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Kia Optima Real World MPG



  • fenderbassfenderbass Posts: 3
    I have an Optima Hybrid (2012) with 3200 km on it, the longest trip I've done so far is Toronto to Ottawa which is 450 km. With the combined highway and city driving I got close to 950 km out of the tank. This car rocks on gas mileage.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    Yeah us United States backward folk still use miles, but 950km does sound like a lot. I am soooo tired of googling. Please post how many MPG it got. Very curious. -Chris

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • Thanks for posting your info... I am a new 2012 Optima EX owner, and after 350 miles on the car, I am averaging about 19 MPG (doing stop and go, side street driving back and forth to work, with the ECO button on).

    Looking forward to my first 3-hour-freeway-drive road trip in a couple weeks, hopefully will see the MPG go up a little. I did hear it takes a while to get the MPG as advertised, need to wait for the engine to break in a little.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    After my last post, I have a new job downtown, and have been running at steady 60-65 mph in moderate to heavy traffic for 24 miles each way. (but not stop and go unless there is a pile up or a lovely car-b-que). :D

    I am now getting 22 to 24.8mpg after driving this route (395 into Wash DC from Burke VA) for the past 2 months.

    It took 4000 miles to break 20mpg. I now have 6,600, and I have also noticed that the transmission has "learned" my driving style. The car is just a pleasure to drive at cruising speeds, with great pickup between 50 and 80mph for passing...if I can get around the thousands of Prius' during the morning grind. Still no problems at all with the car.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    Wondering if you ghat your tomaters planted yet? I check back after ah use this here outhouse over yonder.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • rahota71rahota71 Posts: 1
    The family and I took our first road trip today, 600 miles round trip 95 degrees no wind. With cruise control and eco on 65mph. sustained 36.4 mpg. 75mph cruise and eco on 33.3. 85mph
    and cruise, eco on 30.7. We started with 875 mile on the car. What a pleasure to drive, we hit some heavy rain and wind for about 30 miles near the end on the return trip..handled flawlessly.
    By far the best vehilcle we have ever owned. We are in our 50's and have owned well over 100
    cars and trucks.
  • I drive in LA, 70% city and 30% highway. Gas mileage is terrible at 18mpg. This is my ONLY gripe about the car. The city gas mileage is way off from sticker. With ECO enabled (which destroys driving fun IMHO), i get 19mpg. The car has 2200 miles on it...looks like I am screwed.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    Wait! Dont give up on getting good mileage on your SX. Your engine has not broken in enough yet. There are hundreds of similar complaints online. I drive the same way you do, and I am now getting 23 on my EX, up from 17mpg that I was getting before about 5k miles. It should get better for you.

    Go to for more feedback on this issue.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited September 2012
    I actually had an opportunity to get real world MPG on my 2012 EX during my commute. I got 26.5 MPG round trip. (36.2 miles).

    My commute is from West Springfield, VA to 23rd St NW Washington DC. It is 18 miles each way. 4 miles of it is suburban stop and go, then higher speed driving on 395 for 14 miles.

    I never use the econ button. It slows up throttle response, and I need to be on my toes during this commute. It is dense, fast, and just plain dangerous at 6 am. (I went in and right back home this morning, just had to get my cell). I work from home on Fridays

    I have 10,200 miles on the car, purchased last December 28th. My fuel economy has steadily improved from horrible; to as-advertised. Folks with brand new Optima's should be just a little patient.

    There have been no problems or issues with my EX 2.4. Great car. :D

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter would like to speak to Hyundai and Kia owners who agree or disagree with the latest controversy over MPG. If you own a Hyundai or a Kia and would like to speak to a reporter about your experience with your car's fuel economy, please send your daytime and evening contact info to no later than Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET.
  • bgkobbgkob Posts: 8
    Steve, I am about 4K miles in on my 2013 Optima EX and my MPG ratings are absolutely horrible! And...when I heard Kia owners were going to get reimbursed for the MPG rating errors, I was excited, BUT the basic Optima is not included in the wrong MPG ratings.

    I drive a mix of hwy/city to work and get about 19 mpg, my wife drives the car on the weekends to her job, 30 miles one way at a steady 65 mph and has yet to get over 29 mpg. That is at least 5-6 MPG off of Kia's stock 2013 EX MPG ratings of 24/35. We are getting 18/27 to be precise.

