2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Review


Back in January I was fortunate enough to be one of the bloggers chosen to participate in a Kia campaign where I received the 2012 KIA Sorento to drive around for the week. Mike and I loved it so much that we still talk about how we wish we could purchase it. We are super jealous that my Dad and Step-Mom purchased a brand new Sorento this week.

Well the folks at Kia were generous enough to send us another Kia to review.

This time we chose the Kia Optima Hybrid.


“Not your ordinary hybrid midsize sedan”

When viewing the Kia Optima Hybrid on the Kia site, the caption under the photo states, “Not your ordinary hybrid midsize sedan” – and boy! that is putting it MILDLY!

If you’re in the market for an elegant yet sporty sedan, one that will be perfect for the family and give you the best gas mileage and the most safety… look no further! This Kia Optima Hybrid has it all, and then some!

My First Impression:

When our Kia Optima Hybrid was delivered the first thing that I said to myself was, “WOW! This is HOT!” I’m not even sure if I heard all of what the delivery guy was explaining to me because all I was thinking about was getting it out on the country road to see what it had ‘in it’, haha. Folks… ya gotta understand, I’m a pathetic minivan mama – Haha! Now, don’t take that the wrong way [all of you minivan driving mama’s out there] but you understand, don’t you? After driving a minivan for the past 15 years, a car like this makes you want to go out clubbing again!KIA OPTIMA HYBRID

Once I came down from my excitement and tried listening to the delivery man explain some basic functions of the car, I found out that the Optima Hybrid Push Button Start just like the Sorento, but being a Hybrid, you can not hear the engine. That amazed me, and Mike thought it was pretty cool too. After work, he spent a while outside in awe of not only the look of the car, but the quietness of the engine.

My Thoughts:

Since I’ve already had the pleasure of test driving a Kia Sorento, the basic functioning of the Kia Optima Hybrid seemed to be very similar.

The Steering Wheel Mounted Audio Controls used to control the music is super convenient. Of course it has the cruise control mounted on the steering wheel too, but it also has the phone controls and the eco system button which is for optimum fuel economy. We rode for a few days with this on, but then we turned it off to see the difference. The car has a bit more ‘pick-up’ with this feature off. KIA OPTIMA HYBRID

The dash (as I call it) is actually designed with LCD lighting making it easier to see. I loved this.


The UVO [Powered by Microsoft] Infotainment System is optional and it’s fabulous! You control so much by just the sound of your voice! You can do just about anything with this like making phone calls, listening to music, and controlling your devices like your iPod.

The Navigation System with Sirius XM along with the Traffic and Rear Camera Display is probably one of my favorites about the car. I used the Rear Camera Display every single time I backed up! We are currently living in a town home and our driveway backs up to other driveways… it’s very tight. It really eased my mind to know there were no children running around back there. (Please excuse my hubby’s poor taste in music haha!)

In the photo above, do you see our temperature control settings? The driver side is set at 70 degrees and the passenger side is set at 85 degrees… I LOVE THAT!! Mike always needs it so cold, I hate it! I was so comfy being able to control my side. Not only that, but the seats were heated and air cooled – and in this 90-100 degree weather we have been having in the Chicago area, those seats were awesome!

We also loved the Panoramic Tilt Sliding Sunroof! KIA OPTIMA HYBRID

Okay, so these things are more material details. Let’s move on to the more important things…

The Kia Optima Hybrid holds 17.2 gallons of fuel and gets 35/40 miles to the gallon.

The Kia Optima Hybrid wraps you in safety with a high strength reinforced steel body along with all of these air bags:KIA OPTIMA HYBRID

And who wouldn’t want to keep these little monsters safe?KIA OPTIMA HYBRID

Both of my kids’ car seats fit nicely and there was plenty of room for someone to sit in the middle. My 15 year old actually fit in between both car seats with no issues. There was a nice amount of room in the back and the trunk is a nice size too. If we are driving with only our younger two kids, we always need to bring our double stroller along and if it did not fit, then the car would not work for us at all.KIA OPTIMA HYBRID

The stroller was a bit snug, but it fit. With the stroller out of the trunk, there was ton’s of room! We did our weekly grocery shopping – and remember, we have a family of eight! The trunk held it all along with our little umbrella stroller.

The Kia Optima Hybrid is not only the perfect sized family car, but it’s been voted AJAC Award for 2012 Best New Family Car (over $30,000) due to the data points established in the testing of 170 cars. It’s one of the most fuel efficient and safest cars in it’s class. We were in awe of the Kia Optima Hybrid and did not want to give it back haha.

Would you?


The vehicle I drove was priced at $32,500.00 which was equipped with 17’ Alloy Wheels, Leather Seat Trim, Driver’s Seat Memory, Heated Steering Wheel and many more additional features.

Head over and Build Your Kia!



  1. We drove this car for a recent road trip & fell in love! It’s probably going to be the next car we buy. Love it!

  2. What a nice car!! I want one 🙂

  3. That sun roof is so cool! And I love that there is so much space in the back seat. I may have to check this out. We have said that our next vehicle will be a hybrid.

  4. WOW! What a fancy schmancy car. I am so amazed at how quiet the hybrid is. Great review… I want to test drive one now!

  5. WOW!!! I am with you – I’m a mini van mama too and I’d love to take that car out to see what it can do! Totally makes me want to be young again! Oh wait, I don’t have to be young to drive that, do I? ;)I looks amazing! Kia has come a long way since I saw then years ago!

  6. I’ve been eyeing this car for a while now but with our growing family we’ve been leaning towards a SUV. I love the look of the Sorentos! Maybe I will get to test it out one day :).

  7. i have never driven a kia. i love the audio dash! Very cool!

  8. that’s a sweet looking ride. i love the screens and displays. but mostly? the sun/moonroof is AWESOME. i like the images you shared, as well.

  9. Great review – sporty and great on gas works for me

  10. I’d be in gas mileage heaven…

  11. Holy wow, I want that vehicle! Man, it's gorgeous and it would be perfect for me and my boys! I love that dashboard!

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