The Kia goes with us on a college tour

It's an exciting time of life for our family. Our oldest son is in his senior year of high school and has started applying at colleges. 11 colleges in 5 different states to be exact.  

Texas is one of those states, and with three universities in fairly close proximity of one another and one acceptance letter {and hopefully many more not far behind}, we decided that we should at least visit to see if Texas could be our son's next home away from home.  

We started and ended our college tour in Austin and were thankful that we had big red, our Kia Optima SX turbo to take us on our whirlwind trip from College Station {Texas A&M} to Waco {Baylor--and yes, we visited Magnolia Market} and back again to University of Texas {Austin}.

kia optima

There is nothing like a mother son road trip! Thankfully, we have been able to experience a few of them. In case you missed it, you can read about our road trip this past summer to the Mumford and Sons concert in the Mazda 6.

kia optima

While I am a mini van loving mama and plan on purchasing another mini van {the Kia Sedona or Honda Odyssey are contenders} when the time comes, I do enjoy driving a sporty sedan from time to time.  The Kia Optima did not disappoint! Come see what Aidan and I had to think about the Kia in case you are contemplating a new car purchase.

I have gotten spoiled by the bells and whistles on fancy new cars. My current mini van is being driven into the ground and while it was fully loaded 12 years ago, the new features in today's cars make me want to make an upgrade ASAP!

Being in a new city, it was so nice to have navigation. Not only could I see the navigation on the large screen, I also had it available on my dashboard. 

navigation display

The inside of the car was spacious and the moon roof was massive! The car got great gas mileage. Some of my favorite features are the heated seats and the heated steering wheel. We tried the cooled seats but didn't really notice a difference. Maybe if they were on fire after sitting outside on a hot day they would have cooled more rapidly...not sure.  I wouldn't pay extra for that feature though.

There were some pretty awesome cameras with lots of different angles that helped us squeeze through a few tight spots in parking garages and I liked the adaptive cruise control. It's easily becoming one of my favorite new car features.

I did find that the car had a weird blind spot. It could have been that my son's seat was sitting further back and it could have been corrected but there were times when looking out the side of the car it was difficult.

As always though, since I don't really care about the mechanics of the car, and some of those features people care about when they really are interested in purchasing a vehicle, I'm turning this over to my son Aidan to fill you in on the details and let you know what he thought.

interior of the kia

Aidan here. This Kia Optima is a truly excellent car. Gone are the days when Kia exclusively made cars for people too poor or too cheap to get something quality. In fact, the day has even passed when Kias are just good ol' normal cars to get. After having spent plenty of time in both the Sedona and this Optima, I can confidently say that Kias are no longer cars that other companies have any grounds to look down on; rather they are cars that companies and consumers would be smart to look up to.

As far as general features go, the Optima SX Turbo with all the options selected {like the one we got to drive} has pretty much everything you could ever need. The navigation system was really nice, the dashboard readout was convenient and informative, you could easily control everything from the steering wheel, the seats were comfortable, and the sound system was lovely. With the exception of a heads up display, the car had everything anyone could really ask for, though my one complaint is that some of the controls were a bit hard to access from the passenger's seat {where I spent all of my time due to pesky things like laws and contracts and things of that nature}.

kia Optima SX turbo

The Kia was excellent in the other important was as well: driving. This is the first sedan we got to test that had a V6 engine {this one turbocharged at that} which instantly put it above the crowd. It handled 85 MPH on the excessively large Texas roads without breaking a sweat, and was able to jump through small gaps in traffic and pass the occasional tractor with ease. Though the turbo wasn't anything a JDM tuner {you'll probably have to look this up if you're over the age of 20} would lose their mind over, it definitely got the job done and gave the extra kick when we needed it. As for the mechanical components outside of the engine, the well built chassis allowed for precise handling and a smooth ride, and the road noise was minimal even going Texas speeds on the highways.

Because we used this car to tour future universities, I thought I'd take the last part of my time to answer every question asked by every well meaning adult that I have talked to in the last year. No, I haven't decided yet. Yes, I'm done applying. Yes, I know it's more expensive than when you went, isn't that something. Communications and Political Science with a Pre-Law designation. I'll go as far from home as I feel necessary. I have also heard that Texas is much hotter than Washington, what a coincidence. No, I truly could not care less that I didn't apply to your alma mater {as precious as North Wisconsion School of Literary Arts was to you}. Yes, it's lovely that your nonagenarian great uncle attended Yale but I fail to see how that applies. In all seriousness though, thanks for the well wishes as I begin a wonderful new chapter of my life, I truly can't wait.

And with that, we wrap up another mother son car review. I would love to hear what you think. Have you written off Kia? I think it's time to take a second look!
disclosure: I was given the opportunity to drive the car in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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