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Kia Optima Real World MPG



  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Okay, let's get back to the subject here which is the fuel economy of Optimas in th real world.

    Other comments aren't appropriate here, thanks.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Well...I love my KIA...great ride and looks great too.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Share with us again your mileage? :)
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    last time I averaged...10 fill ups...31.4 about 90% highway.
    My very last highway fill up was 37.9,that was almost all highway,maybe 98%.
    Like I said,very good on the highway,and very mediocre in the city,mostly because my car makes such short trips,less than 2 miles,that it doesn't get a chance to get warm.Somewhere between 14 & 15.
    If the driving was split even, 50-50,it's about 23-24 MPG.
    I have not filled up recently,but after driving from Sandusky Oh to Kewanee Il,my computer indicated I had 130 miles left to empty.I have no complaints with that.
  • barguglbargugl Member Posts: 26
    Ok. I have my first mostly highway tank. 85% highway/15% town and I ended up with 30mpg. I am up to about 2700 miles total now. Total mileage is 23.3mpg with 30% Highway/70% town.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Sounds about right..
  • bearscouterbearscouter Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 4cyl with auto and i am averaging 25 to 28 mostly hwy driving. I thought it would average over 30. I use cruise control and drive the posted speed limit which is not over 70 mph. Let me know if I am out of line complaining about the mileage I am getting. By the way I have 14300 miles on the Optima so I should be past the break in period. Any help out there? Thanks
  • mingdoimingdoi Member Posts: 4
    Just bought the LX 4-cylinder manual and very happy with the ride and fit of the construction. But initial mpg with A/C on in the city is not good (<17mpg) for a 4 cylinder. However, without A/C and about 50% city/highway = 25mpg. With gas in LA @ 4.70/gallon, the joy of buying the KIA at such a good price compared to a Toyota is tempered down with the real world, poor mpg's. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Your in town gas mileage (17) isn't all that bad.My Optima EX 4cyl, auto gets a lot less.It pretty much depends on how far you drive.Is the engine warmed up,or are you making very short trips as I do...less than 2 miles.
    According to Consumer Reports, real world MPG on a 4 cylinder Optima with automatic tranny is 15 city 33 highway.BTW I have 35lbs of air in my tires. That seems to help. I have gotten as much as 40.7 on a long interstate drive.
    I have not noticed any worse gas consumption with the AC on. Matter of fact,I get better MPG in the summer with the AC on than in the winter.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Your 25 mpg for 50/50 city/highway is very close to the EPA estimate. And it's a new engine. Hyundai engines (which the Optima has) tend to improve in FE as they age (actually that is pretty common with other brands too). Keep checking the mpg and drive moderately, and see what happens. Also try taking the car on a long cruise on the highway and see what it does there, at a reasonable speed e.g. 70 mph or less.
  • mingdoimingdoi Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the replies regarding the mpg on my new Optima. I will keep an eye on the mpg's as the car ages and will also increase the psi on the tires.

    Also, decided to poke under the hood and was surprised to find a loose, detached hose from the air intake to the filter. Reattached and hopefully will help. I guess the dealer's new car check was not too thorough.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    About 10% under my Maxx V-6 and 20% under my 01 Elantra. Mostly my wife's drive and she doesn't make much use of cruise. Still, far from good.
  • mingdoimingdoi Member Posts: 4
    Well, I now have over 1K miles on the Optima and I run with 25mpg combined. However, highway driving has been amazing; almost 35mpg. I inflated the tires to the max. and have also used some (safe) hypermiling techniques. :)
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    How many pounds is to the "max"?
  • jeepster93jeepster93 Member Posts: 1
    Hey guys...

    Max tire pressure depends on the tire. Look on the sidewall...better yet, if you have a tire store nearby, ask them the max. PSI they would suggest running in the tire. Realize that there are some tradeoffs, more PSI means less contact with the road (less friction) for stopping but also less contact with the road (again, less friction) for better gas milage. So, realize that a happy medium might be the best solution...I would much rather spend more money in gas than several thousand in repair costs and higher insurance payments...not to mention the precious cargo.

