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Small Engine, Big Performance - 2016 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,110
edited March 2016 in Kia
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Small Engine, Big Performance - 2016 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

Despite its small size, the four-cylinder engine in our 2016 Kia Optima has plenty of power.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    I'm just excited to see a vehicle in a small car that leaves you usable room to perform basic services on. It's why I've always hated front wheel drive, transverse engine vehicles. You end up struggling just to replace a fan belt, oil filter, sparkplugs, wires, etc.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    edited March 2016
    Downside of a turbo. The sales pitch is always bigger engine power+smaller engine thirst. But power is a function of fuel burned, not cubic inches. X HP requires Y fuel and cylinder count and displacement don't matter that much. If you take advantage of the power you will burn more fuel.

    This is what EcoBoost owners are seeing.

    You only get the benefit of a small displacement, low power engine when you drive it like one.

    And kudos to Hyundai/Kia for providing room to get to engine components.
  • Downside of a turbo. The sales pitch is always bigger engine power+smaller engine thirst. But power is a function of fuel burned, not cubic inches. X HP requires Y fuel and cylinder count and displacement don't matter that much. If you take advantage of the power you will burn more fuel.

    This is what EcoBoost owners are seeing.

    You only get the benefit of a small displacement, low power engine when you drive it like one.

    And kudos to Hyundai/Kia for providing room to get to engine components.

    The people who have been doing this the longest (VW, Audi) are best at getting good fuel economy out of turbocharged engines.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Posts: 878
    edited March 2016
    I think it depends on how the manufacturer chooses engines for testing. If they choose to use new green engines for testing they take a hit on fuel economy numbers but what you see on the sticker is what you get. Using a broken in engine with miles on it will give better numbers for the sticker but owners are going to wonder why they don't get close to the numbers on the sticker.

    My girlfriend's Sonata didn't get close to the EPA numbers at first but now with over 50,000 miles it is usually exactly what was on the sticker. My Acura always got what the sticker said from day one and now 7 years later it exceeds the EPA numbers.

    I think Ford and Hyundai, for instance, use broken in engines and you won't get those numbers until the engine is well broken in. Honda and VW probably use new engines so what you see on the sticker is what you get right out the box; and as they get older the mileage gets better.
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 143
    I get EPA numbers in my Mazda6 which, with a larger non-turbo engine hits nearly the same performance number as the Optima. Tiny turboed engines are all about boost, not eco, regardless of what Ford tries to tell you. Nobody's managed to build one that hits its EPA estimates.
  • barich1 said:

    I get EPA numbers in my Mazda6 which, with a larger non-turbo engine hits nearly the same performance number as the Optima. Tiny turboed engines are all about boost, not eco, regardless of what Ford tries to tell you. Nobody's managed to build one that hits its EPA estimates.

    Well, that's what I'm saying - VW and Audi seem to be able to. Edmunds' A3 averaged 26 mpg on an EPA of 27, even with their "tendency to drive the A3 almost exclusively in Sport mode," as they put it. Their GTI averaged 27.3 on an EPA of 28. They have been making small turbo fours since 1998...and the experience shows.

    Your Mazda6 performs well in tests, where rpms can be kept up at the power peak or near it, but it's not the same in everyday driving as a turbo, with its super-high, super-wide torque band. I have an SVT Focus and a GTI, and the Focus is pretty quick, but in the VW, you roll into the throttle at any rpm, any gear...you're gone.
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