CleanMPG Reviews the 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by xcel, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jack:

    You are welcome and hopefully the "right" car for you arrives when you ready to pull the trigger.

    Good Luck

    Wayne
     
  2. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Wait a couple of months, should be fixed by then. Its just new model hiccups.
     
  3. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    I have been corresponding with a Sonata hybrid owner who lives down in MS and contacted me for technical info. His car is at the dealer as of 9am and a Hyundai engineer will be there to examine the car. Even with the CEL on, he is getting about 39mpg average, with no change when the light popped on.
    I downloaded the service bulletin and read through it. The issue (P0456 although I have seen a P0455 too) is apparently a mismatch between a pressure sensor in the fuel system and the computer software that expects a certain "reading" that the mismatched sensor isn't providing. I chalk it up to the myriad software tweaks they were applying during the final stages of certification, and any programmer will tell you that you don't do your best work at midnight when the project is due at 8am.

    Hyundai is sending engineers to check some of these cars as they come in. Depending on what they find, it may take another software revision to squash the bug. In the meantime, the car behaves normally and there is no apparent loss of fuel economy. The CEL codes are for "fuel system air leak", and are only there for EPA compliance since an actual air leak in the fuel system could allow vapor to escape. Since there is no actual leak, just a sensor that is reporting numbers that are out of range, owners can place a business card over the CEL and ignore it until they can return the car to the dealer for the sensor swap and/or software update.

    The bottom line is that Hyundai/Kia aggressively addresses bugs and quality issues that pop up, and there is no reason to doubt that they will nail down the root cause of The Case Of The Missing Fuel Vapor, and will fix it at no cost and possibly with a free car wash or oil change or other perk.
     
  4. sidewinder

    sidewinder Member

    Thanks Wayne, if you find anything out I'm still a prospective buyer but getting ansy to pull the trigger on a 2012.
    How many miles does the Optima you have show on the odometer now?
    I've gone through most of the posts over there and I think most had the light coming on between 300 and 2000 miles.
     
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Sidewinder:

    The Kia Optima Hybrid I had arrived with just under 7,000 miles and I finished up with it at 7,370.

    If a CEL would have appeared for other Chicago area journalists that had this Optima Hybrid for a week, you would have surely read about it somewhere.

    I hope that helped and good luck with your choice of vehicle. The Kia Optima Hybrid is one of the top 5-cars I would consider as my very own due to its AT for the wife since she will not drive a stick and its over the top FE while out on the Interstate where I drive (when I drive?) 70% of the time :)

    Wayne
     
  6. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Update from my friend with the Sonata hybrid with the CEL
    Then he goes on to write about stopping to fuel up on the way home:
    So it appears that reseating a hose in the fuel system may resolve the issue for this owner. And since they mentioned it being set "at the port", the Optima hybrid may well be immune because they're transported and serviced through Kia, and Kia may have a different routine for prepping cars at the port.

    And the punchline was in his followup. In city (albeit small city) and rural roads heading back home, he parked the car with 61.3mpg on the aFCD. Hard to argue with a number like that!
     
  7. landongolf

    landongolf Active Member

    This is all good news, Now I am back considering the hybrid now, thanks all of you guys for you information updates. :Banane06:
     
  8. landongolf

    landongolf Active Member

    Wayne, since you have driven both the Sonata and Optima Hybrids, Which one do you like better? and Why? Thanks Jack
     
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jack:

    It’s a “Pickem” ;)

    2011 Kia Optima Hybrid

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Standard 2011 Hyundai Sonata Interior​

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  10. 2RR2NV

    2RR2NV Ultimate Newbie

    yep, still like the looks of the Sonata better.
     
  11. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    Is it me or does the Sonata steering wheel look large enough to be from a bus compared to the Optima?
     
  12. landongolf

    landongolf Active Member

    Wayne, did you say you were going to test drive the new2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid? I here so really good things about this car from my dealer. Thanks Jack
     
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jack:

    I think many here and around the country will be surprised by the all-new 2012 Camry but I cannot say much else about it until the 23rd of August as that is when the embargo is lifted.

    In terms of highway FE, the Optima Hybrid is going to be tough to beat by just about anyone.

    Wayne
     
  14. landongolf

    landongolf Active Member

    I was talking to a Toyota dealer who was at the Las Vegas show for the Toyota cars and saw the new hybrid , he said the gas mileage will be 42 mpg combined....Do you still think the Optima is a better car, if so, I will go out and by one tomorrow....Thanks Jack
     
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jack:

    I really wish I could tell you more about the 12 Camry and Camry Hybrid. You dealer is unfortunately misinformed regarding the specs and that is all about all I can say about it until the 23rd of next month :(

    For a highway driver, the Optima Hybrid is going to provide everything that you can expect and more. It is reasonably quiet, very comfortable and out on the Interstate, you are going to be hard pressed to find a more fuel efficient mid/full-sized automobile from anybody. It is that good ;)

    Wayne
     
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jack:

    One item I forgot to post earlier is that when you transition from Eco to Power mode, there is an immediate jump in acceleration vs. other manufacturers whose PWR mode when evoked changes the TPS output to the input but it does not occur until the next change in TP.

    Not that this tidbit of information is really that important but I just remembered it.

    Wayne
     
  17. landongolf

    landongolf Active Member

    Wayne as always I can't thank you enough for all of your help, Jack
     
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jack:

    Not a problem. I wish I could tell you more about the 12 TCH but I cannot. If I did, Toyota would write me off from any future Press launches or event drives :(

    That said, if I were going to drive a 48-Contiguous State - Mid-size Hybrid Sedan - Fuel Economy World Record drive today consisting of mostly Interstate travel, the 2011/2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is one of two vehicles I would pick. The other is its stable mate from the Hyundai Corporation.

    I hope that helped ;)

    Wayne
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011
  19. koptima

    koptima New Member

    Wayne - do you have any concerns that the battery in the trunk has a vent that channels into the passenger cabin? lithium polymer batteries have been known to be volatile. What steps has Kia taken to ensure this won't be dangerous?
     
  20. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    The gasoline in the tank of most passenger cars is more "dangerous" and "explosive" than this (or any) battery pack. The LiPo batteries do not emit hydrogen or other flammable gases or liquids, and do not emit any toxic substances. The only concern would be spilling liquids into the vent (as stated in the owners manual), but Kia would have designed the vent to tolerate some moisture and the "no pouring liquids in" is likely there to keep the attorneys happy. That being said, I wouldn't recommend hosing off the inside of the rear window.

    The battery management keeps the battery far below any "red zone" and there is no danger unless someone alters the battery or its software. ...And then you're on your own.

    I wouldn't hesitate to drive an Optima Hybrid from coast to coast and back again, even with its trunk stuffed with clothing, boxes of uneaten Crunch-n-Munch, papers and other flammables. Heck, I'd even sleep in it, with no fear that the battery would "go postal".
     

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