    I have an '02 Optima and here is what I have learned over the 120K I now have on the car.
    1. I run the tires at about 35 psi. This is about 2/3s max psi.
    2. I actually get better gas milage by not using the cruise control. It allows me to feather the gas to speed up or slow down instead of the hard on/off that the cruise seems to have.
    3. I use Mobile 1 7500K oil. This seems to be the best as far as viscosity breakdown vs cost. Mobile 1 is excellent oil...the only one I will use.
    4. I have experimented with speed on the freeway, from 55mph to 80mph (max I'll admit to) which is 5mph over the posted limit. These experiments on long trips have led to an understanding that air resistance is a huge factor in the MPG factor. If you want the best MPG, stick to's that simple. At 55mph I get 37 MPG on the freeway, at 80mph I get 18 MPG.
    5. I use a K&N air filter. It's expensive, but will outlast your car. You can let it get very dirty and it will still have far more airflow than a new paper filter. (I know, I know...K&N let's small particles in that will ruin the engine... Well, after 120K I have no pressure loss which tells me that this is crap! It might also be that I let the filter run a little dirty most of the time which helps trap more of the small stuff.)
    6. I use Lucas Oil additive in every oil change.
    7. I use a product called ER (Energy Release). After I had an experience with a Honda Accord transmission that I thought was trashed and got the gear shift handle so hot that it burned my hand, put in some ER, drove it around town for three months, after that 3 months there was no excess heat or noise. The trasmission lasted for another 60K before the I lost the overdrive. So, ER reduces friction extremely well, allowing for more power and less engine wear.
    8. Replace the timing belt at suggested intervals as well as other components.
    9. Use softer brake pads. The lifetime pads are very hard on the rotors and require them to be replaced. Soft pads may wear out faster but the pads are much easier and cheaper to replace and the rotors...much cheaper.
    10. Look in to BG products. If you can't get ER, use BG. There are products for every system on the car. Expecially, the MOA and 44K.
    11. Every oil change, spray off the MAF sensor with some MAF sensor cleaner. This sensor is located right after the air cleaner. It can be removed with a phillips screw driver. Just spray off the metal sensor don't have to clean the whole housing. Believe it or not, this is a HUGE maintance item!!!
    12. Keep the wheels aligned. It's worth having checked whenever you get new tires put on.

    Well, hope this helps.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    The only thing I'd really disagree with you on is Lucas-- brightstock looks good in the demo unit in the stores but can froth-- unless it behaves differently in an engine.
  • mingdoimingdoi Member Posts: 4
    The stock KUMHO tires on the 2008 Optima have a max pressure of 44psi and KIA recommends 30psi. I split the difference and run at approximately 37psi. Changing over to nitrogen to replace the air is also an added bonus to prolong the life of the tire. But the most important aspect the I have found to increase mpgs is my speed; keeping 60-65mph does decrease gas consumption.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    The recomended PSI on my 2006.5 Optima is 32 and I run them at 35PSI.I also have the Khumo tires.after 20,000 miles they still loook brand new.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    I took the wheel. Over to Pere Marquette State Park, back through Alton. Some urban driving but lots of country and slow Interstate. Hit almost 30 which is a lot better than my wife who usually struggles to hit 20, although her driving is usually a much higher rate of city driving.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    Averaged just under 30 mpg each way with at least 15 percent city driving on two tankfuls. Would probably have averaged 32-33 on a straight highway trip. Agree with Mickeyrom that city and highway mpg seem quite disparate. Shoved the transmission over into manual mode for highway-- kept if from downshifting on every grade, although it still went in and out of lockup.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    He Cs...long time ole pal...
    That is about the same mileage as mine.I also go into manual mode when on the highways for the same reason as about that?
    Unfortunately,sometimes I forget that it's in manual when I stop and the when I stays in low much too long,until the light goes on in my old brain and I shift it back to normal auto.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    Another weekend jaunt. Averaged 28 mpg mixed with around town driving in Little Rock and Memphis. Got 40.1 mpg on straight Interstate driving between West Memphis and Cape Girardeau. 70 mpg with air on part of the time. I can't believe that I got the tank completely full but maybe, know that the mpg goes way up on straight highway driving.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    My mileage is not affected by AC use.Your mixed mileage is very good though.
    I think consumer reports had mixed driving at 25MPG.
    I get excellent highway mileage,but I don't drive as fast as you do. Since the jump of gas prices I tend to drive Interstates at 5 mph under the posted limits.Believe me,you get used to it.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    I have gotten used to 60-65 but this was a longer drive (although not the thousand miles a day I used to log).

