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Kia Optima 2006.5-2008

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Comments

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Kia and Hyundai have traditionally allowed a very wide range of weights. Until recently they were definitely on the high side. In the last couple of years they have allowed 5w20. On my Maxx I use Pennzoil 5w30, but I'm running that out to 7000 plus miles (10% on OLM}.

    My first Optima oil change was Super Tech 5w30, I'd gotten good oil test results with this oil on my Elantra. I plan on going to ST 5w20 on my next change. Warren Performance Products lists their semi-synth as their only 5w20 and I hope that Wal-Mart has bought this stock and is selling it as their dino. Warren doesn't have much of an ad-pack although real world results are generally pretty good. I wouldn't push it much past 4000 miles, that was the mileage on my oil test with the Elantra and the TBN was getting down under 2.

    All 5w30 shears down to 5w20 anyway. Most 5w20's seem to have a slightly better base stock although any SM oil should do pretty well.
  • Seeking information regarding the 2008 Optima. Has it become a discontinued model?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    It has not been discontinued. There are actually some changes from the 2007,but it looks exactly the same.Why don't you just google 2008 KIA Optima.
  • Thank you. Yes that site has information on the 2008. The dealer in town says they are not available--- the mfg holding them for a while.
    Car review sites also do not show info on the 2008.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Too early for reviews,but read the reviews for 2007 or 2006.5 Optimas and you will get basically the same car info.They did eliminate the cassette from the 2008 Optima EX..other than that they seem to be the same cars.If you are seriously considering an Optima,I recommend the 2.4 engine as it's almost as strong,gets better mileage and you won't have to replace the timing belt at 60K miles.I have a 2006.5 EX and after some issues with one of the air bags was resolved...I love it.
    Expect very good gas mileage on the highway,but in my experience not so in city driving,especially if the trips are very short and the car doesn't have time to warm up.The ride is pretty firm,but I find the handling quite good and once on the highway the suspension seems just right,
    There...there is a personal review. :D
    PS in 2008 some of the options are sold with somewhat different packging.Try one of the "build your own" sites.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I heard that the February 2008 CR magazine has a new ranking list for family cars, and it ranked the Optima EX I4 3rd, behind only the Altima and Accord. Pretty good showing for the Optima, considering it topped cars like Camry, Passat, Mazda6, Aura, Sonata, Fusion/Milan, and Legacy. Not sure where it ranked the V6, but it was not in the top 3 (no doubt largely due to the relatively weak V6 in this class).
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Mickeyrom and I have both complained that the Optima is the only car we've ever seen with a drivers information center without a MPG calculator, in fact, many cars have two. We've read that the 08's will have revised instrumentation (don't think this means dash layout) and hopefully that oversight will be corrected next year. Hopefully they'll have an MP3 input although I haven't read this.

    The reader reviews are for the 2007 Optima so they may be holding the 08's back until the old ones sell. I suspect you can get a pretty good discount on the 07's and (unlike the 09 Sonata), I doubt if the changes will be major for a mid-platform adjustment.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Backy,the V6 Optima came in 6th,so finally the Opti. is getting some respect..Makes me feel even better about my own car since for all purposes it's the same as the 2008. I concur that its a great value.
  • macsanmacsan Posts: 27
    I'm back after a short break and still looking for my next purchase. I also happened upon the Optima after reading about it in my new issue of CR. More choices , more confusion! The Optima does seem like a very good deal .
    If you don't remember I was considering the Elantra SE AT, Honda Fit M/T or A/T .(Haven't decided , I heard Hondas had Auto trans issues), Now, the 07 Optima I4 with appearnce pkg. And I even snuck a peek at the new Accord but I'll have to limit it to an LX manual to keep prices down!
    My next purchase will be as our second car mainly for my wife to take to work as I have a 02 Chrysler T&C ex to take the kids (3,under 7yoa). I may use new car to drive the kids around too if it is safe enough as my wife seems to think five in a Fit is too tight.?
    A few questions:
    1. Backy , would you buy a Honda Fit now if the seats were not an issue and if so an M/T or A/T?
    2. I know 5 will fit in an Elantra better but is it any safer??
    3. Is the Optima the best choice??
    4. Elantra A/T or M/T ? Does it have a timing chain or belt?
    Mileage is pretty important because I can forsee four $ per gal. !
    My limit is about 21K but anytime I can save $ and get a good reliable ride I would consider it ...Thanks .. anyone else is welcome to opine! ... Macsan
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    The Elantra will definately give you better gas mileage.The only advantage I can see in the Optima is that they do offer power seats in the EX model.Other than that you can get a top of the line Elantra,loaded, for less than $20 K.( I drive the Optima and it's a great car,but more costly than Elantra to buy and to put gas into)
  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Posts: 190
    Of course it all comes down to personal issues & initial price.

