If you are in the market for a fuel efficient mid-size sedan, you need to take a look at the Kia Optima Hybrid because you will be amazed!

I had the chance to drive a 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid around for a bit and I was in love. I had never even ridden in a hybrid car before, so getting to test drive one was a whole new experience! I was pleased with so many aspects of this car, and I think it is the perfect car for a family who is looking to save on gas or take steps to be a little more eco-conscious.

Fuel Efficiency

For a mom who drives around a lot, I was amazed that after a week of driving two kids to two different (and 15 miles apart) schools all week, running errands, going to our various activities and such, we still had plenty of gas left in the car! With gas mileage coming in at a shocking 35/40 MPG this car can take you all over without breaking the bank! A relief with gas prices seemingly going up weekly.

Eco-Friendly

Buying a Hybrid car not only helps with fuel efficiency, it also helps you take a step towards being a little more eco-friendly! Driving a car that can switch from using a gas powered motor over to an electric battery makes it possible for you to use less gas as well as cutting down on the harmful exhaust. The Optima helps you to make the most of the electric battery, as well! There are so many features to boost the eco side of the Optima, and to SEE it happening! Your dashboard has an “Eco Level” that adds leaves to your tree the more eco-friendly you are!

Also, if you have the Technology Package, there are a few features that help you watch your fuel efficiency in real time! You can see your instant MPG as well as watch the energy flow of the engines. I loved the latter feature because I feel like I got to know how the car worked with it!

Watching the image switch from the Engine to the Electric Motor as I changed little things here and there made me a little more conscious of using the car to it’s best potential. There is also an Eco button on the steering wheel to help optimize your eco-friendliness. It will keep the fuel efficiency at it’s best, but it does sacrifice some of the power when you do so.

Cost Efficient

Buying a Hybrid car isn’t as out of reach as you’d think! I was under the impression that having a hybrid car was for the upper class, something that was more expensive and out of my price range, but I was pleasantly surprised that the MSRP on a BRAND NEW Optima Hybrid is $25,700! That’s brand spanking new! Even fully loaded, you’re looking at $33,000! Unheard of!

Technology

One of my favorite things about Kia is their Technology Package. It is well worth the upgrade, and hands down has the most user friendly navigation system I have ever used. With the Optima Hybrid Technology Package, you are getting upgraded speakers….8 of them, in fact! You also receive the Navigation/Rear Camera/Sirius/XM Radio and an upgraded dimming rear view mirror with compass and Homelink buttons to program in your garage/gate. My favorite is the heated AND Air Cooled front seats! The back up camera on the Optima is so clear and I felt comfortable using it. Some rear view cameras are not to be trusted with depth perception, but this camera is crystal clear with a guide to help you realize a clear path!

There are tons of extras you get with the Technology package, and I recommend it to everyone! If you opt out of the Technology package you are not going to be left in the dust by any means. The Optima Hybrid comes standard with Bluetooth Technology for hands free talking on your phone as well as USB/Auxilliary outputs! A push button start makes getting into the car a breeze as a momma with three kids in tow most of the time! The key can be in my pocket and I can still open the car, get the kiddos in AND start it! No more fumbling around looking for keys while your kids are standing in the parking lot!

Comfort

This car is like riding on a cloud! From the comfortable contoured seats to the leg room, front and back my family was impressed with how lovely it was to drive around in the Optima!

It is an extremely smooth ride, too! The electric motor is SILENT (as in, you can’t even hear the car turn on!) and rides like a dream. My only complaint would be that when you pick up a little the car does have a little shift between the electric and gas motors that is a little like a hesitation, but that isn’t really all that bad! I hear this is normal in Hybrids.

Safety

We comfortably fit two large car seats and had room for an adult to still sit in the back. Both car seats were able to use their Latch anchors, as each of the three backseats has a complete Latch system for both the anchors and tethers. Every single seat has a three-way harness, too! Airbags surround the car, and the front passenger seat has sensors to turn off the airbags if a child is present. The exterior of the car is fitted with side impact steel beams for every door, absorbing the energy of a side impact crash, and the brakes have an amazing Electronic Stability Control with which the engine and brakes work together to control your car when an emergency rises.

Storage Space

This is the one thing that was an upset for me as a mom of a young child. The trunk space was ok, but once my stroller was in there it was fully loaded. Granted, a lot of sedans have a smaller trunk space. We don’t use the stroller as much any more, and as my children grow older that will not even be a thought in my mind when looking for a car, but if yours is a family with a baby or a young child it is something to consider. There’s enough space for luggage, and everyday needs though! Perfect for a family with older kids!
One part of storage that is vital in my household is drink storage, and the Optima scored high in that book with us! Two in the center console, two in the middle fold down armrest in the backseat, and one in each door, there was plenty of space for water bottles, sippy cups and coffee mugs galore!

All of these amazing features AND the car is backed by Kia’s own 10 year 100,000 mile warranty. Kia backs their cars, which gives customers the confidence to keep coming back. We loved driving around in the Optima Hybrid, and would really recommend it to those looking to go a little greener with their next car.

*While I was given the opportunity to test drive a Kia Optima Hybrid, all opinions are strictly my own.