If someone asked me two weeks ago if Kia was at the top of my list for favorite cars, honestly the answer would have been no. I never really cared for them all that much, not that there was anything that I knew of wrong with them, I just didn’t have to have one. Now, I must say, Kia is definitely at the top of my “must haves” list!! We had the opportunity to test drive the amazing 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid for a week, and what a fast week that turned out to be- it seemed like it went by so quick, it was over before we knew it!! This was very first experience with a hybrid car so I honestly had no idea what to expect. When I saw this beautiful car for the first time, all I could think was “This is a Kia???” No way! It was HOT! Just from the exterior I knew I was going to LOVE this car!! Its sleek and stylish design definitely did not scream “I have 2 kids”, that is for sure!! This is a car I would have been proud to sport when I was young and single.
The front grille design is stylish, sleek and unique to the Optima!! The sculpted front and rear valance side sills and rear lip spoiler give this car an aggressive, performance based feel. People will definitely be trying to take you at the light : )
My favorite exterior feature is the optional 17″ alloy wheels and chrome accents. The 5 spoke wheels and chrome accents give this luxury car a sporty feel! I just love them!
Moving on to the interior of the car, the available features are so many there is no possible way to cover them all in this review so I will stick to my favorite ones. The interior design is just as sleek and sexy as the outside. Black leather seats (optional) with the upgraded hybrid technology package, which added accents to the already sleek design, making this interior one of my top favorites of all time, sporty AND luxurious!!
Optional heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats adds to comfort. They even threw in a cooling glove box to keep items cool in it!!
My husbands favorite feature probably has to be the panoramic sun roof- it opens completely and has the added rear tilt/slide feature to limit the amount of air ventilated. I have never seen such a huge sunroof in my life!!
So aside from the look and convenience aspects I also feel in love with the sound system: This particular model had the 8 speaker Infinity AM/FM/MP3/ SiriusXM Audio System- HOT!! Loved this audio system. I never have been much on the SiriusXM before, but I LOVED this entire system. The sound coming from this car was amazing and with the SiriusXM I could listen to my favorite stations, my husband his, and they even have kids stations for the little ones.
There is even an optional UVO Infotainment System Powered by Microsoft that allows you to control your phone and music functions using your voice. I didn’t get a chance to use any of this, but if I had more time with it, I definitely would have!! One thing I did get a lot of use of was the Navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and Rear Camera Display. With the Sirius XM Traffic you get real time traffic conditions and your route in vivid color!! The display looked a bit larger than most I have seem which is perfect, especially for the rear view camera!! I just have to get one of those in my car!! I love being able to see in those blind spots that I can’t see by just turning my head. It really makes me feel a lot safer!! Speaking of safety: Aside from the basics -front air bags, seat belts, LATCH for car seats, this amazing car has Dual Front Seat Mounted Side Airbags and full length side curtain airbags as well!!
It also has front and rear crumple zones to absorb and dissipate force from an impact and reinforced steel beams in every door- I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel a lot safer.
Now lets get to the part that makes this baby a hybrid. Like I said I have never had an experience with a hybrid before and I don’t know a ton about engine size and horsepower and all that, but I can say this. I drove this car for an entire week. We drove it every day, just as we would our own car. To work, around town doing errands, and I never had to put gas in it once. In fact it still had a quarter of a tank left at the end of the week. It gets 35/40 MPG. So that, for me, is totally worth every penny you would spend, which by the way is not that bad!! The Kia Optima Hybrid starts at $25,700.
The Active Eco System alerts you with a special light when you are achieving optimal fuel economy. I did notice, and this was probably the only negative thing I could even think of about this car s when it switches from gas to electric, you can feel it, I don’t really know how to describe it, but maybe you hybrid owners out there know what I am talking about. It kind of “pulls”. It took a bit to get used to it but once I did- I fell for this car hard!! Even my husband, who I never thought would ever like a hybrid, took this car for drives through the city almost daily!! So if he, who owns a sports car loves it, then I know you all will too!! Go check out the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid and test one out for yourself!!
I was provided a Kia 2012 Optima Hybrid to test drive for this review, my views are based on my experience with this car and may differ from your own.