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Kia Optima Real World MPG

csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
2006.5+ actually.

Didn't have a pen or calculator with me but it looks like I got about 27 mpg when I filled up. Short mileage, mixed driving but better than I thought given Hyundai's reputation for being a tight engine up until 5K or so.

Pleasantly pleased by the car so far.


  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    My Optima has 2850 miles on it as I write this.Mostly highway mileage so far,I :blush: :blush: would estimate 75-80%, and the best MPG so far has been 31.7 and the worst 20.7
    I have a 2.4 engine with the 5 speed auto.
  • My Optima averages 25.5 MPG mixed driving. The best I've done was 32 MPG highway. Going from Asheville, NC to Wilmington, NC.
  • My car has over 41,000 miles.
  • robmanrobman Posts: 7
    I've got only 2,000 miles so far on the 2006.5 EX equipped as above. I'm averaging roughly 27 MPG with a low of 22 and a high of 30.

    I live in the mountains so I use the auto-stick feature consistently. BTW - the transmission is unbelievably smooth in either mode but in auto mode doesn't downshift when I attack the mountain inclines in a sporty fashion (LOL).

    The dealership has treated me like "family" so far without being pesky. This is not what I expected from a South Korean manufacturer with a comparatively new dealer network.

    Best deal on the market for $20K but you should shop the Hyundai products as well!
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    25.5 is exactly what I averaged after 3000 miles.Frankly Im a bit disappointed as I had averaged 28.6 on my Sonata.Both are auto-4 cyl.EPA is higher on the Optima.Surprisingly my last fill up was an atrocious 16.4MPG.Lets hope that was an aberration. :sick:
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Mixed: 24 mpg
    90% highway: 30 mpg

    Not bad given Hyundai's reputation for a stiff engine. Still no better than my Maxx V6.
  • Not bad? Despite horrendous head and side winds,and then some driving in Chicago,my Chryler mini van with a 3.8 engine managed 18.6...actual,not trip computer.Of course thats after 148,000 miles. :confuse: BTW they still havent figured out the problem with the air bag issue on the passenger side.Whats more,they dont seem to have any sense of urgency about it.I wouldnt want another KIA if they gave it away.Giving this car a rating of 7 was too high.
  • spmrebelspmrebel Posts: 130
    Thats actually pretty good. My 05 Elantra GT with auto that has 38K miles gets about 29 mpg with 90% highway driving (no stop and go) and about 25 mpg mixed. My 05 Spectra EX gets about 31 mpg highway and about 26 mpg mixed. Your Optima should do better once you have 20K miles.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Click here and complain:

    link NHTSA

    Did you ever take it to another dealer or complain to the zone rep? (I know we've covered this before, sorry my memory is bad).

    I bought a Kia because of the quality of my Hyundai dealer, but both brands have some bad dealerships (but no worse than some Japanese makes).
  • Yes,I am now going to another dealer.They say that some sort of KIA super tech will "re-flash" the seat.Unfortunately,the guy never shows up.Ive made the trip for this procedure 3 times, and he is yet to show up.The problem being intermittent does make it much more difficult to find,but IMO they are the ones who designed and built this car, and it really is THEIR problem.I'm hoping that if they cant fix this,I will get a refund and I can get the name KIA out of my mind,once and for all.I have bought so many cars in my lifetime that I lost count,and I have never had a single car,any brand, that had an unfix-able problem.
    BTW I sure hope you are right about the MPG improving.Thats been a big disappointment. :lemon:
  • I have a 2006.5 Kia Optima with the V6 and am having trouble with the passenger side airbag also,,,the light in the dash by the clock will be on even if somebody is sitting in the seat,,,this is an intermittent problem but actually happens quite frequently,,,but when I took it to Kia to have it checked out,,,they said that everything is alright with it,,,no codes in the computer, and could not get it to act up while they had it for 2 hrs. But they did tell me that if the light is on,,,then the airbag is off,,,so I asked them if my wife/passenger has to be hurt or killed before they fix this,,,and they said that the sensors are around 1200.00 each and they cant just throw money and time at it hoping to get it right. I then stated that the safety aspect of the vehicle was one of the main reasons I bought this car,,,actually bought 2 of them at the same time,,,one with a V6 and decked out for my wife and one with a 4cyl. and pretty basic for myself as I drive much farther to work than she does,,,and by the way her car (V6) gets terrible gas mileage, about 20mpg with 80% highway usage. We have so far got a high of 22 out of it mixed with a high of 24 all highway, 3 hr trip on the turnpike. Very dissapointed with this car,,,should have got her the Sante Fe that she wanted but thought the gas mileage was too bad,,,I think they get better than what were getting right now,,,the car has 6000 miles on it. Just very upset and letdown with the service,,,is their anyone I can call short of the CEO of the company that could help.
    Mike :lemon:
  • Good news! Ask them to get a KIA rep in to your dealer and have him re flash the computer related to that function.They did mine a week ago and so far,so good.
    If the dealer plays dumb,call KIA on the phone.You can find the number on their site seemed to solve the problem, although it took 3 months to get it done.Dont let them beat you down.Like you I feel very disappointed in the gas mileage on my 4 cyl Optima.On a long trip,it actually managed 31 MPG,but on mixed driving,some 80% highway had a low of 16.5, and usually in the very low 20s.I have a feeling that this car is not long for my garage.I have right now 3500 miles on it.
    BTW, keep your receipts,after three attempted repairs if a serious problem persists ,you are eligible for the lemon law.Look it up,Im not kidding.It might be a hassle and Im sure that they will resist mightily,but the law is on your side. :lemon:
    If they deny the malfunction,take a video camcorder when you are traveling with a passenger,and videotape this occurrence ,making sure that the date shows on the video.
    This KIA owner seriously wishes I had bought a Hyundai Sonata which is a far superior car.On my 2006 Sonata,After 10000 miles I averaged over 28MPG.Thats for the 10000 miles,not just a tank.For my first 3000miles on the KIA I averaged 25.5.Thats 3 MPG less,although EPA says 34 hwy for Optima vs 33 MPG hwy for the Sonata. :sick: :lemon:
  • I have been video taping it now for about 3 days, and I'm getting ready to take the car back,,,the bad part is they are 1 hr north of us,,,will definately look into the lemon laws,,,,thanks for your advice,,,greatly appreciated. Kinda sucks that I should be the one to have to tell them how to fix thier own cars........glad they're certified mechanics,,,hahahaha
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I would be satisfied with your average mpg on this engine, it's within 1 mpg of what I got with my 01 Elantra with a 2 liter engine. Your experiences with the Sonata sound phoenominal. I haven't checked the Sonata mpg threads, I'd be surprised if most owners averaged 27-28 mixed with that car. All individual cars fall within a distribution curve, and IMHO you really lucked out with the Sonata.