    We always have Eco on, and after the first week of the driving the car, we have both been coasting to lights, and driving economically to see if we can boost the MPG on our luck. This is really frustrating, especially since we budgeted for decent MPG out of this car and actually went with the Optima over other competitors because of it's solid MPG we are getting hosed on the road!
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    Next time you fill up; reset the MPG indicator while you are clearing the trip computer. Some folks don't know they can do that. I was not happy with MPG when I had 4000 miles too.
    I have a '12 EX; and I drive hwy/city too. Traffic is thick all the time here in the DC area. My average speed struggles to get above 26 mph.

    On a recent road trip I got 31 mpg (89 miles). I was happy with that.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • I have a 2013 Optima, base model. 3100 Miles, ,mostly city. Eco on. avg 18mpg.
    one serious rd trip of 400 miles I avg 33mpg.
    I took it to KIA dealer and they told me to be patient because of break in period. I thought those were things of the past.
    I am a conservative driver basically less than 10k per year and this MPG is frustrating and disheartening.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    Your 33 mpg is great on the highway. It's only 2 off of the not-easily attainable EPA figure of 35 mpg.

    You really have to drive like grandma to get that 24 mpg city, and most of us can't; due to clogged suburban streets. There is a stoplight every 1/2 mile here in Northern VA.

    I usually get from 20 to 21.5 mpg. It is just too densely populated and all of the fun back roads are clogged with cars. Stop and go = bad MPG.

    Maybe a hybrid would have been better for your needs.

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • I drive Leesburg, VA to Alexandria, VA, about 38 miles, eco mode and am getting 37 MPG.

    I try and drive 60 - 65 mph and am in lite to moderate highway traffic most of the way.

    Any ideas on how to get closer to 40 mpg?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    To get 40 I suspect you'd have to have ideal conditions: non-stop 55-65 mph speed, flat terrain, little to no headwind, moderate weather (for peak engine efficiency + no a/c), properly inflated tires (maybe a bit over spec), and a very light foot on the gas if not using cruise. Using hyper-miler techniques would help, too, but I'm not a fan of some of them e.g. drafting.

    Under those conditions I've been able to get low-40s mpg in my 2010 Sentra which is rated 34 highway, just under the Optima's 35. I've noticed on my wife's 2013 Sonata that at 65-70, the rpms are about where they are on my Sentra. So I think 40 mpg on the Optima is possible... but not easily obtainable.
  • So I leased a 2011 base model optima (automatic) and I drove 80% freeway and avg about 27mpg. I really liked it but when it was time to buy a car I could not pass the Mazda6 deal. Got it for only 18k on the base manual model. The mazda6 supposed to get 21-30mpg, but I am averaging 30mpg. It does not matter if I drive 100% city or freeway. It always stays between 28-31mpg avg. I am not sure why its much higher than the tag says but I think it's amazing. I not got so used to getting 30mpg that I just purchased a Kizashi SLS and it averages 25-26 with 80-90% freeway and to me it sucks. But like I said, I got super spoiled with 30mpg. Now doing researches on real world mpg I am satisfied with my 25-26mpg on a sweet sport sedan. My Mazda was the smartest purchase I've ever made in a car. The Kizashi is just for fun ;)
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    Backy, I think your post is absolutely true and well written. It seems that low 40's is about the limit of what the state of the art is on a late model gas, direct injected 4 cyl sedan. It doesn't seem to matter how the engine is configured: 1.6 EcoBoost Ford vs 2.4 Hyundai/Kia vs 2.0/1.8 Sentra and on and on....

    In the end it depends on gearing, weight, aerodynamics, and driving as if in early stage of a coma.

    miller time (post 202) seems to confirm the range. I can't drive anywhere west without going through the mountains, so 40 mpg is never going to happen. Also, I didn't buy my car for it's MPG figures. I bought it because it is beautiful. Everything else came 2nd. It is a fantastic consolation prize though to get a consistent 24.5 mpg here in the city, and even with my lead foot.
    Happy holidays. -Chris

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • #203, yeah there is no way 40 is going to happen in this car. Not even 30mpg unless you're driving a lot of freeway (Im talking about the 2012 SLS awd). But I am super happy with the car. I just filled up yesterday and avg was 26mpg with a lot of driving in heavy snow here in Utah. about 75% freeway
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    Please tell us all about your new Mazda6. We all would love to hear about it. Models, price, specs, etc.

    This is a real contender and you are the first to own the new model! Awesome.

    Hope u r happy w/ it!