    The 28 mixed was more highway than around town by far. Still I'm happy with the highway mileage.
  • bob912bob912 Member Posts: 2
    No way you can touch a V6 camry 3.5 0- nothing,stop telling lies. :P The Kia 2.4 with 175 hp will do 0-60 in aprox. 9.6 seconds with the 5 speed. This is about the same as the camry 2.4 158 hp at 9.8. Don't just make up numbers to make your kia seem like a perfect car. :( CHANGING THE SPARK PLUGS AT BEST MIGHT GIVE YOU 3-4 MORE HORSEPOWER AT BEST. I can see you just throw things out there for someone. Let the car make a true name for itself not made up stuff. The Kia 2.4 is a Dodge engine redesigned by Korea. As we all know dodge does not make the best 4cyl engines, so lets hope Kia did the homework on the blueprints and did'nt just copy what they saw. Only time will tell the story. ;) :surprise: Until then keep away from the V6 camry it will suck the paint off your little grasshopper 2.4 Kia Optima.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Let the car make a true name for itself not made up stuff. The Kia 2.4 is a Dodge engine redesigned by Korea.

    That is (unintentionally) hilarious. You tell someone not to make up stuff, then you make up stuff about the Optima's I4 being a Dodge engine redesigned by Korea. Please get your facts straight--especially before you accuse someone else of "making up stuff".
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    You tell him Backy :P Defend the KIA's honor!
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Eating dry roasted, in-shell, or the cocktail variety tonight?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Hmmmm.....this is interesting.I take your side in a discussion and I'm nuts?
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    No, that's not what I said. Sorry you missed the little joke. Anyway, it's a HYUNDAI engine design, not a KIA engine. Let's move on, shall we?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    discussion that I've read for years on the net. I like to gather my own data independently and I know you do, too, backy and mickeyrom. backy, one thing I've learned about you is you do your research, and you are honest in your car reporting. I have learned many a car thing from you, and we all learn from each other.

    But, it took only a year or two on the net to spot those that are intentionally spamming a car brand. There are those sent out that just put down other brands of cars. And they're a lot of times not doing their homework ahead of time. If you like a car you'll often know way more about it than these put-down characters. Not only that but you'll most of the time know more about the car you really like or would like to buy than the salespeople selling that model of that car brand.

    Keep up the comedy, trollers, you're givin' me belly laughs over here in the SW desert. :shades:

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    ILUV--I don't want to repeat the post that I made on the main 06.5+ Optima thread but if you want to see negative trolling take a look at the "dissatisfied owner's reports" on the 07 Optima report form on Edmunds.

    I'm not as upset about the negative comment regarding the Optima v. Camry as I the ability of either Optima-- four or six-- to keep up with a much more powerful Camry six would require some proof, not a post from years ago.

    Speaking of Toyota, I recently rented the new model Corolla while on vacation. Frankly, the previous platform wasn't outstanding but a generally pleasant car to be in. I bought Prizms for my kids about a decade ago and thought the Corollas/Prizms in the early nineties were very nice cars-- certainly better designed than most of the competition.

