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Kia Optima Real World MPG



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    edited September 2011
    A more accurate test would be to fill the tank until the nozzle clicks off, use the tank, record miles traveled, refill at the same pump and using the same setting on the nozzle (I've found pumps at different stations can differ by 1-2 gallons on when they click off), record gallons used, and repeat for several tanks. Then sum the results.
  • I wrote that my Optima was getting 20 mpgs. With 700 miles or so on it. TODAY, suddenly and inexplicably, the distance to empty meter and odometer actually COINCIDED! With 1,100 miles on the vehicle, I am finally getting 29 mpgs!!!! It's unbelievable!! I'm AGAIN ecstatic with the car, and from best car I've driven, it went briefly to worst car, and now to BEST CAR AGAIN!!! LOL!!! It's as if the engine FINALLY broke in! I didn't do anything different than use 87 Octane instead of 93. I am not sure if that had anything to do with it, because obviously that seems unlikely, unless something to do with the GDI aspect of it how the car comp is set to ignite? I'm guessing, and can not say why. Just all of a sudden, the car jumped in mpgs by 7-9 miles OVERNIGHT! Perhaps I had a spark that wasn't igniting? All of it is a guess. I can only say, I AM DELIGHTED AGAIN WITH MY PURCHASE! I highly recommend this vehicle again! Haha... and I owe Kia an apology for my last review.
  • For all the talk of the Optima Hybrid getting 20 something MPG - I really have to wonder if the same people would get 35mpg in a prius? Hypermiling Kia got 60+ mpg rid-to-guinness-recor/
  • I've been using the Optima Hybrid for 3 months and have to say I LOVE IT! Totally love it! However, the mpg is not as expected. Given that, I would still buy it again.

    To Genen - no it's not my driving style that is the difference between 28/29 and 60 mpg. I drive friends' Prius cars all the time and maintain mpg in the high 40's and 50's. However, no matter how careful I am to use the energy wisely and avoid needing the brakes, I generally get 28 or 29 in my Optima. That's driving mostly around town (mildly hilly) with some limited highway use (5 to 10 miles a pop, with just a few 30 mile trips). Around town only, I'm lucky to get 25. That said, I know another Optima Hybrid owner who has gotten 35 with mostly hwy, and 39.5 on a long trip. As for the hypermilers, I have to wonder whether they avoided all traffic on their journey, and stayed on flat ground or downhills, since those seem to be the biggest factors affecting my mileage.

    Though I wouldn't have thought so when I was shopping, I find that 29 mpg is a sufficient improvement, and I'm looking forward to better when I travel. I feel quite liberated from the gas pump, and love the car itself - always get compliments, and it feels good and sturdy behind the wheel. It's even nimble, with a great turning radius. I like the dash and the trunk. It feels like a luxury car, and overall, I still think it's better than any others in its class.
  • I just have my 2011 Optima EX w/Premium Package for 2 weeks now, and 700 miles. On my first extended roadtrip to central WI from the Twin Cities I got 35.2 MPG. I used the ECO mode and Cruise Control, and traveled at 65 MPH. I expect it only to get better while it breaks in.
  • Glad to hear your mileage has picked up. Just got my 2012 SX and can't wait to zoom around and get some decent mileage.
  • 1999 Accord EPA 21/28 --> I get 27.7 average
    2012 Optima EX EPA 24/35 --> I get 27.0 average

