Road Trip Fueling - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: Road Trip Fueling

December 28, 2011

Kia Optima SX fueling Baker.jpg

That's our long-term 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo fueling up in Baker, CA on my last visit to Las Vegas. Baker (and Barstow) are popular fuel stops as they are the last "cities" on the road to Vegas. Some of my colleagues love to make this 600 mi roundtrip journey from Los Angeles on one tank of fuel.

Not me. I get no thrill from running on vapors. Besides, who knows what the weather will be like on those mountain passes? And if there's a horrific crash, like the overturned big rig in the opposite direction on my return trip, you could be parked on The 15 for some time.

So I fuel up at least once on the roundtrip, and usually twice if I do some driving around Vegas.

I ended up getting 26.3 mpg running on 87 octane (per RTFM) and in Eco mode (entirely) for my trip. That's about spot-on with the EPA 26 mpg Overall, but way off of the EPA Highway 34 mpg.

But I think that's pretty good considering the grades, that the car was full of four people and luggage, and the fact that I was driving fairly quickly.

What do you think? Is that good mpg for our Optima?

And what is your general guideline on the tank level for fueling up? For me it's a 1/4 tank on a road trip or in my regular driving. When I was in Detroit, during the winter it was about 1/2 tank after several co-workers recommended it.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~16,500 miles


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Past Long-Term Road Tests