It’s not very often that we take family vacations, mostly because it’s hard to find the time to get away without one of my husband’s clients having an emergency or finding the right place to go with a 2-year-old and an 8-year-old. But we decided we’d take a trip up to my grandmother’s place on Lake Huron and do it the same weekend that my in-laws were coming to Michigan for a visit. It was an extra drive for them, but it was well worth it!
We had the trip all planned out and then I received an email; there was a vehicle for me to test drive for the week. This particular week fell on the same weekend we were going up north. I was going to get a 2013 Kia Optima EX for the week! Could we do it? Would everything we need fit in the car? I didn’t want to accept the week test drive and then not use the vehicle for the trip. I thought about it, not very long, and agreed. I figured we’d make it all fit; there had to be a way to make it all fit!
Traveling with two kids, especially one that still needs to sit in a booster seat/high chair and throw in the fact that he still sleeps in a crib makes it very hard to travel lightly. Thankfully we still have a pack-n-play around for him to use for sleeping. The problem is, we need both those items along with entertainment for the kids when we go anywhere. As you can see, we were able to fit everything we needed in the trunk, and there was still a bit of room in there.
What’s in the trunk?
- Booster seat
- Three bags of clothes
- One bag with a laptop, iPad, 2 DSLR cameras
- One bag of sandals/shoes for the water
- One bag full of snack foods and drinking cups for Xavier
- One new i-Mat (review to come later)
- Folded cooler to get groceries
I’m sure I’m probably missing a few things, but there is a lot of stuff in there!
Unlike the Kia Optima Hybrid I test drove last year, this is one of the lower end models, but still has some of the great Kia features for a midsize car. There is plenty of leg room, which is great when you have a husband who’s 6 foot and two kids!
Like all Kia vehicles, or at least all the ones we’ve had the privilege of test driving you have the remote keyless entry with the push button start and smart key. Man, do I love that feature! Even though the EX is a lower end Optima, it still had the dual-Zone automatic temperature control with the rear vents, power windows and locks, leather seat trim, cruise control, adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support (love this – especially for long drives), SIRIUS satellite radio, Bluetooth wireless technology, USB and auxiliary input jacks, and more!
The main options that are lacking that we enjoy are the panoramic sunroof and the Navigation system with Backup Camera & Sirius Traffic. I do love those features.
The back seat is a 60/40 split to allow for more storage space if needed.
How is it?
The drive is nice, very different from driving an SUV. It takes some getting used to getting in and out of a car.
How’s the gas?
Although this is not a hybrid vehicle, the gas was pretty good. It’s estimated to have 24 city and 35 highway, with a 28 MPG combined. We were able to make it to my grandmother’s place and back with additional diving throughout the trip and only used about half a tank of gas. Estimated annual fuel cost is $1900.
The Kia Optima EX starts at $23,500, with the few additions to the car the total MSRP with inland freight and handling it’s $24,524. Not too bad!
- The Optima engine is a 2.4L GDI 4-cyl Engine.
- 6-speed sportmatic transmission
- Electric power steering
- 17″ tires with alloy wheels
- Duel front advanced airbags
- Duel front seat-mounted side airbags
- Full-length side curtain airbags
- 3-point seat belts for all seating positions
- Lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH)
- Anti-lock brake system
- Traction control system
- Electronic stability control
- Vehicle stability management
- Hill assist control
The only additional features added were the rear bumper applique ($75), cargo mat ($95), cargo net ($50), and the iPod cable ($29).