Ever wonder what those random sensors and cameras are for along the roadways?

Ever wonder what those random sensors and cameras are for along the roadways??

A new investigation shows the scale of surveillance on U.S. highways is more extensive than many previously imagined, thanks to a license plate database that allows federal and local law enforcement to watch cars and even drivers in real time. According to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, the database was created by the Drug Enforcement Administration to…

How Did They Get This Mileage? Funny thing about this car. After 4 months and about as many thousand…

How Did They Get This Mileage?

Funny thing about this car. After 4 months and about as many thousand miles, I've achieved nowhere near the AW Observed fuel ecohom and certainly further from the EPA estimated fuel economy. Interestingly, I don't find the hesitation to be nearly as bad as the Autoweek editors find it. Although, I found the hesitation to be more pronounced as the car games more miles. This I also find sort of odd, as most of these sorts of behaviors work their way out as the miles pile on. That said, I don't find the hesitation to be any more than just a little bit of an annoyance.

I agree with Autoweek on the interior – it's a solid interior. The car is also very good looking. People often ask me if it is a Tesla! Obviously, these people are not car enthusiasts, but an interesting correlation nevertheless. I just wish the hybrid version didn't have special styling. The wheels are quite unattractive, but easy to clean!

Back to performance. I find the car to have some get up and go when you need it. I didn't experience any performance issues when stepping on the pedal. Most of the hesitation issues seem to occur at lower speeds. This car's hybrid system benefits the straight-line speed rather then fuel economy. I've averaged about 28 miles per gallon. Pretty poor for car of the size being a hybrid. Many gas engine cars get similar mileage. In fact, the Kia Optima gas engine EPA is as good as what my hybrid gets.

Compared to our Passat TDI, which gets about 38 miles per gallon all time, I find the Kia's mileage performance very disappointing. Considering that the interior space is less than the Passat and much of the trunk is taken up by hybrid gear, the compromise of the hybrid system is not worth it in the Kia. While we are comparing the Passat to the Kia, I find steering turn in and overall feel to be much superior in the Volkswagen. I agree with the Autoweek editors on steering feel – it's nearly nonexistent in the Kia. I also agree, however, the front end stays planted and the car goes where you point it. It actually holds a line quite well for a front wheel drive vehicle.

I could write a whole other article (and I may) on the horrible Kia UVO radio system, powered by Microsoft. This radio literally crashes and reboots at random times! It is everything you may expect from a Microsoft powered product. i'm seriously considering the installation of a new Pioneer, Alpine or Kenwood car play compatible head unit to replace this factory-installed disaster. This radio destroys the entire experience of this car!

That said, I've been pleasantly surprised with the Kia. The warranty is fantastic and its an overall pleasant car – quiet and rides well. I would even recommend it to someone seeking out a car in this class. However, I would recommend against the hybrid version (unless it had a huge incentive like mine did) and choose one of the standard drivetrain cars. I'd also seriously recommend not getting UVO, unless you only just listen to the radio and don't use Bluetooth with you phone. If you're in the market for such a car, I'd also take a look at what Volkswagen offers. We couldn't be happier with our Passat, but there's a huge difference in how both companies approach their respective solution to the mid-sized sedan. ?

EXECUTIVE EDITOR RORY CARROLL: I’ve said before that I think the Kia Optima is the best value, if not the best car, in its class. That said, the efforts to subdue the car’s styling with …