Michigan Girls Head North: The Ultimate Mother/Daughter Road Trip #MiGirlsNorth #KiaOptima

A couple of weeks ago I took my girls (13 & 25) on a three day mother/daughter road trip up north. We had a great time! To make the trip even more exciting, I had the pleasure of driving us in this beauty, the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Premium!

This car may look like a sports car, with it’s low ride height, unique front and rear fascias, under body pan and grill shutters, it’s all around sleek design is made to increase it’s aerodynamic efficiency. Not to forget, it has the goods under the hood – a 2.4L HEV, 206 Horse Power, 195 lbs of torque. Yet the Kia Optima also features modern hybrid technology, top of the line safety features, a full size trunk, with back seat access, a roomy back seat, and plenty of options in the comfort department that make this awesome ride a mid-size sedan. Perfect for any mid-size family.

Our campground is a five hour drive away from home, so we were able to put a lot of Kia’s features to the test. Our favorites right out of the driveway were the rear-camera display, Sirius Satellite Radio, built-in GPS, and the UVO system made it easy to sync my phone and iPad for hands free calls and access to iTunes while on the road. The girls also loved the built in cup holders, perfect for long trips like ours.

As the driver I was impressed by the beautifully designed dash and it’s display of fuel consumption, ECO dynamics and a green rating for each trip. Being on the free way for five hours, I also appreciated the display of how many miles until empty. Now, that is a nice safety feature.

My thoughts on driving the Kia Optima Hybrid for seven days –

I’ve never driven a hybrid car before, I knew the technology ran on less gas, but I had no idea just how little gas it uses. I drove this car to and from work (over 20 miles each way) four times, and I swear the needle hardly moved. I also had amazing gas mileage while on the freeway. I love all the modern features. Keyless entry and starting the car by pushing a button is pretty cool. The dash actually plays a little music when the start button is pushed, and says goodbye when turned off. Not an important feature I know, but it made me smile each time. As did the sun roof! The seats are very comfortable and the luxury interior through-out the entire car is really nice. I like that the driver seat automatically slides back for an easy exit from the car, and remembers the personal setting upon returning. I did have a hard time buckling the driver’s side seat belt a few times. This wasn’t a big issue, but happened enough times to make it worth mentioning. The car drove like a dream. Very easy to handle, and coasted smoothly around corners. Both while in the city and during our road trip up north. I have to admit, I gave in while alone on an open road and opened it up for a few minutes, and it was pretty awesome. She’s not only pretty, she also has plenty of power, no doubt!

Lets talk safety –

  • NHTSA 5 Star Crash Rating
  • 2012 IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • Electronic Stability Control & Anti-lock Brakes
  • Tire-pressure Monitoring System
  • Dual Front advanced airbags
  • Dual Front seat-mounted side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags

While we were on our road trip Kia tweeted the question “Where would you go with a Kia Optima Hybrid and a full tank of gas?” My answer – where didn’t we go!

To call this road trip “Ultimate” doesn’t even come close for this mom! So many memories were made as we drove, talked, climbed one of the tallest light houses, walked by the lake, sat by the campfire, and laughed a whole lot. We even found fun on our way home by stopping to ride go-karts and give sky high bungee jumping a try.

These three days created a lot of great memories we wont soon forget! You can view my Instagram photos from the trip here and even more photos on Flickr.

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Disclosure: I was delivered a 2012 Kia Optima Premium to drive for seven days. This included our road trip. This is part of a 5 Minutes for Mom campaign. No monetary compensation has been exchanged. The opinions express are honest and my own. I was not asked or influenced in any way to write a positive review by Kia or 5 Minutes for Mom. I am disclosing this information as part of the legal FTC blogger regulations.


  1. Sounds like a fun trip!

  2. Windy Sibbersen
    Twitter: windylouphoto

    Sounds like you had a blast! Isn’t it great when you don’t have to give a thought to the car, you can just go?!

  3. What a fun trip!! We have a Kia Sedona and we love it, it’s good to know their other vehicles are jjst as awesome!

  4. Alysia
    Twitter: michigalmom

    Wow, sounds awesome! That car sounds fabulous, and how cool to get away alone with your girls!

  5. Looks like a great time and a nice ride!

  6. How cool, sounds like you all had a great time and of course I love the Kia Optima!!

  7. sandy weinstein says:

    one of my male friends just got one of the these cars for his work car. he is way too tall for it…but other than that he likes it okay, has back camera, wifi w/ bluetooth….can use radio and talk at sam time, etc.
    gets ok gas mil/

  8. Tonja
    Twitter: tvdeegan

    What a great way to do a test drive – great car and great scenic drive!

  9. Sommer @greenmom
    Twitter: greenmom

    Sweet! The car looks sporty, comfy and I like how you took so many great photos. I wouldn’t really think to test drive a Kia but now I’ll have to take one for a spin! =)

  10. Cute car! We looked at a Kia but we decided to stick with a Ford when we were looking for a new car. The only downside to most cars is that they’re not big enough for 4 kids.

  11. Stephanie says:

    i love the car

  12. Naomi
    Twitter: superdumb

    The car looks great but what I’m really jealous of is the quality time you spent with your daughters… mine is only eight but I’d love to do something like this with her one of these days.