Earlier this month, my friend Bill from The Drive Shop came by to give me a 2016 KIA Optima to test drive for a week! I always enjoy getting a new car to drive! Bill was very nice and explained the main features to me before he left. He had no problem giving he keys to a dog which I find so refreshing! I think the boys from Chicago secretly enjoy getting to visit me a few times a year!

I had a KIA Sorento last November which was fabulous, and I expected the Optima to also be a wonderful ride! Of course, it had to start raining right before the car arrived, but I think the KIA Optima looks great, even in the rain! The color of my car was moss gray/beige. I felt it was a bit of a chameleon, as depending on the lighting, it sometimes was gray, sometimes a deep green, really always a slightly different looking color.

The best thing to do when you review a car is to get in and head out onto the open road which is what I did. I loved the paw friendly push to start feature. As long as I had the key with me somewhere, the car would start with the push of my paw.

If a girl has a new car, where does she go? A new home development, of course! The Optima and I did some nice cruising through the new construction areas around town!

For a dog with short legs like I have, it was great having so many controls right there on the steering wheel.  I could run the cruise control, phone, radio, and phone all from the wheel.

If that wasn’t enough convenience the 2016 Optima is equipped with  UVO Services. This is a subscription free information system for your Kia vehicle. With UVO eServices advanced voice-recognition technology, you can use your voice to help make hands-free calls and manage your music library. With UVO eServices, infotainment is coupled with an enhanced telematics suite enabled by an exclusive free smartphone app available for Android and IPhones. The app provides an innovative in-vehicle connectivity experience including navigation, diagnostics capabilities, and added convenience features like Rear-Camera Display, Emergency Assistance, Parking Minder and My Car Zone. Pretty cool stuff!

The dashboard of the 2016 KIA Optima is a real beauty too! It is simple, yet elegant, and easy to use! Everything you need is well within reach.

I love the touch paw screen for the radio, navigation, and other programs too! We used the navigation a lot. It was super easy to figure out and the maps were very detailed. Mom and I did a lot of driving around the cities this time. Since we don’t go into the cities often, the navigation was really important to keep us from getting lost.

How about the backseat? I put my little sister back there and it was plenty spacious! It is made for three, has the fold down armrest with cup holder if you need it, and has the hook ups for car seats too. With three in the back, and two up front, I count ample seating for five!

How does the 2106 KIA Optima look on the outside on a nice day? I think snazzy is a good description, don’t you?

It is definitely an eye catching sedan! Don’t be fooled by looks! Behind the beauty, this car has safety in mind! Some of the features we loved were the backup camera with warning system, as well as a cross traffic alert, blind spot detection, front collision warning system, and lane departure warning system. It’s no wonder the 2015 KIA Optima was named Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety! The 2016 is just as safe if not safer!

How is the storage, meaning the trunk, if you are traveling or hauling larger items? I love the smart trunk, it will open if you are standing behind the vehicle – you don’t need the key! The back seats are also a 60/40 split if you have more cargo than what fits into the 15.9 cubic feet of space. Bailie was thrilled to model the fold down feature!

What is my overall feeling about the 2016 KIA Optima? I like it, it was fun to drive, nice looking, and the back seat has plenty of space for your dog. We received a model that was pretty much the base model this time. The car got around 33 mpg driving mostly in the city which was is pretty nice. Mom and I both really missed the sun roof, and we prefer leather seats, along with heated seats in the winter, all of which are available as extras or on other models. The KIA Optima is a real nice car for the money – starting at about $24,000.

Overall, we are impressed with KIA and their vehicles. If you are in the market for a new vehicle, we recommend you give KIA a test drive. I think you will be as impressed as I have been.