    About a thousand miles on the Optima and I tracked 10k on the Accord. ECO is always on, I drive very economically. It could be the new engine, but so far, I am very disappointed.
  • rjorge3rjorge3 Posts: 144
    Well I got mine on Dec 23 and I already have 701 miles, the center display indicate an average MPG of 33.2, and it was as high as 34. I drive between 55 MPH to 65 MPH and occasionaly even 80MPH (when passing) but not for a long time, my drive I guess is like 60/40HYW/CITY. For those in the Northeast, I communte from Central Jersey to Brooklyn NY, passing through Staten Island and sometimes travel to Manhattan to visit clients.. Tonight I did a crazy experiment, the display indicated 31 miles to empty, with one bar left (close to Empty) I drove from my office to my house, 29 miles, driving at 50 and reducing to 45 in some parts of Staten Island express way (light traffic), with 15 miles yet to go, the display of "Miles to Empty" went blank, it just indicated dotted lines, I notice the Nav display (hybrid button) was showing the car using the battery a lot, so I guess either the gas was empty and I was just running on electric mode???? All I know is that I made it to the gas station in the corner of my house and I still had one bar left in the gas display. I would like to know if anyone knows, does our hybrid continue to run if the gas is totally out??

    I would have never tried to do that gas experiment with me previous 07 Acura TL Type-S, that thing was a gas gustler. I just love that this car has such great MPG and it does not look so boring as Prius or Camry hybrids. I think I will be a KIA man for life if they keep bringing out machines like this. Imagine if they built a 4Wheel drive KIA optimas jajaja, that will be the ultimate

    In short, I freaking love this car, it has exceded my expectations in more ways than one; looks, finish, attention to detail, and of course most importantly the so far great MPG. They really threw this one out of the ballpark, this is one fine car, I highly recommend it.
  • Just hit about 1100 miles on my 2012 SX. Averaged about 26 mpg hwy/city combined. On my trip to San Diego and back, I averaged 29.5 mpg speeding, some city driving, and got stuck in traffic. :mad:

    I love this car... :)
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    I just bought the non-turbo. I have the EX non-turbo. It has 502 miles on it. I'm getting 16.9mpg. I just bought it on 23 December. This is my 3rd tank. I am also not happy with the economy. My driving can be described as typical suburban. Does it get better with age? I traded my Jeep Grand Cherokee so I could escape the fuel economy problem there. I really like need some advice Here! -Chris

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • I have a 2011 Optima SX.I have 8,000 miles. Most trips I get 33 to 35 mpg at a average speed of 76mph. Love my car, my only issue is with the headlights. There bright but beam is narrow and to low. No other real issues.

    Still seems very tight after 8,000 miles.

  • johnjjjohnjj Posts: 81
    For comparative purposes, it would be helpful to know which engine you have.
  • I have had my Optima Hybrid for a little over a month now and have just over 2800 miles. I have averaged about 34 MPG for all those miles. I check my car at every fill up. The computer has not always been accurate, Probably because my fuel sensor failed after only 2 1/2 weeks Kia took care of me under warranty and even rented me a car because it was going to take more than a few hours to drop my tank and change the sensor. As easy as I drive, mostly freeway, I expected to get better gas mileage, but I knew when I purchased this car that Hyundai/Kia has always misled regarding gas mileage and horsepower. I am very happy with the car. I figured I saved about $800 last month over what I was paying with my truck just in fuel and that includes my car payment. As time passes I will keep everyone informed of the mileage. The car drives great and I love the A/C - Heated seats as it could be 85 degrees during the day but 40 at night here in CA.
  • I just purchased a used 2011 Kia Optima LX with 13,000 miles on it. I've only had this vehicle for 2 weeks and I am experiencing 22 mpg. I drive 50 miles a day to and from work....all highway. I've contacted my local Kia dealership (brought car from a Nissan dealer) and the service manager told me that 22 mpg is about what everyone is getting. I've sent and email to KIA corporat, KIA VP and even to the press. I'm so pissed that I traded in my SUV that I loved so I could get better gas mileage and it's not happening.

