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-   -   2014 Kia Optima Hybrid (https://www.fuelly.com/forums/f35/2014-kia-optima-hybrid-17874.html)

Tuxracer 06-05-2015 02:07 PM

2014 Kia Optima Hybrid
I'm very disappointed with the fuel mileage and really thinking about trading it in. My last fillup was 10.23 l/100km or 23 mpg. I do not drive it hard. The only thing I can think is that I have lots of short drives to/from work. I buy regular unleaded which usually has 10% ethanol. Would I do better buying better gas? Looking for ideas, or is this as good as it gets?

Draigflag 06-05-2015 02:48 PM

I've never understood the hybrids in North America, they all seem to get really bad mileage! If economy is your soul priority, I'd suggest a diesel, although I appreciate they are less easy to get hold of over there.

trollbait 06-06-2015 08:18 AM

Hybrids can return some great fuel economy.

First, and this goes for all cars, check the tire pressure with a gauge. Eyeballing doesn't count. Modern tires can look full but be severely underinflated. The number on the placard is the minimum. Higher is better for fuel economy.

There is a 'break in' period for hybrids. I believe it is mostly the driver subconsciously adjusting to the slight differences in how the car operates, but whatever it is, you could still be in that period.

The economy ratings test is done with a pure gas test blend as of right now for the EPA, and I believe Canada just uses those results from the manufacturer. With E10, a slight decrease from that number is expected.

The biggie, short trips kill fuel economy. The engine needs to warm up before it operates efficiently in any car. The larger a percentage a trip is spent during that warm up time, the worse the fuel economy will be.

That fuel economy drop can be even worse for hybrids. To warm up the engine and the emission controls, they will make more use of the ICE during warm up, and won't even shut off the engine when conditions say it could otherwise. A grill block can help speed up the warm up time by keeping air from blowing over the engine. If you have access to an outlet, a block heater can do wonders here.

Do you happen to have any data on the fuel economy of your previous car? Being able to compare to another car driven on the same route can let us low if your current low fuel economy is normal, or whether we need to do more trouble shooting.

rfruth 06-06-2015 11:16 AM

I routinely got in the low 40s with my 2010 Fusion hybrid with E-10 (sold it a couple years ago for no good reason)

cvtim 06-07-2015 05:42 PM

I don't know about the Kia Optima Hybrid but, I can share some of my observations while driving my Honda Accord hybrid over the past year. I am sold on the technology but, it is very dependent on the application. I did some research before I made my purchase and, based on my particular situation, the hybrid technology was best.

Based on your posting date of December 2014, you have had you car for the past winter and the spring of 2015. Anyway, my point is that hybrids turn out their worst fuel economy in cool weather. During the winter, I averaged ~45 US mpg while in the warmer months I have seen as high as 60 US mpg. I don't know what weather you are dealing with but, I see a difference in available battery at temperatures below 70 F and it is really noticeable at 50 F. Since my commute is pretty consistent, ambient temperature is the single biggest variable factor affecting fuel economy for my particular case.

Trip distance is big factor affecting FE. Short trips are not conducive to high FE in my Accord. I need about 10 miles per trip before I can start seeing good numbers. This is particularly true if the vehicle has been parked for several hours.

Electrical consumption is another huge factor. The more things that you have running, like heater blowers on their highest setting or wind shield wipers, the more electric you consume. In my particular case with the Accord hybrid, if I run the heater/ac blower on its highest setting, the gas engine will always be operating. If the engine is always on, I can't save as much gas. You will really notice the effect of the engine being on all the time if you are stuck in city traffic.

The route that you drive also plays a huge role. In my particular case, I have a 80 mile round trip daily commute on non-interstate roads. If my daily commute involved driving at speeds above 55 mph I would not have purchased a hybrid. There are better alternatives for attaining high FE if you are routinely driving on an interstate. On my local interstate highways, I normally only see about 42 mpg at 70 miles per hour in the Accord Hybrid. On the other hand, in warm weather when my car is at peak efficiency, I normally see 52-56 mpg on the way to work and 60-67 on the way back for an average of 58-60 US mpg per tank. This is on rural roads with speed limits of 55 miles per hour or less. The difference one direction as opposed to the other is overall elevation of "Point A" versus "Point B" and, "where the full battery use zones fall" along the route.

