Kia Drive Modes

June 11th, 2018 by

Understanding Kia Drive Modes by an Optima Owner

If anyone is like me, then you do not read the owners manual on your vehicle. Trust me I did the same thing with my ’18 Optima EX. One thing that I had no idea how to use was the ECO, SPORT, and then the regular setting. I’ll explain what they are and when the best time is to use them.

2019 Kia Optima


ECO mode is best used when you are driving in the city. What this mode does is allows your transmission to change shift points. Another thing that it does is makes the car not produce as much power. So, you do not want to use this when you are getting on the highway or other times that you need the power or just to step on the gas. This will help you get the most use out of your gas. You can still leave it in this mode when you are driving at other times, it just will not get you any better gas mileage. For me, I honestly leave it on this mode, because it makes me think I will get the best gas mileage. No, it will not mess anything up with the vehicle.

[ECO]: Composes and mode optimized for economic driving

drive mode


SPORTS mode, however, allows you to get up and go. If you like to race people off the line (like me, oops) you should make sure you turn this on. It again changes your shift points and gives you so much more power. When I went on my test drive, my salesman told me to put it in SPORTS mode and get on the highway. Let me tell you, that was one of the deciding factors that led to me getting my Optima. I thought I would want the turbo so that I had some extra power, but driving it on SPORTS mode gives me more than enough power.

[Sport]: Composes a mode for dynamic driving

[Sport]: Composes the sporty steering wheel mode.

[Sport]: Composes a mode for dynamic driving

Kia Drive Modes


The regular mode gets you the gas mileage that the car is designed to reach. It also does not change the shift points. This mode is just there so that you can use the car how it is intended to run. I do not put my car in this mode just because I get the most value using the ECO mode. Again, it is up to you as to how you want to use these features. I mean, it is your car!

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