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Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    That road test giowa mentions is now linked in the Additional Resources box on the left sidebar of this page - check it out and let us know what you think.

    Sedans Message Board
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    and the review leaves a Kia enthusiast feeling confirmation of the fact that this midsize entry from Kia merits serious further consideration. It would definitely be the step up I would take if I decide to go bigger in size next new car. The review if very favorable(I'd recommend reading it)and the negatives either wouldn't apply or I could live with them. I'd rather have an honest review though than a sugar-coated one. The upper picture of the silver Optima was a definite printout for me to go in my collection of car pictures. A handsome new car it is. Giowa-it's true no mention was made of the platform sharing with Sonata. We can't just assume everyone knows, either, judging by what I've read on Optima from other reviews and sites. Kia's done a fine job and should be proud of this good looking well performing new midsize car.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • schaeffzschaeffz Posts: 18
    Still enjoying driving the Optima!
    We bought it as a third car, to begin putting fewer miles on my aging minvan.
    Still, my wife seems to be putting excess miles on the Optima!
    She seems to enjoy it too much!!!
    Frankly, if I wanted to spend $23K on a car, I would have gone with a Honda or Toyota and put in a few more $K's, for proven reliability and resale value.
    But...I bought a lower-end Optima. Knowing that the basic mechanical diferrences between the LX and SE are small, I opted for a car with some comfy "luxuries", yet inexpensive compared to what I could get in a base Hon or Toy, or even Taurus. Optima has filled this niche for me.
    Now it seems that Edmond's, and probably other reviewers, will opt for an up-scale Optima to review. Most reviews I think will end up the same as my statement above. Why not throw in a few extra $$ and get a Hon and Toy.
    If Kia is smart and wants to sell lots of Optima's, they should target guys like me, basically poor yet smart, and ship more lower-end versions. Most Optimas on the lots now are high-end equiped.
    Just my two cents.
  • sedanman2sedanman2 Posts: 26
  • I am currently looking at buying a brand new 2001 Kia Optima LX. I am just looking for other opinions from people about the car that I am seriously considering purchasing. My dealer is in NY and believe it or not, i have had a hard time finding a dealer that comes close to matching my current offer.

    It is a 4Dr, Automatic transmission, Passive alarm installed, AM/FM Stereo Cassette/CD player, Cruise Control, Carpeted Floor Mats,Dual Front Air bags, Side airbags, first aid kit, air conditioning, 60/40 rear seat, Power locks/mirrors/windows, dual front/rear cupholders, tilt steering wheel,etc

    Price being offered is $14,595. I just want opinions on if I am being taken for a ride or if I am getting a good deal. First impression is that its a steal but want to know first hand from people that are currently driving one. Its a 4 Cylinder also.
  • ronald15ronald15 Posts: 21
    Kia dealers in the Boston zone are discounting over $3500 off MSRP. Ex: MSRP $15,829. Discount $3580, Selling price $12,249.
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    Is that with the same equip as nycjokester mentioned?If so,I say hop a plane to Boston jokester.
  • ronald15ronald15 Posts: 21
    The price I quoted was for a base model. With the equipment nycjokester listed, the price is around the high 13's not including the alarm system.
  • schaeffzschaeffz Posts: 18
    1) Dealers in the Baltimore/DC area are advertising $14595, about "invoice", for the base LX with 5-speed. But... they don't have any on their lots! They are baiting people in. In my checks with dealers throughout the area, few had lower-end LX models with automatic and 4-cyl. I think I lucked out when I found one at about 5% over "invoice". Using you can get a list of dealers near you. Most have web-sites and some allow you to look at their inventory. Saves driving all over creation looking on lots. Also, phone calls don't always get you accurate info on what is in inventory.
    2) Anyway, after 1000 miles, my Optima is doing nicely. Since my wife insists on always driving, I prefer to sit in the back seat on jaunts around town, letting my 15-year-old daughter sit in the front seat. Its one way to get points with her that I can hopefully cash in when Algebra homework comes due.
    3) Another complaint though. The trunk lid opens nicely out of the way to let you get big things in. But, when it is raining and there is water nicely beaded on the trunk lid, it rolls down over the back edge of the lid into the trunk getting thingsa little wet.
    4) The dealer-installed cruise control works nicely. The only issue here is that it is the same off-the-shelf cruise control that I installed myself on my Dodge Caravan several years ago. My initial look in the crowded Optima engine compartment intimidated me to the point where I agreed to pay the dealer to install it. But looking at the job now, I think I could have done it, since the parts fit nicely in the engine compartment. But I'm older and not as nimble crawling under the dashboard and maybe the extra money was worth it.
  • I'm lookin at an Optima SE leather...what is a fair price? I'm in North Carolina. Is 16K fair?
  • When I accelerate the car after a complete stop, the transmissions shifts hard when accelerating to 30 mph. I believe it would have shifted to the 3rd gear. This happens when I accelerate slowly. If I accelerate a little faster, it goes away. Do you think I should get checked? By the way, my car is the LX V6 with the TIPTRONIC tranmission, but it is in automatic mode.
  • Tried to pay more attention to the shifting, and I haven't noticed any hard shifting slow or fast driving. Might get that checked out. Mine has the V6.
  • hung0820hung0820 Posts: 426
    I am currently the owner of the Hyundai Santa Fe V6....Since some of you might not know that the Santa Fe, Sonata, and Optima are all having the same Tiptronic, Shiftronic, Sportronic but just call differently....Well the Sonata and Optima is running a 2.5 while the Santa Fe is running 2.7 engine...Perhaps the 2002 model will all running under the same 2.7 (I mean the Sonata and Optima might go for 2.7 instead of 2.5)...Well 2.7 is stronger but waste more gas than 2.5....The Optima is nicer than the Sonata but more expensive...So to speak; the Optima should win the Miss Pageant while the Sonata while the Best Price in it owns category....My sister is look forward to buy the 2002 Optima and wish that they have 2.7 engine....
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    but why does the Optima have 70 series 14 inch tires if it costs more than the Sonata? Know the 2000 Sonata also had these as standard in 2000 but upgraded in 2001.
  • har1bushhar1bush Posts: 207
    wow dreams do come true don't they... whudduya know... the Sonata and the Optima WILL get the 2.7L V6 from the Santa Fe! Plus, according to Edmunds, the 2.7L in the Sonata gets better mileage than the strained 2.5L! And if that's not enough, the Sonata gets a new look for '02 and to me it looks better than the current Sonata and about on par with the Optima (that's my opinion however).
  • hung0820hung0820 Posts: 426
    Definitely a good news! They are going to get 2.7 plus Sonata have new look similar to a Lexus while the Optima look similar to the BMW...Both cars have it owns taste.....2.5 waste more gas than 2.7 too...So to speak...good news for the fuel economy coming...I can't wait to see my sister driving the 2002 Optima SE....very nice car...I was hoping the Santa Fe take over the XG300 engine and platform too...XG300 used the 5 speed Shiftronic...But the XG300 will upgrade to the Hyundai Terracan engine (3.5)....
  • hello all , i own an optima 700 miles on it , 2.5 v6 loaded-leath abs black and gas mileage has been bad , maybe 12-16 mpg, does anyone know if this is due to break in period?also moonroof wasnt working(needs motor), and dome light wouldnt shut off, was repaired.........@#$%^&*
  • I bought my base LX 5-spd early in March and am just turning 9000 miles. I still love the car.

