Howdy, Stranger!

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

Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    had been around for 4 years, the 1992 Civic did win praise for its solid feeling ride at the time.
  • Someone e-mailed me... Think ya were gonna post that elsewhere.. irrespective. :)

    First, these are 1-year residuals. And these cars have under 10K on them

    Even Loaded-to-the-gills V6s arent pulling even $11K with 12K miles and Silver and Mint ($10,500ish).

    What a lot of this originated from was Smart Shopper. Is the Optima a bad car overall? I dont think so, not from what I have seen so far. I drove one not too long ago. It wasnt bad. Was it in the same league as an Accord? I think the Accord is a better car. For the extra $$ it had damn well better be. And I also think that a Jaguar XJ8, which is close in Size to an Accord is a MUCH better car than the Accord. For over double the $$ it too had damn well better be.

    I happen to dislike Camrys. I find them Boring to Drive. Accords arent much better IMO. I feel the same way about Optimas. Me? $12K? I'd buy something like a used 1995 BMW 540i, but that's me :)

    That being said, I do think that the Accord is a nicer car than the Optima.

    Now, If Kia can fix their reputation, and Hyundai is getting there ahead of them, in the future they'll do a lot better. But right now, things are what they are.

    So back from my digresssion and back to Smart Shopper:

    I basically tell people to look at the big picture, and I harp all over the place to look at resale value because people tend not to, and because it is the single biggest consumer expense That's right. Your car is generally your second biggest purchase. And Depreciation is the biggest expense in car ownership. Want to get me to yell at ya? Tell me youre gonna buy a new: Buick, Q45, Diamante, Millenia, Cadillac DeVille, Jaguar XJ8/VDP, SAAB. :)

    Now there are cars in that list that are wonderful cars. Some I love dearly (you all know my love of Jags). Still, buying a new XJ8 and trading it in after 3 years? You just blew close to $30,000.

    That's freaking stupid. Want an XJ8? Great. Awesome car. Safe, reliable, sexy, ad nauseum. Buy an 00 for $35-36K. Buying a new one is just financial suicide unless you lease.

    GOT to buy new? Buy a Lexus, BMW or Mercedes.

    This is why I keep saying stuff like "A Ford Taurus SES, even after the rebates, costs as much to own after 3 years in depreciation dollars as a Mercedes-Benz CLK320 Coupe"

    Back to our story... Look at the posts in RWTIVs. Look how many 99s people are trading in. Lots of em. Most people dont keep a car till it dies. The Average in FL is something like 33-34 months (I forget but its just around 3 years).

    So say ya grab a loaded Optima V6 for, say, $17K. And 3 years later its worth $6,500 as a trade ($7K is about what a 40K mile 99 Sonata V6 GLS is worth and kias dont do as well, but who knows...)

    That'll be $10,500 in depreciation.

    But a 1999 Accord EX V6 with 40K on it is worth $15K wholesale.
    (An 01 is worth $20,500 with 8K or so on it)

    And TMV on that Accord V6 is $23,334
    And TMV on that Optima V6 is $17,118 or so
    In a year, if you trade the honda, you lose $3K. The Sonata? $6,500.

    In 3 years, you lose $8,500 on the accord. $10,500 on the optima.

    And the Accord V6s have, percentagewise, the worst resale of the line save the DXs (Which nobody seems to buy anyways)

    You see where I'm going with this? The Accord is still cheaper to own.

    So I'm not Saying the Optima is a bad car. I'm saying if you must have one, buy one used.

    I'm not trying to be a Jerk here... I'm just basing this off what I see.

    I rank on all cars like this, it just seems that we keep discussing Kias and Hyundais over this...

