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Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • elast_girlelast_girl Posts: 1
    try this website, I beleive its canadian, but maybe they have US affiliates
  • nburkenburke Posts: 1
    i have lots of regrets now. don't buy one. you will spendmore money in the long run fixing it.
  • jcvesqjcvesq Posts: 2
    When will it hit dealers and is it based upon the Hyundai Sonata?
  • nismokidnismokid Posts: 7
    I gathered all this info from random forums and press releases from Kia themselves. The all-new Optima should hit NA showrooms this December. It will make its official debut at the Franfurt autoshow then later at the Miami autoshow in the US. It will share platforms with the recently released 2006 Sonata but they will not be rebadges or share as much as they do now. The Optima will be slight smaller than the Sonata and they even have more unique interiors this time around. The Optima will get the new 160hp 2.4l 4cyl found in the new Sonata but rumours are that it won't get the new 3.3l V6, instead it might get a revised 2.7l V6 with VVT producing about 200hp. Kia is aiming more at the youth than Hyundai so expect something in the lines of the Mazda6 and Nissan Altima when it comes to the character of the vehicle. It seems the Sonata was mainly developed with the US market in mind while the Optima was developed more with the Europe market in mind. Spy pics are extremely hard to find for this vehicle and often are confused with the next Elantra(know one seems to know what either will really look like). I've seen some where the shape of the greenhouse(side-windows,etc) was similar to the Acura TSX and the last gen Galant. If anyone can find any post links here... ;)
  • daddyedaddye Posts: 7
    I posted here in 2003 when the car had $89K on it. It now has 119,500

    Since then I have had to replace:

    - both power window regulators: $27.00 per door.
    - serpentine and alternator belts (at 118,000 $35)
    - fusable link (at 92,000K -- $5)
    - take it to the shop when the check engine light came on: (at 118,000K -- $200 -- turned
    out the battery terminal had corroded affecting the voltage and confusing the computer
    into thinking there was a problem with the air bags and the engine
    - replaced the spark plugs (118K these were worn down -- $6)
    - addressed a corrosion issue on the 'spark plug springs' that act as spark plug wires for
    two of the four cylinders (when I replaced spark plugs)
    - replace air filter ($12)
    - replace CV boot ($30) Unfortunately I should have changed the Axle nut when I did this . I didn't and there was never enough torque when I retightened the old one and the
    wheel bearing went out--can't blame that on the car (blame it on the mechanic: me)
    another $50 for the wheel bearing (and axle nut :) )
    - We took it camping up some dirt roads and hit a large rock that bent the rear right lower
    control arm. I litterally hammered this back into shape, put it back on, had the car
    realigned and the shop said it was fine.
    - I probably need to have the brake rotors turned, but have been too lazy to do it.

    In my opinion, that is not a lot of work for a car to have done during its 90K to 120K mileage range. The car is still very quiet and solid to drive. No rattles, although I believe a slight squeak has developed between the dash board and the windshield.

    It has been so reliable and felt so solid even with high mileage that we went out a bought a brand new 2005 KIA Sportage.

  • anravelanravel Posts: 2
    HELP! It appears at 68K miles my car stopped as a timing belt broke. The belt was replaced but my mechanic is still getting no compression from the engine. Today he will start checking each valve---

    How much could this potentially cost? This is purely a commuter car 130 miles daily. The purpose of buying this car!

    I've never had a timing belt break like this and know the damage could be bad I just don't want to dump $1500 now & find out that my wallet will continue to be sucked dry..

    Need help fast.

    A woman w/no car sense :) :sick:
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Bending valves is never a good thing, that's why I replaced my Elantra with a Malibu Maxx, sometimes low tech has its rewards. As an option to digging into the engine, try to find a used one (assume a Sonata would work) @
  • mike_belknapmike_belknap Posts: 378
    Here are the most recent spy shots (if anyone wants more, just let me know and I'll post them):

    Exterior - rear 3/4
    5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels

  • nismokidnismokid Posts: 7
    looking good...

    Post more if you can, please.... ;)
  • mike_belknapmike_belknap Posts: 378
    Most of these are rather old (the earliest are from last Fall), but since I don't know what you all have seen, here goes:








    Photo8 (Interior)

    Photo9 (High res - may take time to load)

    Photo10 (High res - may take time to load)

    Photo11 (High res - may take time to load)




    Am I missing any...? Note that the majority of these images were originally missidentified as the new Hyundai Elantra (due next Spring as an '07 model).

  • nismokidnismokid Posts: 7
    Thanks, I've seen most of those. Atleast we know that its the Optima now. Mike, do you also post in carspyshots? My name is Nismo over there....

