Good on gas.
I had a SUV and recently had an additional 50mile round trip added to my commute. So now that I'm driving further to work, I wanted something more economical, yet sporty and fun. A friend of mine got the Optima Hybrid, and I fell in love as soon as I saw it! I had no idea Kia made such a great looking, fun car. I was always a Japanese snob, wanting Toyota, Infiniti, Honda or Lexus previously. I love this car. I was told Kia got an Audi designer to help "up their game", and boy did they. This car is like sitting in an Audi. The premium package that the Optima has competes with luxury cars, for the more economical price. I just recently went to wash my car, and had a bunch of guys there comment on how nice it looked (it a year old by now). When I told them it was a hybrid, they were shocked. I'm also averaging just under 40mpg on the hwy, and just over 40mpg running around the neighborhood. And when I'm on the hwy, and I'm passing people I know they are sitting there going "nice car, and it's a hybrid!". It's quick when it needs to be, and the shift between the gas engine and the battery engine is smooth. I can only tell that it's changing by what the system tells me on the dash. Kia thought of everything when it came to this car. Even down to lowering the car to improve gas mileage, adding aerodyanmic wheels (which the car guys loved), and having the driver seat back up automatically for ease of getting in and out when you turn the car off. Believe me, if you drive it, you won't be able to think of getting anything else! They made me a believer that getting a hybrid doesn't mean giving up on style and fun.
So far I am very impressed with the Optima Hybrid. The comfort and styling rivals luxury cars I have driven including Mercedes and Lexus, although there is a little more road noise than the higher priced luxury cars. The features are outstanding including heated front and rear seats and cooled front seats, panoramic sunroof and rear view camera. The first thing I noticed when I started the car was that there was no noise at all. In fact, the salesman and I both turned the car off and back on because we weren't sure it had even started. I was concerned that the 4 cylinder engine would lack power, but I have had no problem punching it to enter the freeway or change lanes. I have total confidence that the car will perform in a tight spot. Braking is equally impressive. I paid a little more than I had planned to get the improved MPG of the hybrid. Mileage is greatly dependent on driving conditions and climate. I notice a significant difference in MPG when running the AC or idling for a long time. So far I'm averaging around 32 MPG but expect closer to 35 when cooler weather arrives. There's lots to like about this car. Kia has come a long way and I can see myself trading up to a newer version of the Optima in a year or two.