    I've been reading these forums for a few days and want to know if anyone has gotten any results from KIA based on your complaint of the gas.
  • I live in suburb of St. Paul and also purchased my 2011 Optima EX at a Nissan / Kia dealer. Are you driving with in the Econ mode? I do and are averaging 27 - 29 in confined Freeway/Local driving,...strictly Hwy travel I have been avg 34 - 36....and both are with snow tires on...
  • I drive on LI; mixed highway/local. My car is rated 36 mpg or so on the highway. In my opinion, if I filled the car up and drove purely on the hwy, I could possibly get 36 mpg. However, the best I have ever gotten (based on the car's computer) was about 33 mpg driving from the Jersey Shore home to Huntington NY. However, I regularly get in the low 20s for typical use; disappointed, but I guess that's how it is.
  • gq637gq637 Posts: 1
    I have had my Optima Hybrid for about 2 months and have about 4k miles on it. City driving at best I get around 28-30 MPG and highway at best I get around 32 MPG. I live in California and do not have many hills, my usual commute is flat driving, some city, mostly highway. I try to ease on the gas pedal while I drive to maximize fuel economy but that does not help. I am very dissapointed in this hybrid. For the price I could of bought a different cheaper vehicle and get the same gas mileage. I will probably not purchase another KIA based solely on mileage. The vehicle itself is great and runs wells, but the main reason I bought this car was for the MPG's and I am very very dissapointed, it is nowhere close to what they advertise. If I decide to do regular driving without easing on to the gas pedal my MPG's drop to around 26 MPG's, and this is by no means driving fast. Has anyone contacted KIA about this, and do they have a solution???
  • smed35smed35 Posts: 3
    2011 Kia Hybrid - Dealer (Renton Kia) promised it would get the 35 - 40, I double checked and asked again about the mileage - just be real. They said they have all kinds of people driving the car normally and getting 40 on the FWY. I asked again - So driving from Seattle to Portland, I can dirve the speed limit (70mph) and get this mileage? They said yes.
    My disappointment is really based on the above premise
    I average 29mpg to 33mpg much like many of the Hybrid owners on this post. For the people getting less than that, I would be over the top upset - and trust me I am upset. The Prius does what it says it will - 50mpg and you dont have to baby it. The Dodge charger 8speed gets 38 frekin mpg on the FWY and is way more car and you can go fast ( I just rented one )
    I think that if KIA does not make this right - there should be a Class Action.
    If there are people getting 40mpg then there is something wrong with our cars as we all drive in the Green and keep the ECO on - I dont know if it is the battery or something else but it needs to get fixed.
    If the car had been advertised this way 29 -33 I probably would not have purchased it but if I had -- overall I would be ok with the car.
  • Wow, that really sucks man. I can avg 26 in my 2012 SX easily with econ on. I've yet to drive a full tank with a lead foot though. I'm thinking i would prolly get about 23-24 mpg.
  • johnjjjohnjj Posts: 81
    The Dodge charger 8speed gets 38 frekin mpg on the FWY and is way more car and you can go fast ( I just rented one )
    I test drove this car with the 8 speed auto transmission and am thinking of buying one. It is rated at 31mpg hwy. How sure are you about the 38mpg?
  • smed35smed35 Posts: 3
    I have rented both Chargers and really like them both. I am talking strictly HWY Mileage here. The car tends to take a mileage dump in city driving. But Gas station to Gas station 180 miles in the 6speed I got almost 30, and in the 8 speed just last week Seattle to Portland, ( flat ) just under 38 with an average speed of about 76 mph. It all goes away however with adding in some City driving.
    Which in the end is why I went with the Hybrid - while I am disappointed with advertised mileage vs. real world I still average over 30mpg with the KIA, its supposed to be 36-37 --- The charger would probably be closer to 21 -22
    If I didnt care about the price of gas and have to shuttle kids for sports all of the time, I would have bought the Charger.
  • smed35smed35 Posts: 3
    Trust me - no one wants my car to get the mileage it is supposed to more than me. I have tried babying this thing on flat country roads liket the Hypermilers - the mileage over time just keeps going down down down until it rests at around 33mpg. Mind you this is going like 35- 40mph the whole way.
    No disrespect - but who cares what the hyper milers get - we need real world mileage - and the dealer and KIA keep saying "oh no everyone gets 40hwy, bull. MotorTrend, Edmunds, and all had the same reviews - I dont mind the car so much, but based on the advertised mileage, the car sucks.
  • mx2livemx2live Posts: 2
    I've almost reached the 7k mile mark and I am still averaging around 34 miles per gallon for my hybrid, it is still paying for itself. I did some simple mathematics before I purchased the car. I figured that all the Hybrid numbers for EPA are off anyhow as are the rest of Kia's cars. So I figured that over 31 mpg at only 700 miles per week, than the car is free over driving my last vehicle.
  • johnjjjohnjj Posts: 81
    What percentage of drivers drive 700 miles/week?

