Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling  |   Document Shredding
Rocklin & Roseville Today Events
Celebrating Life...
HOME

Kia Optima Hybrid delivers lots of enviable qualities




There have been so many new hybrid vehicles over the past decade that it's getting hard to keep track of them. Of course, that's a good problem, since they are "green" vehicles that will save on gas and are partially electrically powered.

Kia jumped into the hybrid fray a year ago with the Kia Optima. It was a great move by the South Korean automaker, which already had a strong, well received product in the Optima and increased its prestige by adding the hybrid for 2011.

What's so good about the 2012 Kia Optima hybrid? First off, it looks really classy. At first glance one might mistake the Optima for a German-produced vehicle, which is high praise. It looks good on the outside and the interior features a very sensible layout with an intuitive design - wish more vehicles would follow that same line of thinking.

The Optima hybrid also has a very smooth shifting transmission that is not only quite efficient, but also very quiet. And the handling is sporty for a hybrid that sells for a reasonable $25,700.

And one more thing about this midsized sedan: the Optima has a big back seat that is roomy for taller folks and will also fit three passengers without the usual overcrowding issues.

If one understands the Kia-Hyundai relationship, it should come as no surprise that the Optima mirror some of the Hyundai Sonata basic designs.

For those not in the know, Kia and Hyundai do lots of sharing, including factories, engineering, parts and similar testing. Yet the two South Korean companies maintain their own marketing, distribution and styling departments.

The Optima hybrid has just one trim model. So if you're not enamored with it, move on. And there are certainly a number of fine choices if one really wants to purchase Optima, because it has three other trim models besides the hybrid version.

The hybrid engine pairs a 30-kilowatt electric motor with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder that produces 206 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It's far from the quickest sedan around, going 0-60 mph in 8.4 seconds. But that's not bad for a hybrid model.

For higher performance, the Optima SX is the best bet. It's 2.0-liter, turbo-charged four-cylinder that creates 274 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, and is clocked 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The other two trims (LX, EX) are 2.4-liter, four-cylinders with 200 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.

With any hybrid, perhaps the prime consideration is gas mileage. While no slouch in that department, the Optima hybrid only gets a reported 35-40 mpg. The other three Optima models range between 22-35 mpg.

As mentioned previously, the Optima provides a very nice ride. It's a fairly easy vehicle to maneuver, thanks to its responsive steering. It has good passing power in freeway situations and also features dependable braking power.

The Optima's smart interior utilizes the Uvo electronics interface system, which is offered in all but the base model. Uvo allows for voice control of cell phones and MP3 players, plus services like turn-by-turn navigation, which is a little too chatty for my liking.

A low roof line is one downside to the Optima because it limits visibility. Another negative is the trunk's substandard in the hybrid version with only 9.9 cubic feet due to sharing space with the battery pack. The other Optima models measure 15.4 cubic feet in trunk space.

For anyone shopping for a midsize car with a lot of value, the Optima hybrid should be considered. It blends a sporty look with a comfortable, well designed interior. It also offers a smooth ride for a vehicle in its price range.

2012 Kia Optima hybrid

  • Performance: 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, 206 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 35-40 mpg
  • Price: $25,700
  • Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; corrosion 5 years/100,000; roadside assistance 5 years/60,000; 24-hour roadside assistance


About Weidel on Wheels


Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com




Placer County News Headlines

$866 Million Budget for Placer County ApprovedThe Placer County Board of Supervisors has approved the county's final 2017-18 budget of $866.2 million, an increase of 6.2 percent from the previous

Free Dementia Training on Sept. 27 for Families of Loved Ones Roseville, CA- The number of Americans living with Alzheimer's disease is expected to triple - from five million today to more than 16 million by 2050 - unless a cure is found

Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk October 8thSacramento, CA - Join the Down Syndrome Information Alliance as we unite for a common cause and raise funds at the 2017 Step Up For Down Syndrome Walk

Roseville City School District partners with Tommy Apostolos FundRoseville, Calif. - Accidents happen, which is why local nonprofit, Tommy Apostolos Fund, is launching its newest program, "Kids' Care Kits."

Sacramento Metro Chamber Small Business Development Center UpdatesSACRAMENTO, CA - In less than three years after assisting its first client in December 2014, the Sacramento Metro Chamber's Capital Region Small Business Development Center

Recovery Happens Event in Auburn September 23Auburn, CA- This annual event celebrates people recovering from substance use or mental health concerns, highlighting their success stories

New Social Host Ordinance in AuburnAUBURN, Calif. - The Auburn City Council unanimously passed a civil social host ordinance during their city council meeting.

Versatile Hyundai Ioniq: Has EV and Hybrid modeRoseville, CA - Anyone interested in purchasing the all-new 2017 Hyundai Ioniq better be proficient at decision making

Roseville Gas Price Hikes Slow Heading into AutumnRoseville, CA- Coming off recent upticks in prices, Roseville area residents have seen prices remain relatively stable this past week.

WJU Baseball adds experience and leadership to staffROCKLIN, Calif. - William Jessup head baseball coach Jake McKinley is pleased to introduce the new coaching staff for the Warriors, bringing years of experience and leadership

Roseville Club to Host Tennis Sectional ChampionshipRoseville, CA - The United States Tennis Association (USTA) Northern California Adult 55+ Tennis Sectional Championship will be arriving on Sept. 21-24

Our Most Vulnerable Residents: Expanding Medical Care & HousingThe Placer County Board of Supervisors recently approved two new components of the Whole Person Care pilot program: a medical respite unit that will provide interim care for at-risk clients leaving the hospital, along with a new agreement to purchase housing units


NEWS: In Case You Missed It