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I'm starting to look at buying a new vehicle and these are the two I am looking at. I have a long commute to and from work so I need good gas mileage but I also need pick up to drive on the express way. I also need dependability.
 

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I'm starting to look at buying a new vehicle and these are the two I am looking at. I have a long commute to and from work so I need good gas mileage but I also need pick up to drive on the express way. I also need dependability.
Well considering this is a Cadenza forum, you'll get a lot of votes for that.

Optima has good pick up, and mid-range mileage, but the Hybrid version lacks power but has great mileage.

Forte is smaller, and has good mileage, but the interior leaves the driver wanting more, and the suspension doesn't seem to handle pot-holes like the Optima does.

I test drove 3 different Optima models and both a Forte and a Forte Koup before getting my Cadenza. My list would go:

Gas Mileage to Vehicle Quality:

1 - Optima Hybrid
2 - Forte Koup SX w/ Manual Transmission
3 - Optima EX
4 - Forte (Sedan)
5 - Optima SXL
6 - Cadenza
7 - K900
*Honorable Mention -- Kia Soul Hybrid
 

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I looked at the Forte and Optima before choosing the Cadenza. In a similar situation to you, I have a somewhat long commute, so I was focusing on gas mileage. The Forte was just way too small. I'm 6'1", I could fit in the Forte, but no one could sit in the back seat. And even nicely equipped ones felt like slightly dressed up econo-cars. Weighing in the future potential need for car seats, the Forte just didn't work for me. The Optima was a much better size. I ended up with the Cadenza because I got a nearly fully loaded one used for the price of a new mid-range Optima.


Sure, gas mileage is important for a long commute, but I came to realize driver comfort was more important to me. I still get 27ish MPG, which is better than I get with my Sorento which I was driving before.
 

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Sh!+, I'm in a 2016 Sonata base model right now for a rental...I've put about 60 miles on the ticker, reset the MPG's as soon as I drove off the rental lot...getting 33.5 mpg right now. It wouldn't take a Cadenza, but if you switch it up to sport mode, it actually is fun to drive. Econ mode isn't as fun, but the MPG is insane!
 

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Go for the OPTIMA, you said it was between that and the forte.
Make sure you get the 2.0 turbo engine, that gets the best gas mileage,
has good pickup for getting on highways
Had one and it got good gas mileage, 34 on the highway. Much better interior than the forte
 
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