    I was shocked that the 09 Corolla had deteriorated so much-- especially the interior, and this was the S model, not the base car. Also very uncomfortable with no lower back support, the last 07 that I rented was much more pleasant. Toyota (IMHO) is selling on past reputation and trolling salesmen (or someone with a vested interest) is taking broad aim at Korean brands.
  • bob912bob912 Member Posts: 2
    Would you take Wikipedia's word for it ? You already said a hyundai engine and you are spot on but there is a curve to hit. Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance is a joint between Dodge,Kia,and Hyundai to make the 2.4 engine that is used in your Kia and as I said before many Dodge products. Don't take my word for it just go to Wikipedia and if you want the facts type in{ World engine } and read the story about Global engine Alliance and notice that the 2.4 Kia,Hyundai,and Dodge engine are the same. Now who has done Homework ? :P :( Please know who you are taking too. Cars are my life and it is my job to know what is what. Not trying to knock Kia but you were lying and saying you could beat a Toyota camry with your new Kia Optima 2.4. Things are cheaper for a reason rather it be for the best or in most cases the worst. :lemon: Stay happy and do more homework.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    ...notice that the 2.4 Kia,Hyundai,and Dodge engine are the same

    No, they are not. I have done my homework on this, sir.

    Under the new joint venture, Hyundai will have the lead responsibility for implementing the decisions of the joint venture company for design, development and engineering.

    The initial design of the engine block was handled by Hyundai. It features siamesed bores, meaning that there is no coolant flow between cylinders. The aluminum block has cast iron cylinder liners, and different liners can be fitted to alter the engine's bore.
    Each manufacturer has configured their variants of the basic GEMA design differently based on their engineering needs and standards, so consumers may experience very different power, fuel efficiency, and "feel" from each manufacturer.

    Chrysler Corporation began production of a modified version of Theta, dubbed World Engine, in Dundee, Michigan in October 2005. Chrysler engineered their own air intake system and exhaust manifold which is made of gray cast iron. The World Engine also differs in the EMS as it measures the amount of intake air indirectly using a MAP sensor, to lower production costs. Contrary to what Chrysler Corporation has stated, the Theta engine factory in Asan, South Korea is not a part of the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance. Construction of the Korean factory began in August 2003 and it came on line in April 2004. It is owned and operated by Hyundai Motor Company.

    And the latest is, Chrysler has pulled out of GEMA and will be using the Michigan plant to produce Fiat-design engines as well:

    So, hopefully it is clear to you now that:

    * The Kia 2.4 is NOT a Dodge engine redesigned by Korea, as you stated. It is in fact a Hyundai engine, designed by Hyundai, with some common components including the block co-designed by Hyundai, Chrysler, and Mitsubishi with Hyundai in the lead.

    * The Theta II engine used in the Optima (and other Hyundai/Kia vehicles) is NOT the same as the 2.4L Chrysler/Dodge engine, as you stated, although they share some components.

    Also, I don't own an Optima and never said anything about the relative performance of the Camry and Optima.