    Hope I didnt sound like a Jerk.. wasnt my intent! :)

  • Thanks for the essay. With all the research on Kia, I'd say you'll be an enthusiast in no time! It doesn't really matter to me anyway. I don't even own a Kia anymore. What does still get me fired up, though, are people who bash Kia simply because they are Kia. You bring an economic point of view which is great if you do trade every 34 months. I will tell anybody NOT to buy a Kia if you are going to do that. Going to keep it 7 years like I did, fine--who really cares after that long? You got the good out of it by then anyway. Even you said of the Optima "I drove one...and it's not too bad." That is high praise from a Jaguar enthusiast in my book! Maybe in a few years Kia will be okay to own withut the stigma--and I'll be back in the market around 2006, who knows?
  • For the money, I briefly considered an Optima as an alternative to the Civic and Corolla style of cars when replacing my Sephia not too long ago. I ruled it out because I wanted the smaller car for in town commuting and parking deck parking (you know, "small car spaces").
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Like I said.. Not a bad car, nothing that I saw that made it better than the Japanese competition, but then again its a LOOOOOT cheaper so its' unfair to hold it to the same standards as you would an Accord, Passat (The only mainstream sedan I like actually, but look what it costs.. itd' better be damn good) or Camry. Versus a Corolla? Damn strong argument there.

    Research? I can do it with most any car I see out there... scares me sometimes :)

    And I also think its a LOT better than a Sephia/Spectra. Buddy of mine owns a rental company here in Orlando, he says that the new Optimas are doing OK, ditto the Sedonas, but he's replaced all of his small Kias with Lancers. That's very strong priase from someone who is.. shall we say not a fan of Sephias (Neither am I.. I think you got real lucky with yours from what I have seen).

  • hyperion1hyperion1 Posts: 17

    And here I thought you were all set to scour the country for that 2001 Rio I had my eye on?

    Ah hell....Do need to start looking for a 99+ Jag. I've put 1400 miles on my 1998 in fear of my depreciation costs. :)
  • trol1374trol1374 Posts: 7
    I bought a 01 Kia Optima. I like the car. I use it for my daily commute of 130 miles round trip. The car has surprising power for a 4 banger. It is easy to get up to 80 mph before you realize it.

    Shortly after I bought it an emission senor went out and set off the engine light. The dealer fixed it without incident.

    Now for my question. It seems now that the gas guage will not register properly. After filling it up it only goes to below the full line. Between the 3/4 - full. After about 30 miles of highway driving it is on the 3/4 line.

    Has any other Optima owners experienced this problem? I wanted to check before I take it back to the dealer and demand a new gas gauge senor.
  • That is a shame about your gauge. I do not have an Optima, but I have read in the Elantra threads about people with gauges not reading properly. They may be the same gauges. Maybe post over there and see what they did about it. I would almost be afraid to have them go in there and replace a sensor--what if they mess something else up while they are there. If it were me, I would consider just using the trip odometer to determine when to fill up. Since you've had the car for a little while, you know its mileage--and you know how often you fill up with your 130 mile daily commute. You are right, though, that it is under warranty and they should fix it. I had a Sephia and the check engine light came on a couple of years after I bought it. I took it back two times to get it looked at. After it came on the third time, I just drove with the "check engine" light on for the last 4 years I owned it. I had a Nissan in the early 1990's and the temp gauge broke. I took it back three times and they never got it working properly. Maybe that's why I would just live with it if it were me. See what the Elantra owners did. Good luck with the gauge!
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Coulda got ya that one 2001 we saw for $4,200.. 8K miles IIRC.

    Did you get that used Prizm instead?

  • mvaldivimvaldivi Posts: 24
    That gauge problem is probably due to a bad assembly of the gas-guage floater (in the gas tank). Most likely it just needs to be adjusted, or replaced by your dealer. But if you suspect they're incompetent, get a good known private mechanic to adjust it (sounds like an hour of labor).
    Those check-engine lights issues are fairly easy to solve. An electronic scanner should be able to pinpoint the origin of the problem. Sensor problems are common. Some lousy mechanics replace them 2 or 3 times without any success (and that happens because either the sensor, and that whole batch, came deffective from the factory, or simply the sensor had nothing to do with the problem). In late '90 cars, in other cases, it maybe caused by a bad hermetic lock of the tank that results on some gas leak. On all other cases, if the car isn't loosing compression, burning oil, or broke a gasket, then the problem has to be an electrical.
  • hyperion1hyperion1 Posts: 17
    Yes, I did settle for the Prizm.

