Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

If you experience loading issues with the login/register form, please completely disable ad blocker or use an incognito or in-private window to log in.

Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • My Optima LX has problems with both speedo/odometer and fuel gauges. The fuel gauge only registers 3/4's full when the filler pipe is filled to the top. At 1/4, it really has about 1/3 of a tank. Also, the speedo/odometer both register 8% to 10% high. It says I'm doing 70 when the mile markers and trailing friends say I'm doing 64 or so. Also the odometer records say 10 miles for every 8 mile markers or so. I think this is a safety issue, since I don't know exactly how fast I'm going and how much gas I've got. Also, my warrenty will run out when my odo says 100,000 miles, when I've actually only gone 90,000 or so. So far the dealer says the speedo is allowed to be 6 to 8 mph off. He had no answer for the odometer and gas gauge and seems reluctant to look at it. I'll see if he does anything about it and I'll contact Kia directly to find out tolerances, etc. Anyone else see a similiar problem? Of course this also means my gas mileage has been artificially lower than I expected.
  • goto and you will find out that exact complaint is brought up by owners of NEW BMW 540i and 530i's.

    I wouldn't be surprised if all car makes are affected to a certain extent

    Sit back and enjoy the car

    You've got a car better than most

  • hello all,have 2001 optima se v6 black loaded.some time in early august moonroof wouldnt work and dome light wouldnt shut had to make appt ,and week later dealer fixed dome light and said they had to order parts for roof,motor and relay,week and half later parts arrive,have to make appt!2 weeks later bring car in to install parts for roof , and it still doesnt work,they say they cant figure it out, and need to get kia tech,and to make appt!10 days later bring in car again they worked with tech and all new parts and moonroof still doesnt work, they are very apologetic and i am getting numb over this car.they say they will have a kia rep at dealer to fix the problem with the roof and it will be fixed next time,( i am starting to realize that dealerships are not prepared to fix these kia cars. they dont have any parts for the optima!had to wait 2 weeks for a fog lamp!i think it is going to be a very long 10 years! only have 1100 miles on this car, and am wondering if i should trade for something else!!
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    I dare ya. Better bring heart medication. And a home equity line of credit. That resale bug on short term Kia/Hyundai trades is like a radioactive brown recluse on crack.
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    I think trading any car that soon is bad news.I;m sure the dealer will get it fixed.While it's a pain in the butt,it's not a major problem like a transmission or engine problem.Hang in there the roof will be closed before the first snow.
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    Why is it so quiet in here?I really like the looks of the car and am interested in hearing owners experiences.
  • They fixed the gas gauge problem with a new sender unit.
    They put the car on a treadmill, ran it a mile with the computer hooked up and told me that the odometer and speedometer measures right on. I subsequently went out on the road and checked it again against mile markers and I still get 10% difference. My new Hyundai Accent and Dodge Caravan matches the mile markers. Guess I'll try to take it to another dealer.
    Otherwise, I love the Optima. I went Korean-crazy and bought the Accent and I really like it as a commuter car (120+ miles per day).
  • The problem with your odometer recording more miles then you are actually driving can be an even bigger problem if you are leasing and are limited in the number of miles you can drive.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I sort of wonder how many odometers are trully accurate. My 97.5 Nissan Altima reads about 1.2 miles at a mile marker. I doubt few people have ever paid attention to it so I wonder if its a more common problem than you thought. Anyway, just thought I would let you know you arent the only person who has a car and has noticed this.
  • Has anyone heard anything about the 2002 Optima? All I see on is 2001 stuff. I'm interested to see if there were any changes since they changed the 2002 Sonata. New engines maybe? I'm looking to replace my 1995 Sephia this spring and I was going to go with the new Sonata. If Kia is doing anything exciting to the Optima, I may go that way. I have really had a good experience with my Sephia and would have no problem getting a new Kia--if they could lure me away from Sonata.
  • I was reading an article in Car and Driver the other day about the Optima. After reading the Optima article, I flipped ahead to a comparison test of $55,000 dollar sedans. There I noticed that the Mercedes E430 actually is louder on the highway than the Optima. The Optima's decibel rating was something like 66, while the E430s was 69. Just an interesting tidbit.

    P.S.-Drove a 2002 Sonata with 2.7 V6, believe me, a huge improvement!
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    The 02 Optima looks the same but gains the 2.7 liter V-6 that is shared with the 02 Sonata.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    17" high performance tires and a sport suspension. Of course it would be louder than the Optima.
  • While I feel the DEALERSHIP ripped me off on a few items, I LOVE the car!

    We bought the 2001 4 cyl automatic (nice silver). Steers well and rides much smoother than our 98 Sephia. The car shifts well in traffic and the little 4 cyl automatic engine has more power than I expected. The fuel mileage isnt much different from my Sephia but I like having a bigger gas tank.

    I don't know why KIA has gotten such a bad rap, we had no problems with our Sephia other than it having cheap interior materials that were hard to clean. But the price of the car made up for it.

    Everyone likes to make jokes about us buying KIA but I get the last laugh when I show them my payment book! Before we bought KIA we had a Bonneville and the new Optima really isn't that far away from our old Pontiac as far as handling or ride goes.
  • Glad to hear you love your new car. There is no reason to believe the Optima wouldn't be good considering it is based on Sonata. What did you give for it where you live? I know that Mall of Georgia Kia hear in metro Atlanta advertises the 2001 Optima LX for $13,990--which I don't think is too shabby! I have driven a 4 cylinder Optima and it does have surprisingly good pep. I drove one with the manual and it was very responsive, I thought. Happy motoring!
  • does anyone know anything about stuff for the optima, moonroof wind deflector, mud the way finally got my moonroof repaired-4th time-wheww almost lemon law in ny! car is great now.still looks best in black.i like the looks of new sonata- (looks exactly like optima from side-for much less money),my optima se v6 black with beige is excellent on highways with great gas mileage (city driving mileage is horrendous!)leather seats are the best i ever sat in,and cd player has near bose quality.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,481
    in black with the tan leather interior. My wife and I test drove one the day we bought our Sportage 4x4. Talk about smooth and quiet! This one had the moonroof and seV6 and leather. We love our Sportage and we'll probably be Sportageing for a long time but the Optima has not been crossed off of my "someday possibly" list, that's for sure. Black does the Kia Optima good-really good.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • As I said, the dealership ripped us off on a few things so we probably overpaid at $15,600 in Fort Myers, Florida, but if nothing else, I learned a few things for the next new purchase.
  • Hey Optima owners--you should go to the comparison section of the sedan board. There is a good thread that just started on Sonata, Camry, Accord, Passat, and Altima. Being the mechanical twin of the Sonata, you owners might be able to bring something else to the table.
  • Just came fom my Kia dealer and took out a 01 Magentis (Optima in US) for a test drive and was very impressed with the vehicle going head to head with the Hyundai Sonata. The dealer here has ordered a full loaded 02 car with ABS leather, and my pet peave side airbags which is not available on the Sonata in Canada. I am not ready for this car until the first of the year but he was willing to have the car brought to this dealership and they would hold it until I was ready to take delivery and would NOT use it as a demo. Again comparing the 2 Korean cars with brochures there appears to be very little difference, and I do like the price that was negotiated.We do not have the great 10 year warranty here in Canada, but they do offer a full 5 yr. warranty bumper to bumper. The Sonata here is only 3 yr bumper to bumper and 5 yr. powertrain, so it is a saving for me. Has anyone else purchased a new 02 Optima? and if so what are your feelings?
  • 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.
Sign In or Register to comment.