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Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i am excited about the good news with Kia/Hyundai. my mom likes my V6 Accord, but doesn't want to pay Honda $$$. she really likes the Optima and Sonata both. she also drives about 80 miles a day. so, the long warranty would be great for her. after Christmas, she is making up her mind and taking the plunge on one of them. (she REALLY likes the warranty)

    are the Optima and Sonata built at the same plant in Korea? why does Kia still have such low scores reliability wise, while Hyundai has improved?

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Haven't checked Edmunds yet, but Kiplingers car issue listed a remarkable difference in the two in terms of depreciation. Apparently the Optima is associated with the Spectra and other sub-par cars.

    During the summer I checked three identically used cars on an Enterprise used car lot. If memory serves me right the Sonata was priced at $15K (remarkable for a rental car w. 25K), a Mazda 626 at $14K and two Optimas at $12K. And-- Enterprise doesn't dicker. All models sold quickly.

    My advice-- buy new get a Sonata. Buy used get an Optima.

    The new Spectra replacement looks great and the one year advance on the Elantra re-do should get it some added sales and make Kia a higher regarded mark.
  • The headlights on my '03 Optima suck. On low beam they do not illuminate the proper distance ahead so I am constantly over driving their limits. I had the dealer adjust them, which if you care to notice, is a major task in itself. Apparently the light units are all one unit on each side and have to be adjusted together. Has anyone else noticed this problem? Is there anything that can be done to correct this situation?

    I'm convinced that the first thing to wear out on this car will be the dimmer switch.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Reopening by request ...
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    IMHO the Optimas most recent front end is nicer than the Sonata. Looking forward to seeing the next gen. car.
  • very handsome in black, IMO.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • I'm looking at getting an Optima and was wondering what everyone's experiences were with the car. I'm also looking at the Mazda 3 and 6. Thanks.
  • I like my care, it is the imperial blue color with sport visors and acrylic hood guard. It's really nice for the money and if it only had 225+ HP it would be perfect. I look at the competition and can't help but notice that their 4-cylinders nearly match the V6 in HP! That's a shame and even though I opted for the Optima, I can wish can't I. I hope to see what is in store, I like the body style now and even the previous generation looked nice. I hear that a Euro-looking body styling cue is up ahead, the 170 HP should be tossed and upgraded with maybe a 240-250 HP V6, even a 200 HP 4-cylinder wouldn't be bad if KIA can make'em. Other than the HP I am extremely happy with my car. I plan on taking it on a 3,000 mile round trip vacation in a week and can't wait to see what this car is truly made of. I've owned an '82 Chevy Citation, an '88 Toyota Corolla, a '98 Olds Achieva and an '03 Chevy Cavalier. I think the Optima is hands-down the best so far! Happy driving!
  • reebiereebie Posts: 1
    Hello everyone. I have just been reading the posts about the 2001 Kia Optima SE V6. I just bought one used, 32,000 miles on it. In very good condition. I had never really paid attention to the Kia's before so I had no preconceived notions. It has all the bells and whistles that I like in it, and the car looks great. It's not the pearl white, just regular white....and I bought it anyway. I don't even like white for a car.
    I really like the Hyundai Sonata 2005 and was tickled when my fiance told me that the Sonata and Optima are very similar. I guess you get what you ask for. I have been saying when I buy a NEW car I want the Sonata, just not now. Planning a wedding and conserving money. But to actually get a "like Sonata" at a great price was great. I'm hearing little things about Kia now, but I don't care. I love my 2001 Optima and will drive very happily in it. No matter that it doesn't go very fast. I don't want to ruin my perfect driving record with a speeding ticket anyway. :)
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    less than a Sonata. The depreciation works to your advantage in this case, you probably got a good deal. Frankly I like the looks of the new Optimas better. I think yours has the egg crate grill, followed by the Hannibal Lechter look. The new one is cleaner IMHO. Still an '01 Optima should be a very good buy. Some features such as trunk hinges were not on the Sonata until the following year.
  • I found this forum this morning; most posts and best discussions!

    I own a '04 Optima, black, all options but for the rear spoiler. I drove the car around 300 miles per day until last month. The comments that this car gets are outlandish to say the least. I was even stopped by a high schooler who just drooled over it.