    What a fine machine it is I might add. I'm going to put it on the dyno next Friday.
  • Hello I would like to know how the optima rides and hows the performance level with the Iline-4cylinder. If any please reply thanks.
  • sedanman2sedanman2 Posts: 26
  • lasher5lasher5 Posts: 22
    I borrowed a 01 Optima from my friend's rental agency that was headed for the auction. The car had 27k and was trashed but free is free. I drove it home and was impressed by the power and wondered why they had a V6 in a rental car. My surprise came when I lifted the hood and saw that it was a 4 cylinder. There is plenty of power down low were most of us do are driving and at highway speeds. Best feature: the single wipe function button on the end of the windshield wiper stalk. All cars should have this. Worst: auto trans wants to shift into overdrive to soon. Just leave trans. in 3rd and shift to D when you are on the highway. Hope this answers your question. Oh BTW, the engine shook like a paint mixer when stopped for a traffic light. The V6 might be smoother, but then the car I drove was headed for the auction.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    interest your Optima will because it doesn't look as good as your Optima does. I test drove a black 2001 Optima with the V6 and automatic tranny. Smooth and efficient ride and what a beauty! Kia has the looks down right with this car. The back is a bit plain but the front is very attractive. I bought a Sportage and love it but Optima is always an interest for the future for me. Enjoy your Optima!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Last week as I sat at the Jiffy Lube waiting, the girl came in and asked if I wanted the windows cleaned on the Diamante I was waiting on. I told her no, but she could clean them on the Kia. She looked back at the car and then to me and said that's not a Kia is it? I said yes, that was my Kia. Just then the other girl changing the oil came in and they both commented that they had no idea Kia made such a nice looking car. So, after 14,000 miles and 15 months, no problems and still getting positive comments on the looks I'm pretty happy with this car.
  • lasher5lasher5 Posts: 22
    "fxashun" wants to know what cars I usually drive. I have an 89 Bronco with 214k and a 02 Camry LE pkg #2. Yes my email address has "intrepid" in it but I have used this name since the mid eighties as a computer handle before it was ever applied to a DC product. Now let me ask "fxashun"; as a Lexus 400 ownwer, hopes to own a M5 BMW, is doing on the Kia Optima board. Perhaps you know the Kia is an excellent value?
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    The other day. I forgot why this topic is on my subscription list. I would read back to find out but whatever. I asked what car you really drove because I wanted to see what cars you come from to say what you did about the Optima. You say a Camry....Hmmm. My opinions about the "Value" of an Optima were deleted. Let's just say I disagree with that.
  • lasher5lasher5 Posts: 22
    Is an Optima in the league of a Camry? No, but for the price it is a decent car. The local Kia dealer is offering an LX 5spd for $10,999. At that price the Optima represents a decent value since it is a rebadged Sonota anyway. Funny, but the Kia dealer and the Hyundai dealer are across the street from each other here and the Sonatas sell immediately while the Optimas languish on the Kia lot. Same car, different perception. In some repects the Optima is better than my 02' Camry. The Kia had scuff plates on the door sills, Camry not. My Camry's carpeting and cloth doorpanel inserts are pilling (little fuzz balls from cheap material) the Optima materials were holding up well, although not of a pattern I found pleasing. With the absense of the Yugo, Kia currently holds the rank of the bottom of the pecking order of automobiles, but if BMW insists on extending their i-drive and horrid new 7 series styling to the rest of their lineup. Who knows who will be bringing up the rear.
  • sedanman2sedanman2 Posts: 26
    hello, decided to add a moonroof wind deflector on my optima. went to the dealer and they had one in stock!it was 45 dollars minus 20 percent(customers of this dealership receive 20 percent off all accesories , and parts) =38.00 not bad. put it on myself , very easy. looks cool. thinking about adding sun visors and mud guards. any ideas about this? noticed someone above said there was a dealer charging above msrp on sonatas.i think thats hilarious and a true sucker would pay above sticker on any car(passat- altima-protege) thanks
