The 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid EX is my new favorite midsize car. I’ve been test driving a lot of cars lately and considering switching from a minivan to a car. I always worry about visibility, comfort, and safety but I look forward to advanced technology, style, and fuel economy. The 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid EX is a step above the competition with an easy-to-use navigation system, hybrid trim, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a rear-view camera, heated seats in both the front and back, and panoramic sunroof. It felt like I was driving a luxury car without the luxury price tag.
The 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid EX features a classy look with sleek lines and a “Tiger Nose.” The panoramic sunroof makes the interior feel open and airy. The 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat allowed me to add height to the seat and gave me the feel of being in a higher vehicle. The dual-zone automatic temperature control with center console rear vents is ideal for my family and the heated/ventilated front and rear seats were above my expectations. I would have liked to see additional front storage for my phone. There are two cups holders and storage in the arm rest but no added spots to place my phone or keys. The leather seats are easy to clean and the light color doesn’t get hot in the sun. The seat wrapped around me and provided soft comfort. Minus the added storage space, the inside of the car was everything I look for in a midsize car.
The technology in the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid EX is what really made me smile. The navigation system was easier to use than any system I’ve experienced yet. I could easily search for dining, entertainment, and popular destinations. There are options to search for an address, a destination, or simply a generic search. It displays the distance, time, lanes for upcoming exits, and it’s always showing the next two steps. Like many 2016 models, it also has rear cross-traffic alerts, a back-up warning system, and blind-spot detection. It’s getting more and more difficult to go back to my van without the back-up camera and blind-spot detection.
The 2016 Optima Hybrid EX is not a plug-in. It runs on gasoline but can recapture energy using the regenerative braking system. I drove over five hours on one tank of gas and I felt like it was never going to run out. The Optima Hybrid switches smoothly between electric motor and gas engine, delivering a refined drive. It finds the best combination of the two, depending on the conditions, to ensure optimal fuel efficiency. Maybe it’s because I’m use to driving a minivan, but I couldn’t believe how well the 2016 Optima Hybrid EX was on fuel. It made me want it even more. I drive a lot and fuel economy has been on my mind more frequently.
I’m not a fan of the silver color, but show me to a red or blue and I’m sold.
**Thanks to DriveShop for the opportunity to test drive the 2016 Optima Hybrid EX. As always, all options are my own.**