    Can you show us the math that makes this car "free" for you?

  • I have had my car for about 600 miles and recently filled up. I averaged 37.6 mpg. I use ECO mode.

    I commute 380 miles per week (38 miles one way). The beginning and end of the commute is city. The middle is highway or non-stop. 2/3 non-stop and 1/3 stop and go.

    The reason I chose this car is because it had the horsepower, midsize, and it did well on the highway mpg. Most hybrids tend to focus on city only. I think I have a commute that makes this car work well. I traded in my sportscar, so I gave up the desire for fast acceleration (although at 200 HP, this car does really well but drains the gas). I was ready to put the lead foot away. I am not gunning but instead I just relax. We have enough stoplights to equalize the race anyway.

    I notice that it takes about 5-10 minutes of the gas engine running to get the battery charged and for the system to work for you. That might explain some of the poorer gas mileage in some of these posts. Once it gets going, the remainder of my trip is 35-50 MPG (according to the console).

    I agree with another poster in here...compared to my old car and my long commute, I am saving at least $200 in gas per month. I am not driving free, but half way there!
  • I picked up my Optima Ex 2.4 on Feb 28. Have done about 1500 miles in and around Kansas City - Mixed driving - Lead footed as I'm a Brit and we drive faster than you guys over here, be it wrong or right! On the freeway at the limit, I get around 33. Around town with lots of stops and starts, about 23. So mixed is around 26-27. Will be good for a long road trip. My wife drives more sedately than I do. She will get about 3 more mpg than me.
    I think it depends how carefully you drive. The ECO button blunts too much power for me, but if others like it, good for them! The trip computer is optimistic by about 1.5 mpg by the way.

    This is a very good car and I'm pleased with it. The only thing I don't like is no spare wheel and the blessed touchscreen. The 'short' version of the touchscreen manual is 56 pages long. Next door's 6 year old is currently teaching me how to use it.

    From a rapidly aging English rocker!
  • I've read with interest the postings about this car. I took delivery of my new 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid last Saturday afternoon. I traded a 2009 Chrysler 300 Touring. I've only driven 135 km, playing with the eco button and still at the bottom of the learning curve as to how to properly and economically drive this spaceship. At this point next to good BBQ, this is the best car I've ever owned. It's unbelievable how it performs visa vis handling, comfortability, roominess and best of all I can see it'll be cheap to operate. The gas gauge has not moved, to the point where I stopped to put gas in to see if it was working and it immediately overflowed all down my nice shiny black fender. The six cylinder Chrysler would have used a half a tank over the weekend with the same mileage. I have all the confidence in the world that this will be an amazing car moving forward, even if the gas mileage drops to the same as the moaners' and groaners' who have written their comments on this page. My Korean Cadillac rocks!
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    If you are getting 33mpg with 1500 miles on it then you have the best built Hyundai 2.4 engine I have ever seen.

    With a lead foot? Wow. Good for you. I barely broke 17 until 2300 miles.

    I know she will get those numbers, but it's been my experience that this engine needs to break in. -C

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    I finally got a chance to take my new 2012 Optima EX on a long trip to FL from Atlanta. On the highway, I average 32 mpg at ~77 mph with the AC on. I did note that the steering seems to be a bit over assisted, thus I wonder just how variable, the variable assist power steering really is. As the car still has less than 2000 miles on it, I expect the mileage to be a bit better as the engine gets broken in. All in all, not bad.
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    If the money you save in gas (over your previous car) is higher than your car payment, that would make it free...or close to it. At least in my humble opinion.
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