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Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • I hope they were not designed to go head to head as they are the same vehicle. I would hope Hyundai's plan for the Optima was not to cannibalize Sonata sales. I would go for the Magentis I think since the warranty is better and they are the same--mechanically anyway.
  • jonbgoodjonbgood Posts: 157
    Looked at one for the first time today. It was loaded with leather and sunroof. Very nice looking car. Sorry to say that the storage compartment (the low one right behind the gear shift on the console) WOULD NOT open. My wife gave it a try and it wouldn't budge. I'm sorry folks - but if a simple thing like a coin storage holder (or whatever it was) won't open it really makes one wonder about quality. KIA and Hundai need to sweat the small things as well as the engines and trannys if they are to overcome the stigmas. Someone please correct me if there is some of secret to opening this. The salesperson wasn't with us.
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    You could have asked the salesman for the secret password.Of course I have heard the even Lexuses have some problems-probably not of the magnitude you found in the Optima-though.Did you check out any of the "minor"things like ride,comfort,transmission,air conditioning,braking etc?
  • jonbgoodjonbgood Posts: 157
    I will certainly give Kia a fair shot when I'm ready to buy. But come hard is it to get a $2 part right. Makes one wonder about the parts you can't see. Everybody raves about fit of trim on Hondas, Toyotas, Mazdas. It just doesn't seem that hard unless you're trying to milk every last 35 cents out of a car.
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    This is my point.If you can get a really good deal on an OPTIMA it seems the way to go.I like the style better then the SONATA.If you can get a loaded one-leather,ABS,4 wheel discs,traction control,auto,sunroof, etc-for around $15,000 I'd go for it.Heck,you may get a stripped CIVIC with less warranty for about that and maybe the secret compartment will open easier.I'll take the options and it might be a good thing to have a place the wife can't open.The 4cyl engine seems adequate for normal driving.
  • Kia has updated the web site on 2002--check it out ( Also, I'm sure the compartment will open--just ask!
  • 45auto45auto Posts: 16
    Noticed on 2 different sites that msrp for 01 optima se is 18094 msrp, and for 02 model is 17044, is that correct. Also, are manual transmissions as hard to find as they are in the sonata lx. Thank you for any assistance.
  • I don't know about lower prices--hope so. I guess Hyundai figures the people wanting the "luxury" model won't want to fool with shifting, that's why they are all automatics. I think V6 Optimas will pretty much have automatics as well. You ought to try the 4 cylinder Optima with the manual. I've driven both V6/auto and I4/manual and the manual transmission made the SE 4 cylinder much more fun to drive. With the leather interior and the windows and sunroof open, it felt very European to drive.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    the '01's were not priced competitively with Sonatas, especially with the 70 series Korean tires on '01 base car rather than Michelins on Hyundai's (even though I think that Michelins are over-rated and I might just replace the Michelin Energy tires on my Elantra with Kumhos or Hankooks when the time comes).
  • I think there are too many people who simply won't pay that much for a Kia. Even my wife--remember we have had a Sonata and have a Sephia now with no problems on either--said she would not pay that much for a Kia. She knows it's the twin of the Sonata which she likes, it's just an image thing. I like the Optima, though.
  • alharalhar Posts: 11
    Anyone know when 02 Optimas will be at the Dealers? Saw one at a car show several weeks ago.
    My wife liked it but I like the Sonata. Also had trouble getting the interior storage unit open but
    the wife opened it from the passenger side.!!!
  • too! I find this being constant comparing all Kia models versus Hyundai's. I own a Sportage and I like it's styling over the Santa Fe's. However, I saw a picture of Hyundai's HG350 in a magazine tonight in gold color. Wow-what a knockout! It was the 2002 HG350. That really looks nice. Check one out! Back to the Optima's looks vs.Sonata's. I thought I would like the Sonata in person(2002) but I don't really. The front looks weird to me with the fused headlights. I prefer the Optima. I may buy one someday.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • I really like the profile and rear end of the Optima, but I'd have to say I prefer the nose of the new Sonata to the Optima.