    My current impressions of the vehicle are the same as when I test drove it. Great styling, excellent fit and finish, interior very comfortable, sound system outstanding. After 15k miles, no rattles or squeaks. Anyone who is in the market for a new or used car would do well to consider the Optima. There are few enough of them on the road that most people have no idea what it is,especially since I've pretty much de-badged it. Average fuel mileage is 20, but I'm a performance driver so I'm happy with it.

    Thus far, I've had no problems whatsoever. Performance wise, the vehicle is amazing for the price. The power and torque of the drivetrain I would rate as very good, save the occasional annoying extra upshift when using the sport shifter at full throttle. This can be a real drag when racing. I solved this by letting off the throttle during the shifts. Top speed driven thus far is 140 mph; body float starts around 120 or so - if you're going to drive that fast, consider upgrading the suspension and using an air dam.

    The mods I've done thus far are a CAI, replaced the grill emblem with a EVOfusion emblem and removed all the chrome emblems from the trunk lid, replaced the trunk emblem with the Korean version. Wheel centercaps are blacked out and brake calipers are red. I'll have a laptop ECU interface shortly and will be putting on the Zefiro front bumper later this summer as well as the Next Generation dual exhaust.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welcome to our Forums!! :)
  • trol1374trol1374 Posts: 7
    I own an 01 Kia Optima 2.4L. I have a round trip commute to work of 125 miles. I now have 109,000 miles. I do regular oil changes around 4k. Did the other fluid changes as needed. Problems since buying: oxygen sensor at 2000 miles replaced at no charge. Passenger door window cable (auto) broke at 90k miles, replaced it myself for $30.00. Just now got the check engine light come on, I suspect the sensor went out again. I'm taking it in to get the timing belt changed. First change, and yes, I know I pushed my luck waiting this long. I always heard that doing "highway miles" is 2 to 1 compared to city driving.

    I am still getting about 30 mpg

    All said and done, my kia is still going strong (knocking on wood). I just wanted to leave a good note so people don't always see "negative" post.
  • trol1374trol1374 Posts: 7
    Could someone with the 01 optima or 02? 2.4 L engine, Auto give me their RPM numbers. Like, what is the rpm at 60mph and 70mph and 75.

    got my car back from dealer after getting timing belt changed. They said the ck eng light was due to dirty egr valve and dirty injectors. They cleaned that and my wallet for the repairs. I drive off down the highway and the rpm's seem a little higher then normal. Few miles later "wham" ck engine light comes on and car is doing like 3k rpm 60. Back to dealer and said it was a speed sensor that went out. They replaced it at no charge, in about 30 minutes.

    Off I go again. Seems the rpm's are running a little high. I can't seem to remember the actual numbers from before. Now it is doing about 2900 at 70mph. That right?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    if your check engine light stays on (sometimes they'll cycle themselves off) go into your dealer and tell them about it. It'll give them a code to read and they can find out what's wrong. If you're under warranty they'll fix it. Don't freak out about the CEL's. They're there to point out the problem. Yours may cycle itself off, drive around a bit and it might very well just cycle itself off and you'll be fine.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • zimerzimer Posts: 1
    Hello everyone,
    I just found this forum and I am sooo happy. Well, let me tell you my situation. I have a 2001 Kia Optima with 9000 miles on it. nope thats not a type O, Here is how. About 3 weeks ago, I was driving on the express way when all of a sudden something poped and my car just died. When I went to start it, the belt would spin but the engine didn't turn. Thats right folks, the timing belt snapped. So I took it to the dealership and they said that it would be about $2000.00 to fix all the bent pistons and heads and since my car had 64,000 miles on it, that $2000.00 was coming out of my pocket. So I was thinking and figured I call my regular mechanic and see what he thought. He called me back about an hour later and said that he could get a 2003 optima engine and install it for $2200.00. Sure I don't need to tell you what I choose to do. So, long story short, with a new clutch I paid $2400.00.
    Now for the reason I'm posting. Since I have no warrenty now, I'm want to trick it out. I want to get a body kit for it and a supercharger or turbo for it but the only problem is I'm having a little trouble finding these things. I noticed that Beemerwacker said that he'll be putting on a zefiro front bumper and a next gen dual exhaust. Just wondering if you (beemerwacker) or anyone for that matter could point me in the right direction of finding these add on's. expecially the body kit. Thanks.
  • trol1374trol1374 Posts: 7

    Can you look at my post a few up about the RPM's and tell me your RPM numbers at 70 mph?

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