Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Indianapolis and learn all about the amazing attractions inside White River State Park, but first I had to get there. Wanting the best bang for my business buck, I actually found that I could fly into Cleveland for much cheaper and my friends at DriveShop hooked me up with a 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid EX to help me get from Cleveland to Indy. After being in the car for over nine hours, four and a half each way, I wanted to share with you a little bit about the Optima Hybrid, and why it’s the best of both worlds in the gas versus electric vehicle battle.
Earlier I shared all about my test drive in the Kia Soul EV, which is the brand new, all-electric Kia vehicle, so note that the Optima is a hybrid. If you don’t understand what a hybrid it, it’s just like it’s name implies, a hybrid of power sources. For most vehicle hybrids, that means a blending of gas power and electric.
While using the gas power for long distances, when coasting or breaking, the vehicle is able to conserve that energy that would normally be wasted and transfer it to the battery which can be then be utilized when more engine power is needed or for low speed driving. Now a car can have a smaller and more efficient engine, but the battery can help give you more power when needed for passing, hill climbing, or for city driving. I’ll note that the city driving auto start/stop programming was my least favorite part of driving the car. When I would have to slow for perhaps a person crossing the road or even a stop sign, the car would feel jerky in its movements, like it was only able to be all on or all off. No soft rolling stops with the hybrid.
What I loved about the hybrid was the one stop for gas after 9 hours of driving! I’m not even kidding. I picked the car up at the Cleveland Airport and traveled immediately to Indianapolis without any gas stops. Then after my trip I returned to Cleveland, stopping once to put ten dollars of gas into the car before dropping it just above empty at the airport. That’s a pretty amazing selling point! Check the dashboard for yourself, 44.6 MPG!
After driving in a compact SUV and minivan for the last ten years, I was curious as to how it would feel to be back in the driver’s seat of a car. It was great! The Optima actually had a very comfortable ride, and driving it was pleasant and easy. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the Kia UVO infotainment system was easy to use and very helpful in navigating to my destination. I loved that I was able to see what services/stores were at the exit numbers as I drove along the highway, perfect for coffee cravings! Matched with the government 5 star safety rating, and the Kia Optima Hybrid really is a great car.
What do you think? Are hybrid cars really the best of both worlds?
Thanks to DriveShop for providing this car for use during the week. No compensation was provided and all thoughts and opinions are my own based on my experience.