Where Would You Take the Sleek and Sporty Kia Optima Hybrid?

5 Minutes for Mom recently asked Jenn Padgett from Five Dollar Shake – a fellow blogger and friend of ours here – to test drive the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid midsize sedan and give our readers a report.

Kia Optima Hybrid

Jenn drove the the sleek, sporty Kia Optima Hybrid for a week, including to and from work, and a 3-day road trip to Northern Michigan with her two daughters. Here’s what she had to say:

I’ve never driven a hybrid car before, I knew the technology ran on less gas, but I had no idea just how little gas it uses. I drove the Kia Optima Hybrid to and from work (over 20 miles each way) four times, and I swear the needle hardly moved. I also had amazing gas mileage while on the freeway.

I love all the modern features. Keyless entry and starting the car by pushing a button is pretty cool. The dash actually plays a little music when the start button is pushed, and says goodbye when turned off. Not an important feature I know, but it made me smile each time. As did the sun roof!

The seats are very comfortable and the luxury interior through-out the entire car is really nice. I like that the driver seat automatically slides back for an easy exit from the car, and remembers the personal setting upon returning. I did have a hard time buckling the driver’s side seat belt a few times. This wasn’t a big issue, but happened enough times to make it worth mentioning.

The car drove like a dream. Very easy to handle, and coasted smoothly around corners. Both while in the city and during our road trip up north. I have to admit, I gave in while alone on an open road and opened it up for a few minutes, and it was pretty awesome. She’s not only pretty, she also has plenty of power, no doubt!

kia optima hybrid interior and sunroof

About the road trip itself, Jenn reported:

Our campground is a five hour drive away from home, so we were able to put a lot of Kia’s features to the test. Our favorites right out of the driveway were the rear-camera display, Sirius Satellite Radio, built-in GPS, and the UVO system made it easy to sync my phone and iPad for hands free calls and access to iTunes while on the road. The girls also loved the built in cup holders, perfect for long trips like ours.

As the driver I was impressed by the beautifully designed dash and it’s display of fuel consumption, ECO dynamics and a green rating for each trip. Being on the free way for five hours, I also appreciated the display of how many miles until empty. Now, that is a nice safety feature.

kia optima hybrid dash

Speaking of safety, Jenn pointed out several of the Kia Optima Hybrid’s special features, including:

  • NHTSA 5 Star Crash Rating
  • 2012 IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • Electronic Stability Control & Anti-lock Brakes
  • Tire-pressure Monitoring System
  • Dual Front advanced airbags
  • Dual Front seat-mounted side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags

To read more about the fun Jenn had with the Kia Optima Hybrid, and about the memories she made with her daughters on their road trip, visit her at Five Dollar Shake. To learn more about the features, options, and accessories for the Kia Optima Hybrid, visit Kia.com.

Disclosure: Jenn was delivered a 2012 Kia Optima Premium to drive for seven days. This included their road trip. No monetary compensation was exchanged. The opinions express are honest and her own. She was not asked or influenced in any way to write a positive review by Kia or 5 Minutes for Mom.


  1. says

    Cool! I have always thought hybrid cars were so awesome. I’d love to own one of the new Ford Fusions…
    My fear was always long distance trips. I know they’re great for in town. So glad Jenn talked about their road trip and how well the Kia performed.

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