A few weeks ago, I was invited to Dallas on behalf of Nissan. The invitees were getting the chance to drive the prototype of the upcoming Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. I say prototype but it...
Kia Optima Hybrid Review
The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is the only hybrid vehicle available from Kia. It has front-wheel drive and a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder gasoline engine along with an electric motor and six-speed automatic transmission. The gasoline engine and the electric motor together produce 206 horsepower. According to the automotive information website Edmunds.com, the Optima Hybrid can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the Optima Hybrid gets 35 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 40 MPG on the highway with a combined 37 MPG.
Standard exterior features on the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid include 16-inch tires with alloy wheels, chrome door handles, an eye-catching front grille design, clear-lens projection headlights with front fog lights and LED turn signal indicators in the side mirrors which are heated and power-adjusted.
The Optima Hybrid has s sophisticated interior technology package that comes with many standard features. These include a six-speaker audio system with AM/FM and SiriusXM satellite radios along with an MP3 player, USB/auxiliary input jacks and BLUETOOTH wireless technology. Other convenient interior features that are standard in the Optima Hybrid include a smart key and push button start along with audio controls that are mounted on the steering wheel.
In terms of safety, the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid left no stone unturned. The front seats have active headrests which help prevent injury to passengers in the event of a rear-end collision. There are also dual front airbags, side airbags in the front and side curtain airbags, and all airbags are controlled by a state-of-the-art sensor system. In addition, all doors on the Optima Hybrid have steel reinforcement beams to divert some of the force of a side collision. All of these safety features are standard equipment. Traction and stability control, four-wheel antilock brakes and a tire pressure monitoring system are also standard safety equipment.
The 2012 Optima Hybrid received the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 5-Star Crash Safety Rating. This is the administration's highest crash safety rating. In addition, the Optima Hybrid was a 2012 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. This means that the Optima Hybrid got the highest possible rating in all four IIHS crash test categories–front offset, side, rear and roof strength.
When we first got the car, I wasn't sure it would fit my family of five for a road trip. I was optimistic but I figured we might need to take a little less luggage with us. However, this was not the case at all. All five rolling suitcases fit in the trunk and there was plenty of room inside the cabin of the car for my entire family. We did not at all feel like we had less room than in the SUV that I typically drive.
The sleek styling of the car really caught our attention as well. It looks great and drives well. The handling was wonderful and in fact, my husband and I fought over who was going to drive although we both drove the car quite a bit. The Kia has a high end feel with leather and a great trim level with many standard
Now the hyrbid part of the car was probably my husband's favorite thing about the car. We didn't have to fill the tank once and we drove from Atlanta to Charlotte then back again. We drove the car a little under 500 miles total. This was impressive.
My husband also liked watching his Eco Level while driving (see picture above). The more eco friendly his driving was, the more flowers the tree had. If he wasn't driving in an eco friendly manner, the tree lost leaves and flowers. He hated not having leaves and flowers so he made certain that he drove in the most eco friendly way possible.