35 and 38.
Have owned a Prius before and the tranny in the KIA is not CVT, so it handles the power differently.
I personally dislike the CVT, so this change is good IMHO.
The ride is excellent on the highway and good in town.
I chose this car over the Fusion and the Sonata.
The Sonatas I drove pulled to the right.
The Fusion drove okay, but the ergonomics for the AC controls were downright idiotic and the exterior looks like a streamlined YUGO.

Best Features

The mileage looks like it might be as advertised, which is not in Prius territory, but it isn't bad either. The interior is well laid out with good ergonomics and it has voice recognition for several functions. The air conditioned seats are really good to have here in the desert. The exterior design is outstanding. The backup camera display is huge and very helpful.

Worst Features

Rain sensing wipers would be a nice touch.
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By snowman22
on 11/16/11 06:08 AM (PST)

Took delivery of my Optima hybrid last Friday. It is the loaded model with everything you could get. I traded in a 2010 Prius. I have had a 2007 Camry hybrid a 2008 and 2010 Prius. They were excellent auto's. BUT---they lacked any kind of WOW. Kinda like eating a bowl of cream of wheat at your grandmothers house. The Optima is the other end of the spectrum. It has WOW all over it. People ask what it is and want to know how it performs. It really does turn heads. The performance is fantastic. Goes like a bat out of--you know where--MPG in the city---now hang on--is 40-45 consistently. I attribute this to the fact I know how to drive hybrids for mileage--only thing is I drive this car--well---like a car should be driven. No drop off in mileage at all. With that said---I live in Buffalo and the temp's have been cold. The first 5 min. MPG is at about 30--after that it's right back to 45. I really love this car. It is as much fun to drive as my son's Dodge challenger six speed with the HEMI. Hard to believe I know--but true. The only drawback was the car hunts for the right gear when you pull away from a stop. You would get that hesitation affect. Overcame this the first day. You learn real quick how to adjust would foot work with the accelerator. Soooooooooooo you want the WOW factor with greatttttttttttttt MPG--this is the ride for you.

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By ssix
on 11/23/11 08:05 AM (PST)

I purchased a Kia Optima Hybrid recently and am very impressed. I was not in the market for a Hybrid, or even a car at the time. I was looking at another SUV. I was so impressed when the salesman pointed it out, and even more so after the drive. Since purchasing it the gas mileage has continued to climb. I averaged 40 mpg on an hour trip on rural roads. I averaged 39 on the interstate to Pittsburgh doing 70mph. I did also want to mention that mine was built in September and is car #506, wonder how many have been built since. If you want a Hybrid that doesn't remind you it's one, unless you look at the mileage computer this is the one. Lastly I've figured that you can trick the car into running in EV mode more often if you just lift off the gas completly for a few seconds and then gradually apply the gas again while moving.

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By gmafb
on 08/18/11 20:29 PM (PDT)

Update on the KIA Hybrid So now it is a month later and I would like to update the review. The gas mileage in town is now down to around 30. I do not know why, but can offer that because I live in Phoenix, the temperature has been over 100 degrees every day and this may or may not have something to do with it. The car has been in the shop to repair the Sat Radio antenna and also for a check engine light. The check engine light was attributed to a improperly secured gas cap. I knew about gas caps causing this prior to taking it in so I double checked the cap. It was closed properly. At least the mechanic didn't come right out and say was I was an idiot. Other than that, the car continues to perform well. The electronics package is excellent. The hands free phone works perfectly and the stereo is great. The stereo automatically reduces volume when the GPS system updates turns and information. All in all, the car seems to be a good choice for those who would like a computer with wheels. The transmission takes some getting used to and you need to learn to feather the gas pedal to take advantage of the ECO mode. I will be complaining about the mileage if it does not improve (a lot of good that will do). I will say that my 17 year old son refers to it as the "Baller" car. I think that is a good thing.

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