Travelling with children can be exciting, adventurous and fun. It can also be stressful, hard work and a little bit daunting at times. Especially when they come with so many things. When I worked for a large company I had a company car and often there is little choice on which car you get. As a business user sometimes this car can be the only car within the family, and so rightly it needs to double as the family car. Our question to Kia was how well would their new Kia Opima Phev withstand the school holidays?
We began by loading the Kia Optima with all the bags we would need for 4 days holiday at the seaside with 3 children. This may not seem like a lot but in the boot is:
- 2 scooters
- 1 pushchair
- 3 bags
- food for 4 days
- coats [for 5 people]
- dog bed
- all related items for the dog [but not the dog, he was in the main car]
- steriliser and bottles
- charging cables for the Optima
Looks were certainly deceiving with the boot space, I wondered as I saw it all piled up in the hall if we would get everything in the boot but we did with space left too!
I have come to expect a Kia to be loaded with lots of extras, having now driven 4 different models, and the Kia Optima Phev certainly didn't disappoint. Heated seats, Heated steering wheel, climate controls and everything within an easy reach central location.
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 8 inch touch screen navigation system, wireless mobile charger and USB sockets. The Kia Optima Phev had everything needed to keep the family entertained on the journey to the seaside. In addition there was everything the business user would require, making it perfect for both business and personal use.
The Kia Optima Phev is Kia's first plug in hybrid model and whilst we have access to a charge station at home it can be charged by plugging in to the mains. The Optima phev can be driven in either all electric or hybrid drive modes.
We were keen to see just how far the Optima would go on pure electricity and soon discovered this was down to both the type of driving and the load within the car. On average though it was around 33 miles. I found this relatively impressive, particularly as for quite a few this would within the commute to work distance, at which point it could be recharged at work. In the same way as a parent driving kids around to various school clubs this would be within the range of the total miles, using only electric could save money on fuel bills. The Optima also recharges the battery as it is moving which means you can further reduce the number of miles on fuel.
Travelling with the children I needed to make sure they were both safe and comfortable. The outer two seats have isofix points, and whilst I could fit comfortably in the middle seat between the two car seats I struggled to fit a third car seat on the back. I could squeeze a third seat in but it would have suffered with buckle crunch and I felt this was unsafe. However, I think it is worth noting that if I had three slim seats I am pretty certain that you could get three across, but it would depend on the sizing.
My eldest daughter therefore could sit at the front, the airbag was easy to locate to turn off should you require a car seat on the front. There was even enough room in the foot well to fit J, our dog, we all travelled in comfort and no one was squashed.
Our destination was the Bay at Filey. We love this development as it is a home from home. Building works are almost complete, we only noticed them when we walked further up the site towards the beach, so I think dependant on where you stay you may or may not encounter work. We had booked a 2 bedroom house, which had plenty of room for us all and J.
The Bay is built partly upon the former Butlins Filey site. I like the charm from each of the bricked houses and the way the site is laid out. There is an indoor swimming pool which guests can use, fitness and spa facilities, bike hire, Italian restaurant, pharmacy and a very family and dog friendly pub. The beach is within walking distance, however we were at the furthest point of the site and so had a good 10-15 minute walk. The path to the beach is not direct, as the site is higher than the beach so it has to wind gradually down to the beach otherwise it would be too steep to easily climb back up.
The Kia Optima Phev was incredibly comfortable to travel in, and I was in the middle seat between the two car seats. I will admit to falling asleep during the journey. My husband used the in built Sat Nav to direct us straight to our destination and my eldest daughter was fascinated not only with the Sat Nav but also with the eco driving animations. They told her if the car was using electric and she watched as the eco tree filled up.
We arrived at The Bay and decided to make the most of the takeaway pizza service on site, it had been a long journey and hot pizza seemed to be just what we needed.
We left the car outside our holiday house and walked over to the beach. J was in his element running free, digging in the sand and of course chasing his ball. The beach is lovely and flat and perfect for letting both kids and dogs have some fun.
After almost the entire day spent on the beach we headed back to The Bay for dinner. We decided upon the Lord Nelson for dinner. They welcome both children and dogs inside so it was perfect for us and it meant J didn't get left out. The food was great too, plenty of choice and a great kids menu. We all left with our stomachs full and feeling happy from our day at the seaside.
Little Man enjoyed his day so much he had a wonderful nights sleep!
A final day out on the beach lay ahead. Given the time of year it felt warm and we were up early to make the most of our final day.
We walked and played along the beach and before we knew it we were in Filey itself. This of course called for Fish and Chips on the sea front.
We had kept an eye on the tide tables and knew we had plenty of time to make it back. J was pleased because he could spend longer chasing his ball. The girls were happy running around on the beach and generally enjoying themselves. Little Man was just taking everything in.
The Kia Optima had been charged up using the household electric plug and was ready and waiting for us.
I love the look and feel of the Kia Optima Phev. The aerodynamic shape helps with fuel efficiency but in my opinion it also gives it a a smart look. Every angle has been designed carefully, and whilst it certainly has a business car feel to it it also functions incredibly well as a family car.
The Kia Optima Phev was perfect for our family holiday to the seaside. It successfully carried all five of us in comfort and the dog too. All out luggage fitted in the boot and with space left over. Not only that but we travelled using hyrbid technology, reducing our overall travel costs. Whilst I may not know all the inside specs, I can tell you that the family loved the Kia Optima Phev just as much as my husband loved driving it for work. It is clearly a car that is versatile enough to be an executive company car during the day and an elegant family car at the weekend.
We loved our time using the Kia Optima Phev and loved creating some wonderful memories on our holiday!
The Kia Optima phev was on a loan basis and has been returned. I paid for the holiday in full. No compensation has been received for this post