    Another advantage with the Optima is the timing belt in the Elantra can be a pain to deal with unless you can do your own work.

    For the 3-4 MPG difference I took the added comfort & went with the Optima.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    The 4 cyl engine in the Elantra has a timing belt?....I had no idea,although the 2.7 in the KIA does,that I did know.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    1. I would have probably bought a Fit when they first came out if the driving position had been comfortable for me, but I took care of my car needs at the time another way, so now I can hold off until the all-new 2009 Fit is available. I'd prefer the MT Fit myself, but because others in the family will drive it, and because the AT revved considerably lower on the highway than the MT, I'd tend to go with the AT.
    2. Is the Elantra safer than what? The SE you are looking at has standard ESC, while it's hard to find on the Optima, so that is a safety plus for me. I'd like to see IIHS side crash test results on both the Elantra and Optima before buying one. The Optima is looking good there so far--Good on frontal and rear crashes.
    3. If I could get an Optima LX for about the same price as an Elantra SE, it would be a tough choice but I'd lean to the Optima. It would depend on whether I could find the Optima with ESC and how the IIHS tests shake out.
    4. Personal preference on the Elantra AT or MT. I haven't been able to find a MT to test-drive, but I've read reviews praising the light and smooth clutch and shifter. But also there's been complaints about engine roar at high speed with the MT, so that would be something to check. I like the fact that the AT is covered by the 10-year powertrain warranty, while wear parts (like clutch pressure plates) on the MT would not be covered.

    If you are willing to spend $21k, be sure to check out the Sonata. If you like an MT, the SE I4 might be a nice package for you--you could get it for under $20k and it's well-equipped with sharp 17" alloys, power seat, rear spoiler etc.
  • macsanmacsan Posts: 27
    Thank you everyone for your opinions. Yes, Backy I'm leaning more towards the A/T on the Honda Fit. Is the Fit any safer than the Elantra is what I meant.
    I tell u what , I can't get over how much fun I remember having when I drove the Fit, so much so that I 'm trying to get something that's at least close to being as fun to drive as the Fit. ( I test drove it four times)

    I drove the Sonata I4 and I didn't care for the way it rode .. Plenty of cushiness-too "Buicky" for me. Or "floaty" you know what I mean. I read various write ups on the Optima that said it had a good balance of comfort (cush) and sportiness in the suspension so I'm leaning more towards the Optima. I've noticed there are no 08 Optimas on any of the local dealer inventories here. 90% of them were 07 LX A/T with out the apperance pkg. Few were 07 EX's in the 23-24K range.

    Has anyone seen more recent pics of the Elantra Touring? Since we're talking about Optima's , being a midsize, what do you think of the new Chevy Malibu/ Accord etc.?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Mac...you dont like the Sonata? Wow...I thought it was a great car. Try the Elantra...with the leather interior it's really luxurious.The only think it lacks is a power seat.
    There is the small toyota too.I forget what it's called,but even the base model comes with standard AC.It retails for about $12 K.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    The advantage the Fit has over the Elantra for safety is that at least we know the IIHS side crash test result on the Fit--"Good". We don't know on the Elantra. The rear IIHS test wasn't very good on the Fit however--I expect that will improve with the new design this year. And the Elantra SE has the standard ESC, vs. none on the Fit.

    Back to the Optima though... it does have a tighter suspension than the Sonata, so I could see how you would prefer the Optima. I don't have any problem with the Sonata's ride though, especially with the 17" wheels/tires. If I were you, I'd look for the LX with both the appearance and ABS/ESC packages--I think you still have to get the appearance package to get the ABS/ESC package for '08, which really frosts me. C'mon, Kia, this is 2008--ABS is standard on every other mid-sized car (I think), not a hard-to-get option!

    If you want opinions on the Optima vs. other mid-sized cars like Accord and Malibu, you might check out the Mid-Sized Sedans 2.0 discussion, and you can talk about any/all of them there and stay on topic! :)
  • ESC and ABS are nice safety additions, but, are they totally and really necessary? I am not sold that they are. What's wrong with careful and steady and intelligent driving? The Hyundai Sonata was being put down by several people early on(the newly re-designed Sonata built in Alabama I'm talking about here)for having a front seat that bent down too much at the front, resulting in an uncomfortable sitting position. The Kia Optima doesn't seem to have this malady.

    I took a good look at the Kia Optima, especially after seeing one in Jackson Hole, WY, in white that looked awesome. At that time I was strongly perusing a red Toyota Yaris 4-door sedan and a 2006 Scion xA in Polar White and 5-speed transmission. I hung on to our 2001 Kia Sportage 4X4 instead of buying one of those. But the 2007 Kia Optima was on my list, yes. I just like it's body design and solid mechanical setup, more so than the Hyundai Sonata. But the Sonata is a cool midsize car, though. Very, very competitive package Hyundai and Kia both have put together in the midsize sedan range.