  • It's the LX 4 Cyl Auto. Dealer has it for $14,969 with all the incentives and such. I'm looking to either this or a used '01 Chevy Malibu. I Live in Iowa...what am I going to be happier with? Is KIA going to go out of business or something? I don't really care if they go out, I'm worried about the warranty, what would happen if they happen to? I read that Korea made Hyundai buy KIA out? What's the deal? This is my first "new to me" car, parents aren't much help. I can afford just about anything under $17k. My E-Mail address is, shoot me something with your opinions and such. I'll check back here every once in a while.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    with different styling and slightly decontented (tires mostly). The '01 Optima has most of the mid-platform upgrades available on the '02 Sonata. I've driven both the Optima and Sonata and would take them in an instant over a Malibu. Hyundai's in pretty good financial shape with sharply rising sales. Expect more and more of the Kia offerings to share platforms.

    As an Elantra owner, I still think the Elantra delivers more value per dollar, but the Optima/Sonatas are both fine cars.
  • Hyundai does own Kia, so they are not going anywhere. Hyundai's US sales were up 95% in October and Kia's sales were up 40% last month as well. Don't worry about the warranty. I would have to think the Optima would have to be a better choice than a used Chevy.
  • alharalhar Posts: 11
    Was out at the Kia dealer last weekend but all he had was 01's. Anybody seen any???
  • Kia/Hyundai Motors are doing excellent lately. U.S. and world sales are going up, and so is the quality of their vehicles. I do not see them going out of business any time soon. So, why they're cheap? Well, most of their cars are pretty plain, and it seems to me that they're serious in the mission of stealing some world market out of the Japanese and European car makers. Once they achieve that, be sure, their prices will be closer to the Japanese, American or European brands. Remember? That's how VW, Toyota, Honda and Nissan started some 20 years ago.
    ...Someone made a comment, two years ago I believe, that companies like Kia or Hyundai will come and go into the American Market just like Yugo or Fiat did some years ago. I think whoever said this, doesn't really know much about world economy or industry. I'm not Korean, and neither Asian, but I do know that the industrial output of South Korea is as big and competitive as the French, Dutch or British. And, obviously, dozen of times greater than Yugoslavia's (home of the Yugos). In Asia, only two countries are right behind Japan in the industrial and technological fields. Yes! One is South Korea, and the other is Taiwan.
    Back to the topic, I don't think these Korean brands are going away any time soon.
  • jonw2jonw2 Posts: 49
    To continue the previous thoughts expressed on the stability of the Kia/Hyundai company, I read this week in the LA Times that Hyundai is searching for a factory site in Ohio. By the way, I have no financial stake in Kia/Hyundia. In fact, we own an older Saab(I'm an admitted Saab freak!)and a fairly new Subaru Legacy. While on a trip this week on the West coast,we rented a well-appointed Kia Optima V6 and we were pleasantly surprised by the comfort and driveability of the Kia. The construction is very solid and the performance was excellent. We drove it several hundred miles and found no serious flaws. A little more trunk room might be desired, but it took our two luggage cases and a couple smaller bags. I thought the seating comfort was excellent. Our rental Kia had about 9700 miles on it and was well over 10K miles when we turned it in. The lady at the small Budget rental company said they have about 8 Kia's and they have been good performers with few problems. In short, it won us over. For what it's worth, I will definitely give serious consideration to a Kia Optima when we are in the market for our next new car.
  • I probably paid top dollar when I bought my Optima on July 4th (my timing never seems to be too good!). And in August I bought a Hyundai Accent for commuting, probably again for more than some of you out there. But in the end, I bought two good cars for $28000, on the road, tax and tags included, warranted for 100,000 miles! Try buying ONE Accord or Camry for that!
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