  • 45auto45auto Posts: 16
    First off I wish to say thanx to claywaterfill for his extensive research, and thanks to our host for letting us post here. With that said and all the booty kissin I just did, Let me say I am well qualified to critize kia since i own a 99 sephia with 70k miles. An optima was not even in the running, but my wife and I drove one several months ago and we both said" this is a kia?" The only real concerns I have are dealers who dont give the customer what they want. Case in point; Kia mall of georgia internet manager e-mailed me and said they didnt sell se model with a 5 spd, those are luxury cars. Then he went on to say cadillac dosent sell cars with manual tranmissions!!! Guess he never heard of the cadillac cts, or lincolns with 5 speeds. Anyway just wanted to throw that in. I got the 4 cyl with auto, a combination I said I would never have. This car has plenty of pep, and right now I am getting about 27.5 mpgs. Yes the engine is a little noisy but what 4 cyl isnt. My only complaints at this time are this: real noisy with the roof open, Whimpy light in the trunk and speed control takes practice. I got this car with pen stripe and spoiler for less than 16000 in pearl white se. Imake enough to drive a lexus, but grew up hard and tithe and try to get the most out of every dollar. If that is your motive, buy the kia and really get more for your dollar. THanks tou you all and the good information i received. May God richly bless you all
  • xcmdxxcmdx Posts: 17
    I've owned a 2002 Optima SE V6 for a month now, and my friends think it's funny that I bought a KIA. That's OK with me! I feel like I've discovered a secret that no one else knows about. The Optima to me is the perfect combination of price, comfort, good looks and low cost per mile - making it the ideal commuting vehicle. I am actually happy not many people have found out about this car. It doesn't look like every other car on the road, and drives wonderfully. I'll put on 100k on this car in 4 years, and pay nothing for any service (other than maintenance). I am very pleased with this purchase. By the way, I did quite a bit of research on the Optima (and its Canadian twin the Magentis) before I bought. Not one bad review in the bunch! If you want these 30 links, let me know and I'll post them.
  • lasher5lasher5 Posts: 22
    Thanx for your offer to post your links. I think they would be very helpful to those considering a
    KIA Optima.
    I think KIA would sell more Optimas if they adopted Sonata's model lineup of base, GLS and LX. KIA just has base and SE with engine option.
  • sedanman2sedanman2 Posts: 26
    hello ops, noticed optima 2001 on sale on ebay, loaded, no abs, se v6 leather gold tan, no reserve, interested to see what it sells for.
  • xcmdxxcmdx Posts: 17
    The URL list is rather long, and contains links greater than 115 characters in length. This forum will not support that... So if you would like the list, simply email me at:

    and I'll email it back to you...
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    bluewinds-thanks for posting those pictures! I gotta admit-that big 'ole chrome grille really pops out at you! I like the headlight cluster redesign and how the grille forms up with the hood and headlamps, etc. Kia's done it again! What a handsome sedan!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    to the Elantra/XG350 than the Sonata does. Would be very interested in seeing rear of car.

    Of course the family resemblance between the rear end of the XG350 and the Elantra will go bye-bye when the XG350 gets the new, UGLY rear light treatment.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I grabbed it this time because it's been a month and it was about to slide into nothingness. So, why no interest in Kia, or the Optima in particular? If I was looking for a Sonata I'd price the Optima too and get whatever was cheapest. I suspect that Edmunds new format encourages people to post on brand specific gateways and discourages glancing at the entire sedan board. That's where niche players like the Optima get stiffed.
Sign In or Register to comment.