    They changed the interior alot over the testing time. Looks way better now. I can't wait to see official pics and autoshow pics.

    In some of the pics you can see the Sonata near it to compare. They're pretty different this time around, thought the rear did look similar when they had the same color arrangement.
  • mike_belknapmike_belknap Posts: 378
    Yeah, I figured you were Nismo. ;) I'm "Miyka'el" on CarSpyShots. Not that we're encouraging anyone on this board to go over there, as it would be against this forum's rules to do that.... :P

    "They changed the interior alot over the testing time. Looks way better now. I can't wait to see official pics and autoshow pics."

    Totally. It will be here before we know it! Well, maybe not literally....

  • mike_belknapmike_belknap Posts: 378
    Two additional images:


    Linking directly to photos from this source website will not show up on some systems, so click here if the above links don't work for you.

  • sjbaileysjbailey Posts: 1
    I have the feeling you are being duped by your mechanic.

    The timing belt breaking could have damaged some other components, although rear in the newer vehicles like yours:
    1. Bent some valves from hitting the piston head
    2. Broke a piston head from a valve
    3. Both 1 and 2 can be ruled out if the engine cranked over without making clanking noises.

    Having the timing belt replaced requires the belt installed correctly by a well qualified, certified technician.
    1. Timing marks not correctly aligned can result in valves not fully seated. Thus, you will have little to no compression. Sometimes valves are still open for certain cylinders for the timing marks to align correctly--not all technicians are aware of this.

    Best price is the dealer or a well known repair garage with good credentials.
    1. You have already spent $1,500 more than you should have because a belt breaking requires a full engine inspection prior to charging the owner.
    2. You should have been informed about all the damages and received them in writing, if any, before the repairs were performed.
    3. In general, do not substitute the certified technician to save money.
    4. It's always better to call a couple of garages for price comparisons before a repair commitment.

    Possibly seek legal assistant on the grounds of fraudulent repairs performed on your vehicle.
  • Lol... Cool to see you over here, though I'm over at the other site almost everyday. I've heard the new Optima might make its US debut at the Miami Autoshow like the first Optima and new Sportage so I might go since I live in South Florida. ;)

    This car is definately flying under the radar... after seeing how nice the new Sonata is I wanted to know what was in store for the Optima. Can't wait to see less camoed pics and get more info/specs since the V6 for this isn't confirmed yet. :confuse:
  • Miami Auto Show -- that's in November isn't it? It would definitely be cool if you got to see it in person. If it all pans out, you'll have to take some photos for us!

  • October, I believe. I could be wrong though... I can't wait! Its a rumuor but Kia has done it before and it will go onsale this fall in the US and the Miami Autoshow is one of the biggest in the fall for us.

    I was just comparing the rear of the new Sonata to some of the Optima spy pics and them changing the tails to almost all red makes it look "that" much different from the Sonata that they don't even look alike to me anymore, but I don't know why they decided to even make the rears look so similar from the begining. Its not like they share rear ends to save money, the Optima's rear is shorter and higher so they could have went with a totally different style from the get go. Anyways, hate to rant. This will be a surprise for alot of people.
  • You all ready for this? It looks like a three-way mating between an Infiniti Q45, a Saab 9-3, and a Hyundai Sonata:

    Front 3/4
    Rear 3/4
    Side profile


  • serge79serge79 Posts: 10
    It looks awesome. Even better than the good looking Sonata. Oh! This model won't make the Accord look any better! Wow. Honda is no leader in design no more, their style is one of the most bland and awkward on the market. I used to love Hondas, but lately their models are... yurk. The Accord is so oddly shaped.
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    1. I know that this is nit-picky, BUT..... take a good look at the way the window border on the upper right of the rear door is integrated into the angled/rounded roof molding. The molding/flat black area is a nice curved shape, BUT the door line is a straight up-and-down gap that doesn't match the flow of the molding. I consider this a noticeable short-cut. Check it out below just up and to the right of the rear door handle:



    2. As much as I've read about the Optima being smaller than the new Sonata, I don't see it. Without having the actual dimension specs in front of me, compare the above picture of a new Sonata to the new Optima. Every angle and hard point in each car look pretty darn close. The sheet metal on both cars IS unique, which is good. But the overall size of the cars look very close.

    3. I like the styling of the new Optima. I don't see any glaring faux paus. It looks a bit too much like a Malibu from the direct side shot for my tastes, but even then it omits the many creases and boo boos of that car.

    If Hyuan-KIA has engineered the quality of my Spectra EX into this car, along with a decent powertrain AND they keep the prices down, I think they have another "weiner" on their hands!!!


    My 1-year old, 12k+ miles, 99.99% defect free 2004.5 Spectra EX ...
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