    My driving mostly consists of my weekly commute from the California high-desert to the coast, about 150 miles each direction. The Optima is comfortable and handles well along the curvy Sierra Highway - still a joy to drive. I am typically getting 29 mpg at the pump with my driving being primarily highway miles - and I am talking about maintaining fairly quick speeds and using a lot of the upper end of the tach for passing.

    It is fair to say the Optima drives more like an Italian than a Japanese car. That is to say, the power curve is way up high on the tach. It is typical that at around 55-60 mph as I am getting ready to pass I drop to 3rd gear while awaiting the opportunity. But around town at lower revs it is quite sluggish accelerating without down-shifting - not a lot of pop from 1500 to 2500 RPMs.

    The Pearblossom Highway, about an hour leg of my commute, is a two-lane desert road with a fair amount of traffic. One must be quick to pass safely, and the Optima 4-cyl accelerates very quickly in the upper range. In third gear I may be doing well over 80 as I slip back into my own lane after passing - and this still leaves a few RPM's to go before redline. As you can imagine, I drive my Optima hard, though not brutal, and it will still deliver just over 30 MPG for the highway portion of the drive.

    In all, my KIA likes to be driven. It is cushy and tame when ferrying passengers about and gets a number of compliments for its roominess and comfort. It also has its wild-side, accelerating like a banshee and cornering like it is glued to the road (my other car is a Nissan 300ZX Turbo).

    The Optima may not be the car for everybody, though I don't see why not. After 9K miles I am still quite satisfied with my choice. SK
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    Good to hear from you and that you're still digging your Optima. Your review keeps Optima in my short list of next cars to get. I don't see what's not to like and I still love the looks of Optima. Better than the new Sonata, too. The Optima looks smart, fun and stylish. I still maintain that if I were to get one I would get the I-4 cylinder 5-speed model with just the basic options included in the Optima's initial $15,299 price. Sounds like she's got plenty of pep for passing or quick high-rpm accelerating on the highway. That is cool. My '99 Sephia's at 70,500 miles and running top-drawer as usual. Yes, Kia and Hyundai do rule the automotive world. Glad we all agree!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • rhard49rhard49 Posts: 226
    I have been test driving the optima and am surprised no one has mentioned the automatic trans. I test drove several of the SE V6's and the tranns always seems to want to drop all the way to first with the slightest nudge of the gas. This is far from smooth to drop at 30 miles an hour to 1st gear and the top of the rev range. I like the looks of the car and the it seems like a great value. I have been offered 4k off any model and 5k off the fully loaded SEV6 leather & ABS 17.3 not a bad price, but the shifting thing blows. BTW I just drove the 2002 Sonata with the 2.7, that put my purchase on hold, the 2.7 is a major improvement! It should get interesting the 2002 Sonata shares so many components with the kia. That same strategy killed several GM products and killed the one thing they don't have brand loyalty.
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