    So, stay happy and do your homework. Since cars are your life and it's your job to know what is what with cars, you should be more careful about your research. Also, a bit of advice: if you are going to tell someone he is wrong and is a liar, you should be REALLY sure of your facts.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Thank you for clearing up that for me.I read that the Chrysler I4 is not as refined as other 4s,yet the KIA and Hyundai 4 cyl engines are praised as being "refined".So,which is it? Obviously they are not the same.
  • maringamaringa Member Posts: 36
    Interested in hearing about owners reactions to Turbo version miles per gallon. Hyundai Sonata Turbo's owners are reporting disappointing low mileage ratings. Insile Line is testing an SX Turbo and the best mileage it is reporting is below the city mileage rating...20 mpg.
  • johnjjjohnjj Member Posts: 81
    I would also be interested in hearing real world mileage for the 2011 Optima. Turbo, non turbo and hybrid (when it's available).
  • dash5dash5 Member Posts: 421
    Right now I'm sitting at low 20's in MPG, 22.1 I think. This is with only 500 miles on the car at this point. Mostly back road driving. The onboard MPG calculator seems a bit off to me so I'm trying to track it via now. We'll see.
  • johnjjjohnjj Member Posts: 81
    edited April 2011
    Thanks dash5. I look forward to a later update.
  • arumagearumage Member Posts: 922
    I have a 2011 EX w/ Premium Package (Non-turbo). I'm getting about 28mpg right now. I'd say the mix is 40% highway, 40% suburban, 20% city. It only has 790 miles on it. When I was driving steady at 55mph and staying light in the throttle, the computer was showing about 39mpg.
  • bigezybigezy Member Posts: 7
    Thoroughly enjoyed your rebuttle mickeyrom.....lmao.
  • johnjjjohnjj Member Posts: 81
    Thanks for the info. Your %'s are about what I do. I think I would be pleased with that MPG. Are you? Have you been able to test MPG strictly on highway driving (a long trip)?
  • arumagearumage Member Posts: 922
    The longest trip I've taken it on so far is about 140 miles in one direction. The trip computer read 34.2 before I hit traffic (where it took 30 minutes to go 1.5 miles). I don't know the actual. I figure it was closer to 33 mpg. The route is very hilly. The lowest I've gotten has been 22 mpg (actual) on a tank where I did not have a single trip over 7 miles long. The car still has less than 2800 miles on it.
  • mball572mball572 Member Posts: 5
    I can't speak for in-city but I recently got 35.8 in eco mode on the freeway.
  • westcawestca Member Posts: 1
    I'm reading some 2011 Optima EX owners are getting in the low 21 mpg. I am also, with 2000 miles so far and 60% hwy. I am VERY UNHAPPY and feel ripped off! That is not disclosed at purchased, sticker said between 24-34! I am nowhere near that! I will be posting official complaints, esp when I see others have similar mileage. I feel it should be covered under "Lemon Law" and when the dealer told me it should take "5-6 months to break in", that is not what the manufactors book said! :(
  • arumagearumage Member Posts: 922
    There's not a specific time period for cars to "break in". Different cars break in easier than others. The 600 mile "break in" period referenced in the manual means that you should take it really easy until that point (no high revving, very few long trips, etc.). It does not mean the engine is fully broken in. That can take anywhere between 3000 and 6000 miles. mileage may continue to improve. Every engine is different.

