It has been the most insane week in my house and the car that has been by my side… The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Ex. I believe there has been no mall we have not been too, and no event not attended as this is has been one of my most eventful weeks lately. The boys needed new clothes, we needed groceries, hockey schedules to meet, school meetings, and outing beyond the norm and as I met all of my commitments the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Ex lavishly accompanied my every move. I was transported from place to place with a road-hugging, performance savvy, sporty looking 4 door vehicle. I literally have driven in every weather condition with this vehicle and I can tell you the Kia Optima Hybrid EX is one amazing vehicle. Here’s my week, lavishly living it out loud for you while I test drove a 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid EX a mid-size vehicle.
First things first, what exactly is this vehicle? Let me keep it simple: Every time you pump the brakes you actually are charging the battery, which runs more than the engine and will save you hundreds of dollars on gas monthly! With a hybrid you are driving a car that offers an engine that runs on gasoline, but has an electric motor, that in this case is charged by pumping the brakes as you would normally! The motor takes over rather than running the engine which requires gas and your car will offer you 35 MPG around the city! Yes this car delivers, because I drove it for one full week, and when I tell you I was all over Pittsburgh, I mean, I was ALL OVER the BURGH and I never filled the car up. We are still on 1/2 a tank of gas and I can’t believe this. Remember I drive a Suburban, which is awesome for transporting tons of kids(which I have) and their friends and ice hockey equipment, but not so kind on the gas mileage.
I spoke to John at Kia on McKnight Road and learned that the Stability in this vehicle is Mercedes. The vehicles are made right in the USA in Georgia and they are all around the safest car out there boasting 6 airbags. John told me the CEO of KIA was driving this vehicle around and I can see why. The inside of our KIA was totally decked out in the world of tech, which initially overwhelmed me, but I kicked it as soon as I spent about 10 minutes really looking at all my options. Let’s review what I learned about the KIA Optima Hybrid EX.
The Interior of Kia Optima Hybrid
This interior is high quality, including sharp looking leather trimmed seats, lighting that lets you see what you need without even touching a switch and a cool duo-moon roof, that allows both the passengers in the back seat as well as the front seat to look up into the sky!(drivers keep you eyes straight ahead!)
The front seat is comfortable, but, to me I felt like I was touching the ground, coming out of an SUV that sits high off the ground. I had to slink to get into the car, but if you were comparing apples to apples, this vehicle is like every other mid-size vehicle when it comes to where it sits in relation to the road.
I will say, I sat in the back seat for one part of the ride, with my boys, it is a bit cramped a) with three people and 3 seat-belts as well as leg room and I am not a large person by any stretch of the imagination. You can see below in the photo with the groceries on the seat that my purse took up most of the carpet, and it is not a huge bag, but the leg room in the back is minimal. Again, I ask you to remember I drive a large SUV, so this may be more standard for cars, I personally am not used to this.
The back of the car offered a cool feature, which made it perfect for this hockey-toting momma: a little armrest that actually entered into the trunk and allowed us to place the hockey sticks through it in order take them with us. My son at one point crawled through the hole, that was insane! Without this, our sticks would not have fit. The boys loved the seat heaters in the back and each had a control on their door panel, which they fully took advantage of, I swear KIA ordered the cold weather just so we could use all the features, lol!
The Trunk Of the Optima Hybrid
As for trunk space, I don’t know what everyone is used to, but I managed to really load this car up, including the back seats, take a look! That is a few backpacks, as well as a few days of groceries and a stop at Target! What did not fit in the trunk, I tossed and buckled into the back seat. We managed to fit 2 hockey bags in the back and hockey sticks, and the boys fit in the car too, without exception.
After a few stops we had to unload of course and my son just could not resist jumping in once it was unloaded!
I love how the car looks at night, it has a sleek, sports car look, that is only enhanced by its lighting system, which included fog lamps!
One of my favorite features on the car of course was the heated steering wheel and seats, which covered all seats, except the 5th(back middle) which in general was not used anyway).
What Comes on The Optima Hybrid?
What comes standard on the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid 2014? Satellite radio, Bluetooth(again, best in class, according to John at the KIA dealer), I however, could not get my phone to pair. I loved the USB port and push button start, as well as dual-zone automatic climate control. The rearview camera and front screen to see the backing in was amazing while the roof that opened both in the back and front seats left the kids in awe! Did I mention that the screen in front was touch-screen?
The price tag on this KIA $37,000 and you will save hundreds of dollars a month on gas alone, so a well worth the price vehicle. Now, let’s talk driving in all kinds of conditions. First we had beautiful sunshine, so I opened the great sunroof, which let the sun shine on in and the air blew lightly through the vehicle. Then, it rained cats and dogs(lol), it sure was a mess, and my vehicle alerted me to the road condition, as I believe I took a right turn a bit differently than it might have wanted me to, an alert light came on, and this is the one time I actually knew when the car was switching from engine to motor, other than this the transition was seamless. The sleet arrived, and the wipes washed the windshields and my Kia Optima Hybrid EX kept on driving. I added the Fog Lamps to light the way(it was dark) and the snow began- just punishing weather, but truly a great way to test the performance of the vehicle. I had no problems driving in dustings of snow, across the lovely ice that graced our local smaller bridges and roads and then up a driveway.
Which brings me to the Parking Brake, I have a newer vehicle, but this vehicle has something really cool in it that mine did not. We live in Pittsburgh, where parking on a hill, is more the norm than the exception, so a parking brake will wear out 🙂 I sat there stymied not figuring out where the parking brake was, searching the vehicle, getting a little crazy because I could not locate one. Then I saw this button, marked P and if you place your foot on the brake and pull the button, the brake is set! Amen, because it would have rolled down our hill. To deactivate it, I simply placed my foot on the brake and touched the P again, it was that simple, and while the vehicle is demoed, it’s a lot to remember at once!
I again, as KIA to address the gas pedal adjustment. My legs are short, but I don’t like sitting on the steering wheel. The vehicle needs to have an adjustable set of pedals, to bring the pedals to where I want them, not where they are placed. I don’t have complaints or other suggestions for this vehicle as it has most everything in it you could want including awesome MPG in the city up to 35 which is insane crazy. The ride is very smooth, the vehicle hugs the road and all the inside amenities are perfect. The transition from engine to motor is very efficient. I noticed the transition only when I backed up my driveway, it is similar to when you would turn your car off and then try to back up(then you would not be able to), but in a hybrid, the vehicle just goes silent, and all functionality continues, it is the wildest thing ever as I swore the vehicle was not running,but it was and the kids were equally enthralled!
Lavishly live life out loud, with a test drive of a Kia Optima Hybride EX. You will love the gas mileage, the sleek look of the car and all the amenities you get for your money!
I was not compensated or given ANYTHING to write this review. I simply test drove the KIA and wrote my own story. Images, thoughts, etc. are ALL my own as I lavishly live my adventures out loud for you!