by Calvin Kim, Road Test Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Kia Optima spent a solid chunk of December at the body shop getting repaired from last month's double rear-ender. Thankfully, when we got it back, it was as good as new and put right back into service. Senior Consumer Advice Editor Matt Jones and I were the main Optima drivers for December. Matt drove the Kia on a road trip to visit family in the San Francisco area, while I battled Los Angeles traffic commuting and visiting friends and family over the New Year's holiday. Together, we were able to test the range of the car as well as some of the safety assistance systems.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on September 16, 2016
After a subpar July at the fuel pumps, our 2016 Kia Optima got its groove back in August. Overall, we're seeing pretty respectable fuel economy from this turbocharged family sedan, although it's still well short of the EPA combined estimate.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Senior Road Test Editor on August 10, 2016
After a two-month upswing in average lifetime fuel economy, our 2016 Kia Optima slips a bit on the efficiency scale as we close out July. The overall numerical value is back to where it was in May — 29.4 mpg — which might seem at first like a negligible change from last month's 29.8 mpg.
However, with each additional month the number of data points grows, so it becomes increasingly difficult to move the needle toward the EPA combined estimate of 32 mpg. And this month we were definitely moving in the wrong direction.
by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on July 6, 2016
For the second month in a row our 2016 Kia Optima failed to reach our goal of 1,700 miles. It covered 1,200 in May and 1,500 in June. The sedan worked its way into the favor of editors living near the office and settled into the city life as a result.
One obvious downside to this trend is that the lack of mileage means less data. That extends the amount of time until we reach the Kia's combined mpg sweet spot. But there is an upside. Despite being relegated to local streets, overall fuel economy increased for the second month in a row.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on June 13, 2016
May was an uneventful month for our long-term 2016 Kia Optima. We amassed about 1,200 miles by primarily commuting to the Edmunds.com offices. But even without any major road trip mileage, we recorded another month of positive gain in our Optima's lifetime fuel economy.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on May 10, 2016
Our 2016 Kia Optima's fuel economy has experienced a significant jump since we last updated you on its fuel economy, climbing nearly 4 mpg to achieve a lifetime average of 28.8 mpg. Of course, the LX 1.6T trim and its powertrain are supposed to achieve an EPA-estimated 32 mpg combined, so there is still plenty of catching up to do.
As Brent Romans reported, however, he was able to achieve nearly 40 mpg on a whopping 574.7-mile tank, besting the EPA's highway estimate of 39 mpg. A few more open road adventures like that and I reckon the Optima should creep further up to its EPA combined number.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on March 28, 2016
Well, consider this update a counter to that. I just finished up a road trip where I drove 574 miles on one tank of gas. And for the trip, our Optima posted up an impressive 39.9 mpg.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on March 3, 2016
Our 2016 Kia Optima is barely broken in, so we'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now. We say this because it's still returning mileage numbers well below its EPA ratings.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 29, 2016
Likewise, the Optima's fuel economy tally for January got a late start. It consists of only two fills, whereupon the silver sedan covered 617 miles and used just under 24 gallons of fuel.
Considering that its EPA combined rating is 32 mpg, is our 26.1 mpg January result a harbinger of things to come? We shall see. It's way too soon to start drawing conclusions.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 10, 2016
When the Kia Optima was redesigned in 2011 it was groundbreaking. It had a design so striking that it reinvented the brand overnight. Sedan shoppers who never thought twice about Kia suddenly considered the idea of putting an Optima in their driveway.
We drove one for a year and liked much of what it offered. It wasn't perfect, though, so it didn't knock the class leaders off their perch.
For 2016, the Kia Optima has been redesigned again. This time around, Kia knows it has a good-looking car on its hands, so it didn't change much on the outside. It even made a Super Bowl commercial mocking the blandness of its competitors.
Most of the changes were made to the underlying chassis, suspension tuning and interior. Kia also added an interesting new turbocharged engine option that delivers strong performance and even more miles per gallon than the base engine. It's once again an intriguing option that we wanted to know more about, so we decided to give it another try and add one to the fleet.