By now you’re probably sick of reading my social media updates about the time I spent with the new 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid.

And you’re probably waiting for me to apologize for talking about it so much, right? Well, that’s not going to happen. hahaa!

You see, I was given one week to spend with this awesome car and that time was certainly not something I feel the need to apologize for. It was a LOT of fun!

To be honest, there have been 2 vehicles in my lifetime that I have ever missed, or sulked after once they were gone. Number one being the Mustang that my hubby bought just before we started dating. It was totaled back in 1999 when someone made a left hand turn out in front of my hubby when he was on his way to work. That car meant a lot to us and we miss it dearly.

The second was, you guessed it, the Kia Optima Hybrid that I spent this past week with. When I agreed to review this vehicle I had no idea I would be sad when it left. Is that pathetic or what? hahaa!

As you can imagine there is just something about this car that makes it memorable. Ok, there are actually tons of reasons. Check it out…

It’s SO pretty!!!

Before I even stepped inside the Kia Optima Hybrid I was in awe of it’s beauty. I love the size, and the sleek design.

A mid-size sedan is just perfect for my family. I mean, I’m used to driving a mini van but now that I have kids that drive, it’s time to step out of the mini ‘bus’ age and into a real car. hehee!


That little car image shows a door ajar. When you close the door, the door on the image closes too. Cute!

I was wowed by all of the features the Optima Hybrid premium package has to offer. I mean, this baby is loaded. You may think this dash panel looks fairly ordinary but take a closer look. Not only can you view your mileage, speed, gas level and other typical mumbo-jumbo, but you are able to view the Eco mode (which saves a ton on gas), as well as open doors and more.

 1.) Push button start   2.) Smart Key with door lock/unlock buttons  3.) Built-in key for Smart Key

I must mention, one of my favorite features is the keyless, push button start with Smart Key. See, there is no ignition to insert a key. Just carry the Smart Key in a purse, briefcase or place it in the console inside the car and you’re able to start the car with the push of a button. SO cool!!!

There’s also a security feature — place your foot on the brake, then push the start button and Voilà, you’re ready to ride baby! If you don’t perform this step, the car will refuse to move. hahaa!

Something else I love is the controls built right into the steering wheel. You can easily change the station on your stereo, increase or decrease the volume, talk on the phone via bluetooth, set the car to cruise, and check your trip/gas mileage info — all at the push of a button.

1.) Programmable seat settings (program for up to 2 drivers)   2.) Power side mirrors for tight parking spaces

A few more favorites — Programmable seat adjustments. This allows you to adjust your seat to fit your needs. Once it’s comfortable enough for you, push the “set” button on the driver side door, then push the number 1. From then on, every time you get in the car, it remembers your settings. Ahh, a comfy seat that’s customized just for you!

Feeling pampered yet?

I was really impressed to find the Optima Hybrid comes with Power Folding Side Mirrors (as part of the premium package). This is totally handy for tight parking spaces. Not only can you adjust your mirrors (which is pretty standard in most vehicles) BUT you can bring your side mirrors in, flush with the vehicle.

How many times have you came out to your car in a parking garage or spot to find that someone parked way too close, SO close that you could barely squeeze through to get in your vehicle? I know that’s happened to us on numerous occasions. It’s also handy for narrow garages at home!

Always on the go?

The console is full of awesome digital goodies such as built-in GPS navigation, Sirius Satellite Radio + MP3.

If you’re a busy bee and always on the go, you will LOVE these features. You have a touch screen right there at eye level that includes easy-to-follow instructions so you can set your trip and leave the GPS to do the work. We had no problem locating or making it to our destinations because everything you need to know to use this system is right there at the touch of a button.

The LCD screen provides a clear, colorful image display and even alerts you of road construction. Obviously we approached some on our route above. Need to make a detour? No problem, just drag the map and change your direction.

What fun is driving if you can’t listen to some tunes? The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid comes with an awesome sound system. Boy does this thing rock! The Infinity Audio System sounds crystal clear.

With the Sirius Satellite radio you can listen to music from all over, and searching is extremely easy with the large touch screen. You get 6 presets but you’re not limited to listening to just 6 stations. Oh no, there are hundreds to choose from. Oh, don’t forget your controls right there in the steering wheel. You can turn the music up or down, or even change the station without taking your eyes off the road. Boogie on!

There’s also a USB auxillary for your iPod or iPhone — should you prefer to listen to downloaded music, or need to access your contact list to make a call. Once plugged in, your music and contact menus are synchronized (pulled up) on the LCD screen so you’re not forced to control your gadget (taking your eyes off the road) and risk an accident. Safety first!