Driving style is also a factor. Bear with me, I am not knocking your overall driving style but, it takes some time to get used to driving a hybrid even on a particular route. For me it is not a preferred driving style but, the payoff is worth the effort. I am sure you do this but, I am particularly light on the gas pedal as I roll out of traffic lights. I have a handy ECO mode feature in my car that changes the sensitivity of the gas pedal to help with FE. Beyond that, I try to work out when I will have a full battery charge and use the battery where it is best. Depending on what you read, I have about 1/3 of the hp in full battery that I do in engine alone. With the Honda Accord Hybrid, you want to use battery on slight downhill grades at speed or on slight uphill grades at low speed or in town. On long steep hills a full battery charge is best used to increase overall hp along with the engine -- ie. don't try to crawl up the hill in full battery at 55.

Hope this helps. Good Luck.

itripper 06-09-2015 12:32 AM


Originally Posted by Draigflag (Post 183958)
I've never understood the hybrids in North America, they all seem to get really bad mileage! If economy is your soul priority, I'd suggest a diesel, although I appreciate they are less easy to get hold of over there.

I rented a Prius, it got great mileage (48 MPG) with me treating it badly, I also get great mileage in my 16 year old hybrid. Hybrids in my personal experience get excellent mileage.
There are several Kia Optima hybrids on Fuelly, 35 mpg is about the average.
Post on the Optima Forums : Kia Optima Forum and see what they have to say, there may be something wrong with this particular one.

My diesel truck also gets good mileage for an 8,000 lb vehicle (20 mpg)

Draigflag 06-09-2015 03:43 AM

Maybe it's just me, but I always think the hybrid version of any car should get better mileage than its Ice equivalent, or there's not much point in it existing. The Optima in the UK is sold only as a diesel, Kia know a gas version wouldn't sell, and the hybrid wouldn't match the diesel anyway. It may be rated at 64 UK MPG, realistically you will get 45 to 55 mpg, so a hybrid that offers less would be a bit pointless, at least in the UK.

Draigflag 06-09-2015 03:48 AM

In regards to the Prius, my bosses similar sized perhaps slightly larger Passat TDI is getting close to 60 Mpg, (about 50 Us MPG) and he's not a very green driver either.

itripper 06-09-2015 04:19 AM

I had the Prius loaded for vacation plus wife. 80 mph on highways, flooring it in city (it is FAST accelerating). I was very impressed. I was specifically hard on it to see what it could do. I think it actually gets better mpg than my Honda when driven hard. Have you driven a Prius? They are quite remarkable. The one I drove had three modes, electric, eco, and sporty. It was very quick on sporty, and really slow on electric. BTW your profile pic is that an HDR photo?


trollbait 06-09-2015 05:28 AM

The instant MPG display of my 2005 gen2 Prius(IIRC, EPA combined is 45mpg) was hovering around 38 to 39 mpg while cruising at 90mph on an interstate.

For my commute, it was averaging 60mpg, and then dropped to 58mpg with new tires.

Having a larger motor than the Insight, the Prius has some quickness off the line. The normally published 0 to 60mph times published doesn't convey what the peak torque at zero rpm of an electric motor does for day to day pulling away from lights and into traffic.

That quickness wasn't properly taken into account for the touchy traction control of the car. Making a quick left onto a road from a stop would trigger the TC. Which lead to the car basically braking as soon as it straighten out in the lane.

At the time, TC was rare on small, ultarian models. It was installed to protect the hybrid drive train, and didn't have a driver control to disable it. I believe its touchiness has improved, but was a source of complaints back when I had the car.

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