    I'm averaging about 23 mixed with my 'Bu Maxx. Note that the EPA for the Optima V-6 is just about the same but the experiences in the real world are probably worse. I stated going in that if I got the mileage in the Optima 4 a mpg or two higher than the Maxx I'd be a happy camper.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Your experience validates my idea that Kia (and Hyundai) still aren't all the way there with their dealer network. I can't figure out why you were jerked around like that on a safety related issue. Also amazing that the rep. stiffed you repeatedly on scheduled meetings or why had to be the one to flash. Amazing.

    I haven't taken my Kia back to the dealer yet, but my Hyundai experience indicated that was the weak link in the occasion. The sales experience was worse than the service experience, however. The sales experience deteriorated from my Elantra purchase in 2001 to my looking at a Sonata at the same dealer in 2006.
  • I just checked straight city,Kewanee mileage.What a shock that was,12.2MPG All local,no highway at all.I was horrified.I get at least that on my Chrysler T&C with a 3.8.engine.Im really at a loss of what to do.
  • Does anyone find it odd that Kia does not include a MPG option in the display,,but does include an average for Miles per Hour. I wonder if they know that the mileage on their cars are all over the place,,,and if it we had displayed in front of us it would cause more issues as I assume they hope we wont sit down and actually figure it out by hand. I have 2 kia's,,,on 4 cyl and one 6,,, the 6 cylinder gets right at 20-22 mpg, and my 4 cyl will get anywhere from 18-28,,,hardly ever the same average twice. When I talked to the dealership service dept. about this they told me that with the mass airflow sensor and the ambient air temp sensor that when it is cold outside and the sensor is only seeing 16 degrees F. that the system never fully goes into closed loop operation but stays in open loop and causes it to use more fuel, since the computer thinks the car is cold. So it runs it more rich on the fuel even though the engine is up to temperature. Oh I miss the days of carburation.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    It's been cold in northern Illinois. If you're driving strictly around town and not getting fully warmed up I can understand the 12 mpg. The Optima seems to have a large variation between city and highway driving. I think Consumer Reports picked up on this (don't have access to this month's issue-- from memory).
  • I understand the fact that it's cold and the car doesnt get a chance to warm up,but neither does the Chrysler.It just doesnt make sense.
  • I have a friend who is a mechanic with Chrysler.He says that they are having the same air bag issue with all of their new cars.As he put it,they've had to "recalibrate"all of their computers.Mine is OK now, its been 2 weeks since the re flash,now the issue is the horrible gas mileage.My last three fill ups have been 20.something.20.something and 12.2.Thats just not acceptable.The 20 somethings were mixed driving,I would estimate 80% highway.We are going to look at the Prius and the Honda Civic hybrid.If we dont get one of those,then maybe a nice mini van.If we cant get great mileage, we might as well be comfortable. ;)
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