Many of our states are making the use of cell phones illegal while you’re on the road. So the USB auxillary feature is one amazing bonus. Now you can talk (hands-free) while driving with the BLUETOOTH wireless technology. It synchronizes your phone through the stereo system so as you talk, you can hear the other person on the phone through the stereo.

It just gets better and better…

1.) Dual temperature controls   2.) Dual heated / cooled front seats

These next features will leave you feeling all giddy inside. Dual temperature controls for the front seats– think of them as his and hers. When it comes to my hubby and I, we’re complete opposites. He likes a room and our vehicles to be cold inside. I, on the other hand, like it comfortable (about 75 degrees). So when we learned about the dual temperature controls in the Optima Hybrid, we were thrilled. We can have it OUR way — cold AND comfortable.

You’ll be shocked to hear this but the front seats can not only be heated but COOLED as well. In the summer, if you want to cool down fast, just tap the button on the console and almost instantly you feel your buttocks and your lower back “chillin‘” — don’t worry, your “cheeks” won’t get frostbite. haha! In the winter, you can have the complete opposite — warm and toasty buns. hehee!

And that’s not all– the steering wheel can be heated too. Kia thought of everything!

Speaking of comfort, something I never really thought about when we purchased vehicles in the past, was the amount of leg room that our kids had. The Optima Hybrid is very roomy not only up front but in the back as well (with 34.64 inches of leg room). We took a few adults for a spin as we showed off the Optima Hybrid and each one really enjoyed the amount of space they had.

All back seat riders also appreciated the extra vents built-in on the rear of the console. It gives them the freedom to determine how much air they get, whenever they wish.

This will have you doing a double take…

Want a birds eye view of the sky? The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid has not one but two sunroofs (the rear is stationary). You get a panoramic view of the outside, giving you plenty of lighting during the day, and a view of the nighttime sky at night. Ahh, take a drive to the country and view the stars with your honey!

There’s an overhead control switch to maneuver the shades so if you want less sunlight, especially during the hot summer, just hit the switch and the shades are drawn in seconds.

Lastly, one of the major features that I loved and used a lot was the Back Up Camera. Boy is this feature a life saver! No one has eyes in the back of their head but the Kia Optima Hybrid (as part of the premium package) does. Each time you put the car in reverse the camera is activated and the LCD screen on the dash shows you everything that’s behind you. There are green, yellow and red guide lines on the display to alert you of how close you are to objects that you are approaching too.

This makes backing into a driveway or garage a breeze. And no more driving over kids’ toys. LOVE THAT!


  • 2.4L 4-cyl Hybrid Engine
  • 17 inch tires with alloy wheels
  • Dual front, front seat mounted and full-length side curtain air bags
  • Driver’s seat w/ power lumbar support
  • Front fog lights
  • Outside mirrors w/ turn signal indicators
  • Navigation system w/ back up camera & sirious traffic
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror w/ Homelinks and compass
  • HID headlights with auto leveling
  • 10 year/ 100,000 mile limited power train warranty
  • 5 year/ 60,000 mile limited basic warranty
  • 5 year/ 60,000 mile roadside assistance

Oh yeah, you didn’t think I was going to end this review without talking about the great gas mileage we got during our test drive did you? We did a lot of driving in those 7 days because we wanted to see just what this baby could do. And at 225 miles, we used only 1/4 of a tank of gas. At well over 300 miles the car still had 1/2 a tank. That is AMAZING!!! Had we been driving one of OUR vehicles, we would have used up 3/4 of a tank after 200 miles and it would have been empty at 300. I would say that is a HUGE difference.

Imagine the fuel savings!

Overall, the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is one amazing car. It has all of the bells and whistles — everything you could want in a vehicle. Well, everything except wi-fi. But then we really don’t need to surf the internet while we’re driving, right? hehee! To be honest, this vehicle IS a moving computer with all of it’s digital features.

Oh, and it doesn’t have a built-in fly swatter. The story behind that is this — when we first entered the car with the Kia driver, my hubby let a fly in. As the driver was pointing out the vast array of features that the Optima Hybrid has to offer, the fly was steadily buzzing around. I casually interrupted and asked the driver which button controlled the fly swatter. hahaa! We all got a laugh out of that one.

I guarantee you will love the Optima Hybrid as much as we did. This baby received a lot of looks while we were on the road. It’s very impressive. So much so that I believe I’ve sold a few people on it. hehee!

The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid starts at $25,700.00 and can be purchased at a dealer near you!

~ Disclaimer: A huge thank you to Kia for loaning us the Optima Hybrid free of charge for the sole purpose of providing my honest review! My opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post. ~

© 2012, BellaSavvy. All rights reserved.


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