    I recently took about a 250 mile trip with most at 75mph or so, over hilly terrain. I ended up with 31.3 mpg actual with about 90% highway. I have 3200 miles, and my mileage seems to continue to improve.
  • freak000freak000 Member Posts: 2
    We picked the car last month and have 400 miles combined driving and avg 27.9 mpg. When driving locally avg 24.3 and on the turnpike 33.3. The reason for the good mileage the way we both drive. We accelerate to 3000 rpm let up on the gas and press down and do this to get it in 6th gear right away. When we can its cruise control time. Local speed limits are 45mpg and turnpike 65. We run 4 miles over the speed limit. If you cruise at 2000 rpms you will get the best mileage per gallon. Kicking in the turbo eats mpgs like crazy. Remember the real world epa is not the same as the controlled kind. PA has hills like crazy and trying to get into 6th gear is a little tougher then when its level. If you like a mid size sedan and want better mileage by a Sonata MKZ or wait for the Optima Hybrid. The 2012 Civic Hybrid is mid size gets EPA 44/44 so you will get very close to that. Our run a round car is our 02 Elantra and it has 130000 miles and we avg around 30mpg. We recently had the bumpers and below the side mouldings painted with a pin stripe front to rear. Looks great and its tough to park in the mall but better this than the Optima. My cars are a 95 show vette, 06 Jeep Commander. One for the summer and winter.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    A reporter wants to talk with people who expected to get better gas mileage in their relatively new vehicle. Please email [email protected] by Tuesday, July 19, 2011 with your daytime contact information and a few words about your experience. Thank you.
  • xtvxtv Member Posts: 1
    2011 optima sx. average fuel usage from reno to moses lake on old hy 395 36.6. what a car!!
  • optimatownoptimatown Member Posts: 2
    I also recently bought a Kia Optima EX Turbo w/prem package. At time of this writing, I have little over 700miles on it. I was ecstatic to see the car comp show 31mpgs!!! BUT, when I averaged out the ACTUAL gas being used, discovered the car was sucking up maybe AT BEST 20 mpg! I drive sometimes 8,000 miles per month for my business. So, I am talking 95% hwy miles!!! With almost NO stopping! I also have 16 years free of ANY traffic citation, I am a careful and frugal driver, but wanted the Turbo for hwy passing, in dangerous situations only. I really think most of the people who think they are getting great mpgs on their Optimas, are NOT looking at what they are ACTUALLY using but are going by the dash display, (maybe they love the cars, and can't admit such a GLARING flaw) which I can SOO clearly see is just linked to the gas pedal and nothing else. Distance to Empty on the dash runs out at approximately twice the speed of the ODO distance. So, my 20 mpgs are on virtually ALL highway miles AND cruise control, 95% hwy miles! In city, I feel as if I am getting in the 16 mpgs!!! The gas tank empties so fast, I feel like I can see the needle moving down sometimes, in the city! Please let me know where you've seen the same info from other Optima Owners... I'm Korean-American, and I am SOO disappointed that my birth country is so blatantly lying about their products. I haven't fully tested the exact mpgs as yet... I'm in the middle of doing so, just know it is NOT going to be the 25.9 mpg as stated by the US Gov. EPA ratings either. How did they manage that? I'm not only disappointed but disturbed and flat out ANGRY! Koreans right now are going through a HUGE sue every company on the planet with class action law suits phase... If when my REAL WORLD testing gets finished, I will take to Kia dealer and ask. If not, I really might end up suing Kia for this nonsense! What good is the trip computer too, if it is showing 31 mpgs, and the real world is 20???? Doesn't that also mean that part is defective??? If off by a mile or two, I can understand, but 10miles?!?!?! I LOVE this car for all its other attributes. But I can't live with mpgs that are lower than my bro's Honda minivan! If you own a TURBO Optima, PLEASE do a REAL ACTUAL test and post. Run your gas tank to empty until goes yellow warning, put exactly 10 gals in, and reset your trip A to zero and run til you get the yellow again. DO NOT go by the dash mpg readout!!! It is NOT NOT NOT at all to do with your REAL gas usage!!! That part I can definitely GUARANTEE! And unlike what some posters said hinting about buying a different car(not turbo) if wanting better gas mileage, the idea is insulting, cause I BOUGHT the car thinking I was getting both Turbo and great gas mileage! THAT IS WHAT KIA ADVERTISED!! To sum up, I bought the car knowing I was doing almost all hwy miles and was expecting 34mpg!!! I see my car dash showing when I drive on hwy 31mpgs!! I see the GOV rating at 34mpgs! I see Kia's website showing 34mpgs as by EPA... Gov EPA shows 22mpgs for city, THAT SHOULD BE THE LOWEST it goes! I AM GETTING 20mpgs!! On virtually ALL HWY miles with CRUISE CONTROL ON! Maybe 16mpgs in the city!! That's possibly worse than my sis's 6 year old Infinity FX SUV! Or similar!! It's GOD AWFUL! Anyone who owns the Kia Optima Turbo, please test and let me know. I haven't finished my testing fully, but so far it's absolutely disturbingly bad. And I haven't confronted the Kia dealer service dept yet, to be honest, cause I want real accurate test numbers b4 I do that. I am 75% done with my first test. Run the gas tank down to empty from full, and at 75% of gas tank, I've gotten back 220 miles, so far... That's 15.8MPGS!!!!!!!! I am giving Kia the benefit of the doubt when I say so far it's getting 20MPGS!!!
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