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Well, GDI doesn't have much to do with it. My Sentra isn't GDI for example. Also today I was able to get 43 mpg on a non-GDI 2012 Altima 2.5S (previous generation) under ideal conditions: mild temps (but no a/c needed), relatively flat terrain, no strong headwind (had a crosswind though), and 55-65 mph speed limits with only a couple of stops. THEN I entered a freeway with a 75 mph limit, and I was at 75-76 most of the time. The mpg plummeted quickly and when I exited that freeway 130 miles later, the FE readout was at 32.2 mpg... which means the mpg on that freeway jaunt was less than 32.2 mpg since it started at about 43 mpg. Then after about 20 miles at 60-65 mph, the average FE crept back up to 33.4. What a huge difference speed makes for fuel economy! Something for folks to consider when they don't see their Optimas or other cars hitting the EPA fuel economy numbers on the highway, but tend to drive at 70+ mph.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    You have to understand that it is not the speed causing the plummeting MPG. It is air resistance. Wind at 75 MPH is a class one hurricane. That pressure on the front of the car is far more than at 55. So it isn't the engine becoming suddenly non-economical. Make sense?

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • Hey guys, I've got about 7,000 miles on my 2012 Turbo SX and I recently averaged about 24.5 mpg (Eco on) on a tank that I got stuck in traffic with. I had to drop my son off at the local K-Mart to meet other Cub Scouts who were going on a weekend trip. The usual 8 minute drive took 2 and a half hours due to an overturned truck on the Fwy. So I was happy with the 24.5 mpg. Later on, my tire pressure light came on and I discovered that all 4 tires were evenly low on air. Off the top of my head, I think the max pressure on my tires were 48-49 psi max. I filled them up to about 38-39 psi and averaged 29 mpg on my next tank. I drive about 65% Hwy and 35% City. I live at the top of a hill and my Fwy routes have ups and downs. Oh, and YES, I do occasionally open up that Turbo ;)
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    Great. I get 24.2-24.8 consistently. I have the 2.4, but both engines have similar figures.

    I am guessing that there was a sudden cold snap where you live and that dropped the tire pressure.

    It's normal in my hypothetical condition.

    Happy New Year

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • It's cold here now, but it wasn't really when it happened. I think cuz I don't drive it all the time and it sometimes sit for a week or so without driving it can cause the pressure to lower.

    I got it Nov 2011 and it's under 7,000 miles now. I think it has to do with the way you drive too. If I'm NOT driving stop light to stop light, I like to work thru to gears quickly and when I hit about 42-43 mph, I put it into 6th gear and ease off the gas. If going onto the Hwy, I would do the same but would get up to my cruising speed or the flow of traffic and then back off the gas...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    You have to understand that it is not the speed causing the plummeting MPG. It is air resistance.

    And the increased air resistance is due to... what, exactly? ;)

    I tried to find a route that existed in a total vacuum, but then realized the engine needs air to operate, so I scratched that idea.
  • rrbhokiesrrbhokies Posts: 108
    I have about 7K on my 2013 SX-L turbo. Live in Northern Virginia. Commute locally in the suburbs to/from the commuter lot, etc. I get about 19mpg and that's been consistent since I got the car. Hasn't improved at all. I've take several long highway trips, and I can get almost 34mpg which is much better. I wish I could get closer to 25mpg around town, but doesn't look like I'll ever get about 20mpg. Disappointed, but it's still the most fun car I've owned, so I can live with it.
  • cskicski West Springfield, VAPosts: 1,491
    edited July 2013
    Welcome to the club man. I live in West Springfield, and I have the 2012 EX. I can't get over 22 in the city. I am taking a longish trip to Myrtle Beach, so I am looking forward to finally hit that magic 35 mph figure, but I wonder if it will happened with 3 kids and luggage in the car.

    Well, you know how it is here. We are either in choking traffic, or it's the Indy 500. Either way, that 24/35 figure hasn't happened for me either, and I have 19,950 miles.

    ****BTW, you should join us over at mid size sedans 2.0 (another forum here at Edmund's).

    Chris Skalski: Network Engineer 2012 Kia Optima EX

  • rrbhokiesrrbhokies Posts: 108
    Thanks! That's encouraging that you can get 22 in the Springfield area. Did you get that city mileage from day one, or did it improve over the 20k miles? I'll definitely check out the mid size sedans 2.0
  • lakerfan24lakerfan24 Posts: 24
    Hard to believe you get 19 city and 34 hwy. Are you in total gridlock in the city? Do you drive with ECO on? Do you race from signal to signal? What is your Avg mpg per tank?

    I Avg 25-27 mpg per tank and I don't think I can get 34 hwy :confuse: I've got a 2012 SX.
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