Kia won me over last year with their 2013 Sorento, so, needless to say, I was pretty stoked when I locked in a 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid for our summer vacation in Vermont. I grew up in Vermont and haven’t been home in six years, my wife has never seen the Green Mountain state in the summer, and my daughter has never visited. We were off for a week of family, friends, fun, and adventure.
There is a tranquil homecoming feeling I get when I look over Lake Champlain and descend into my hometown, a place I truly love. Vermont is a very green conscience and welcoming state and in August the vegetation is vibrant, so it was only fitting that we scored the Optima Hybrid for vacation and rolled into town – green friendly.
A bit of nostalgia came over me once I got behind the wheel and smoothly cruised down familiar streets. If Vermont was a fictional place from the movies, it would most likely be the Shire from the Lord of the Rings, and after all those years I felt like Gandalf rolling into the Shire with a modern wagon full of fireworks and wizardly tricks or features and accessories.
It really reminds me of the Shire because everyone knows everyone else and if you are new to the area, the residents welcome you in a neighborly manner. Another reason, is that once you drive five minutes outside of any town in Vermont you hit the beautifully scenic country roads. The countryside is awesome, but the roads are more like winding hills with cracks, frost heaves, bumps, twists, and turns, just think of that squiggly road sign from Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure and you’ve pretty much got it.
So driving up there is bumpy to say the least, but the Optima Hybrid handled the road with the grace of the setting sun over the Adirondacks, it was smooth and almost routine as we traveled all over the state. Actually, it was quite frankly the smoothest car I’ve ever driven, let alone been in. Bumps, potholes, and the like didn’t phase the Kia and the car possessed an almost non-existent pull even through the back road twists and turns. I should probably write a letter and thank the engineers, for their work on the TCS (Traction Control System) and the ESC (Electronic Stability Control), every ride was literally as smooth as silk!
The fireworks and wizardly tricks lie solely with the 2013 Optima Hybrid, since I had none. I’m a sucker for the little things and there were lots of them. Tree and mountain roads turn you around in New England like a labyrinth, so I loved having a digital LED compass in the rear-view mirror, just in case I took any wrong turns, which of course I did. The power adjusting driver seat had so many ways to move the seat it left me feeling like I was in a Lazy Boy on Sunday and NFL Countdown was just beginning, oh and the seat was also air cooled!
I’m not a huge fan of GPS and it’s taken me on my fair share of hour journeys in the wrong direction. I was hesitant to use it, especially in a state where you’re lucky if you’re picking up a cell signal, so I was happily surprised when the navigation in the Kia didn’t just work, but was actually quite flawless. You couple that with the other features of the in-dash LED display like the rear camera display and the Sirius XM radio with traffic reports and I was beginning to rethink my GPS hatred.
A few side notes: This is by far the easiest car to install a car seat, with anchors, that I have tried and I’ve had to fiddle with many of them. On another note, my mom wants to trade in her BMW and purchase the Kia Optima Hybrid just because of how smooth a ride and how comfortable the backseats were.
The trip was a success, great times with family and friends, amazing scenery, the freshest air I’ve taken in for years, great micro-brewed beers, great food, and an amazing ride with the 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid that got us smoothly to every one of these lasting memories. And then I got home and had to motor around in the hot Florida summer sun with a broken air conditioning system. Dear Kia, I just wrote to Santa and asked him for a 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid.