2016 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test - Introduction

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,137
edited February 2016 in Kia
image2016 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test - Introduction

A mild exterior redesign combined with a substantial redesign underneath the skin should make the 2016 Kia Optima a top-tier midsize family sedan. We're going to drive one for a year to find out.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • finn4723finn4723 Member Posts: 1
    Dual-zone cruise control?
  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863
    Sounds like a good choice. Redesigned for 2016, so I'll be very interested to hear about reliability goes. Historically, reliability has been mixed. Some years great, some not so great.
  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisMember Posts: 509
    I'm really glad you got the 1.6T. Can't wait to read about its performance and, especially, its MPG. I'm also excited to read about the 7DCT. This should be a captivating read!
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasMember Posts: 501
    @finn4723 : Dual Zone Cruise Control - That way, the passenger doesn't have to stomp the passenger's side floorboard to keep the driver from rear end someone :D

    Kia/Hyndai has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Everyone my age still remembers the crap-boxes they used to sell in the 80s (Excel), but I've owned a Kia Sephia that was really good. And my mother, who is a Jedi Driver (she may or may not be watching where she's driving, never does maintenance, and wills the car to still run and not hit anything) had a Kia Spectra that I know had almost 400k on the clock before she stopped driving it. If I was looking for a new economy car, a Kia or a Hyundai would be one of the first cars I'd look at due to features, warranty, and value/price.
  • nate001nate001 Member Posts: 102
    finn4723 said:

    Dual-zone cruise control?

    Do the driver and passenger arrive at different times if they don't have the Dual-zone cruise control set to the same speed? or does the car set the cruise control to average of the speed set in each zone?
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    edited February 2016
    The Chris Walken commercials are amusing, but the bland white car from the commercial and the bland silver car Kia gave you sure seem like "tan socks" to me.

    This is the version I would be most interested in if it weren't for the fact that you cannot get heated front seats period. I would gladly have traded the memory (a feature I otherwise really like given the large difference in height between my wife and I) for heated seats. This seems like a very strange omission and kills an otherwise perfectly balanced mix of size, price, power, and fuel economy.
  • gslippygslippy Member Posts: 514
    Good choice on the drivetrain. Our 13 Optima Hybrid has been great, but its hybrid drivetrain isn't all that smooth. The fuel economy promised by the new 1.6T makes the hybrid less interesting.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    One H/K sedan out the door, another files in. This is the fourth in 5 years, and the test of the 1.6T is something you should have accomplished with the Sonata. If you needed another midsize mainstream sedan, I'd rather see a long term test of the fully redesigned Malibu since--unlike the Optima--it seems like a large departure from the outgoing car.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    @emajor, many readers made that same comment when they acquired the Sonata. But adding the Optima doesn't preclude them from also adding the Malibu, which I hope they do in the 1.5T version for a direct long-term comparison.
  • craigo7craigo7 Member Posts: 51
    I've never been impressed with Kia mechanicals, raspy engines and poorly tuned suspension. Am curious to see how this one shakes out, especially something like a dual clutch transmission.
  • nagantnagant Member Posts: 176
    Finally a they test a car that has every option and few actually buy. This will probably be the tonnage model for the Optima if they can produce enough of the 1.6T. The THETA 2.4 like its cousin the Tigershark has quite a few NVH problems. CD liked the 1.6 a lot better than the THETA. This is exactly the engine the Dart and 200 need so badly but will never get.
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 15,099
    edited February 2016
    I test drove a 2011 Optima(to get a $25 gift card) and came away extremely impressed. If I was shopping for a car in this segment the Optima would definitely be one of the finalists.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

  • throwbackthrowback Member Posts: 445
    I understand why they didn't, but I wish Kia had moved the Optima's styling further along. Hyundai/Kia is starting to look like Toyota from a few years ago. You need a sales brochure to spot the differences. between model changes.
  • haggardhaggard Member Posts: 85
    edited February 2016
    Styling, schmyling. Lipstick on a pig. It is still a Kia/Hyundai product.

    Early engine failures, electrical failures, steering that pulls one direction or the other, crummy OE tires that last about 15000 miles, overstating mpg, and so on. Wait til you need that warranty (trust me, you will). It is absolutely worthless. I consider it my sacred duty to warn anyone even thinking of putting out their hard earned money for their junk and fraud.

    Now, if you've read this and still go with them, at least you've been warned.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Sounds like you got a lousy one @haggard. I looked up our consumer reviews on the 2015 Optima and the 2015 Accord (not many reviews yet on the 2016s). We show 24 reviews at the moment for the Optima and 60 for the Accord.

    Both get 4 stars, out of a possible 5.

    Ditto the Camry and Fusion. The Malibu is slightly behind in those ratings.

    YMMV and a good dealer can make up for a lot of a car's fault.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    I have never read anything about a history of engine failures on recent Hyundai/Kia models and a quick perusal of Craigslist will turn up about a hundred various models with over 100k miles on them.
  • nagantnagant Member Posts: 176
    The THETA and "World" engines have always been an NVH mess but they are tough and reliable.....even when turbo'ed. When they came out they had better HP than most anything in the same size and they still are competitive in HP and MPGs but just horrible for NVH. Between Mitsu, Hyundai and MOPAR, millions have been built and are in service. They do NOT have a rep for failure.
  • haggardhaggard Member Posts: 85
    Mine was a '13, 44k miles/35 months when the engine failed and almost got my wife killed. Reviews were the same back then. Hell, even I gave it a good review back then. That was the same engine Hyundai recalled for the Sonata. The solution was to install a refurb piece of junk with no additional protection. I dealt with mulitple Kia warranty reps (liars who had the customers service skills of a rock) and two different dealers, the one I purchased from in another city and the local who handled the repairs. One punted and the other just lied and did a lousy job on the repair.

  • nagantnagant Member Posts: 176
    haggard said:

    Mine was a '13, 44k miles/35 months when the engine failed and almost got my wife killed. Reviews were the same back then. Hell, even I gave it a good review back then. That was the same engine Hyundai recalled for the Sonata. The solution was to install a refurb piece of junk with no additional protection. I dealt with mulitple Kia warranty reps (liars who had the customers service skills of a rock) and two different dealers, the one I purchased from in another city and the local who handled the repairs. One punted and the other just lied and did a lousy job on the repair.

    You mean this recall?

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/hyundai-sonata-engine-failures-prompt-recall

    Only the engines made in the Alabama plant were affected and it was because "metallic debris may not have been removed from the engine crankshaft during the manufacturing process. This could lead to restricted oil flow, damaging internal parts."

    Even though 470K were recalled only 2% were (9400) were actually affected. (But that does not mean they actually failed) They went to a high pressure "wet blast" de burring system and the problem was solved. That % of failure is a heck of a lot lower than the LT1 disaster that Chevy faced with similar burrs from machining and defective oil filters but GM only replaced the engines that failed and did not recall the others like Hyundai had too.

    Just what "additional protection" do you need? The engine was replaced and the new ones did not have the burrs in the oil. They also gave a 120K/10 year extended warranty on the short block. Sounds like a fair resolution.

  • tonyg2016tonyg2016 midwest, usaMember Posts: 728

    I have never read anything about a history of engine failures on recent Hyundai/Kia models and a quick perusal of Craigslist will turn up about a hundred various models with over 100k miles on them.

    I don't know what rock you live under but here is a single thread with ~1300 posts about the engine problems in 2011-2012 Sonata theta 2.4 and 2.0T models. HMA estimates the problem only affects 2% of the half million engines but no one believes that. replacement engines are on back order for weeks!

    http://www.hyundai-forums.com/yf-2011-sonata-i45/414281-recall-connecting-rod-wear-may-result-engine-stall.html

    Kia optima engines were made in the same factory but kia denies they have a problem...

    One thing (of many) that i have learned through this ordeal is you must keep proof of mx history, especially oil changes. Use of OEM filters is not necessary but recommended.
  • djd352djd352 Member Posts: 31
    I like everything about this car, except the non-availability of heated seats. They offer memory settings, but no heat? I don't necessarily want to have to get leather for heated seats and I like the idea of the 1.6T and DCT, but this omission means I will not consider the Optima for my next purchase in 2017.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I worry a bit about "cutting" into the wiring what with all the computerization going on, and there may be a side airbag issue with some seats, but I've seen some well executed aftermarket kits installed. Most dealers can do this and that would help if warranty issues arose from the installation. Heated cloth seats would be my ideal.
  • nagantnagant Member Posts: 176
    edited February 2016
    tonyg2016 said:

    I have never read anything about a history of engine failures on recent Hyundai/Kia models and a quick perusal of Craigslist will turn up about a hundred various models with over 100k miles on them.

    I don't know what rock you live under but here is a single thread with ~1300 posts about the engine problems in 2011-2012 Sonata theta 2.4 and 2.0T models. HMA estimates the problem only affects 2% of the half million engines but no one believes that. replacement engines are on back order for weeks!

    http://www.hyundai-forums.com/yf-2011-sonata-i45/414281-recall-connecting-rod-wear-may-result-engine-stall.html

    Kia optima engines were made in the same factory but kia denies they have a problem...

    One thing (of many) that i have learned through this ordeal is you must keep proof of mx history, especially oil changes. Use of OEM filters is not necessary but recommended.


    You really need to read the threads you post. I read every other page all the way through and most of the posts were just questions about the recall and how and what they would do. The dealer listens for a knock and if they hear one, they get a new short block installed with a 10year/100K mile extension to their engine. In no way are they replacing half a million engines like many are saying they are. Sure some people are demanding a new engine even if it does not have the rod knock, which is stupid since there is nothing wrong with those engines. Also people that are having to wait for new engines are being provided free rentals if their engine indeed fails.

    One can Google any subject and get a bunch of hysterical threads all over the net.
  • haggardhaggard Member Posts: 85
    Obviously, there are some fanboys here whose love will never die. Not trying to change your minds, though I think the obsessive defense is kinda weird.

    I have real world experience with the failure and how it was addressed via warranty. No "New" engine for me, no warranty extension. Prospective buyers are entitled to this information, as much as they are the cheerleading, as they consider how to spend their hard earned money.

    They screwed me, I'm gonna give it back the best I can.
  • haggardhaggard Member Posts: 85
    Nagant, you need to read a little yourself. You are talking about the Hyundai side. Kia, the suject of this thread, hasn't even acknowledged they have a problem. They DO NOT offer a free rental if your engine fails, flat out told me no, as did the dealer. Went almost two weeks without. But keep on cheering...
  • tonyg2016tonyg2016 midwest, usaMember Posts: 728
    edited February 2016
    nagant said:



    You really need to read the threads you post. I read every other page all the way through and most of the posts were just questions about the recall and how and what they would do. The dealer listens for a knock and if they hear one, they get a new short block installed with a 10year/100K mile extension to their engine. In no way are they replacing half a million engines like many are saying they are. Sure some people are demanding a new engine even if it does not have the rod knock, which is stupid since there is nothing wrong with those engines. Also people that are having to wait for new engines are being provided free rentals if their engine indeed fails.

    One can Google any subject and get a bunch of hysterical threads all over the net.

    Thank you so much for your insight. I am a senior member over on that hyundai forum i posted and have one of the affected cars/engines, albeit the hyundai sonata type. I've been very concerned/informed on the issue since Sept 2015 when the issue was first acknowledged by hyundai. there were several unexplained failures prior to that time. Yes, the internet is full of crap and over-hyped issues but this is not one of them. How Kia is getting away with not properly addressing this issue should be looked at by the NHTSA; i hope "haggard" gives them hell.

    Plus, the reason i am so pissed is that my trade value has decreased by $1500 due to the engine recall. My car passed the mickey-mouse magic laptop test but i am still negatively affected by this debacle. I may still consider another Hyundai but it is less likely than it was a month ago...
  • 03hondaaccord03hondaaccord Member Posts: 18
    Uh, I really hate this, "engine dictates trim" idea, Id happily have the 1.6, but I want the sportier look and more luxuries interior of the SX. Although, I guess this cuts costs of having to offer a base LX with a bigger engine, and visa-versa.
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