    Oh, for those that don't know, back on March 21, 2007, I traded our '01 Kia Sportage 4X4 in for a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. I absolutely love my Lancer GTS but in 10 months of ownership I've had two flat tires and now I've got a slow leak going on in my left front tire, too. This will be the third tire repair. I'm leaving in an hour or so to go get that tire repaired and get my Lancer's 5th L-O-F. I'm wondering if my air filter is dirty, living here in SE Arizona with all of the blowing dust/sand. I'll check it out.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Since ESC-ABS list at only at $600 total on the Optima,I think something that might save your life is certainly important.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    For me and those I love who drive and ride in my next car, yes, ABS/ESC is very important.

    Unfortunately, the ABS/ESC package on the LX costs a lot more than $600 because Kia forces buyers to also get the appearance package ($1000?) in order to get the safety package. New Kia slogan: "Look good, be safe." :P
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Well Backy,I believe all Sonatas come with ESC/ABS or you can get the Optima EX which also has some other nice extras.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The Michelins alone would pay for a large chunk of that thousand dollars. For my part, the major advantage is the very nice instrumentation upgrade.
  • I am dumping a 2002 Mercury Sable LS that is a P.O.S. nothing but problems with "check engine light" gremlins now costing me over $1,000. to fix and it came back on today. I am looking at a 2006.5 Optima EX V-6 loaded (supposedly it belonged to a family member of the dearship's owner) w/15K miles. I drove the car today and it performs well and seems to be very well built and super clean. I can trade in my POS (above) and walk out paying $12,382.77 which equates to about $240.00 a month for 48 months at my credit union. This is an easy payment to live with, however will I still be happy with this Optima three or four years from now?? What about this timing belt replacement?? That kind of scares me. I recently retired and while a new Accord or loaded Sonata would be nice they are getting big big $$ for them.
    You Optima owners seem to be very happy w/these cars. All I read here says "do it". What do you owners think???
  • I am dumping a 2002 Mercury Sable LS that is a P.O.S. nothing but problems with "check engine light" gremlins now costing me over $1,000. to fix and it came back on today. I am looking at a 2006.5 Optima EX V-6 loaded (supposedly it belonged to a family member of the dearship's owner) w/15K miles. I drove the car today and it performs well and seems to be very well built and super clean. I can trade in my POS (above) and walk out paying $12,382.77 which equates to about $240.00 a month for 48 months at my credit union. This is an easy payment to live with, however will I still be happy with this Optima three or four years from now?? What about this timing belt replacement?? That kind of scares me. I recently retired and while a new Accord or loaded Sonata would be nice they are getting big big $$ for them.
    You Optima owners seem to be very happy w/these cars. All I read here says "do it". What do you owners think???
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Is ABS/ESC standard on the EX now for 2008? It used to be optional on the EX as well.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    It is optional on all Optimas,but I do believe it is standard on the Sonatas. I didnt mean to imply that it was standard,just that it was available and not hard to find.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Maybe not as hard to find on the EX as the LX. When I checked a couple of months ago, there were two LXs with ABS/ESC available in a five-state region.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    OK...I checked the dealer's where I bought mine inventory (Lujack in Davenport IA),and all of the 2007 EX had the ESC/ABS option and the only 2 2008 Optimas they had were LX and one had the ABS/ESC and the other did not.
  • So I just bought a 2007 Optima EX V6 yesterday...here are the specifics:

    2007 Optima EX V6, Deep Ocean Blue
    Appearance Package
    Power/Tilt Sunroof

    $21,989 out the door, including TTL in Southern California

    Plus $500 trade, $500 competitive model rebate

    $20,989 financed.

    I purchased from Citrus Motors in Ontario, CA, and they were great. If you're in the southern California area, go give them a shot, and ask for Mike. He was no pressure, worked the best deal he could, and was an all-around nice guy.

    As of day 2, I'm completely and fully happy with the vehicle, and can't wait to continue to drive it for years to come.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Welcome to KIAworld.Don't forget to change your timing belt at 60,000 miles.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    On prices paid, it's more comparative to ignore TTL since states vary so much in how they treat this. In Missouri, for instance, sales taxes is paid to the city of residence, not the dealer location and is delayed by up to 30 days from the sale date. Some states charge extra for plates and others such as Missouri have plates that transfer from car to car. Some states don't have sales tax. California (at least when I was in the market) was dirt cheap for Kias, so I'm sure you got a good deal. My 07 LX with appearance group and add on leather cost $16,100 but I had to add about 8% sales tax to that total.
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