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Kia Optima 2006.5-2008



  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Just remember with this car when you say 5-speeds, they're all 5-speeds: manuals and automatics alike.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    While you're at your Kia dealer check out the Rondo. One of the most pleasant Kia offerings in some time. If something happens to my Maxx that would be on a short list for a replacemt.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    The Opel's I was referring to were in the 1940s.Wartime.WWII...remember?Just a bit of nostalgia.Has nothing to do with any modern cars.
    This engine currently in my KIA has no timing belt.It has a timing chain.There is nothing about replacing a timing chain.Clearly in the owners manual the recommended timing belt change is for the 2.7(V6) engine.There are no other changes recommended,but logically if you have to change it at 60K you would need to do it again at 120K and at 180K.
    Happy driving.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Nah... I'm 61 years old and the only thing I remember about wwII is my uncle carrying me around the kitchen (must have been less than 2) in uniform. Car and Driver's condescending attitude towards the Isuzu's was surprising because according to Wikipedia, at least they were closely related.

    Tried to figure out how to alert the maintenance moguls at Edmunds about their timing belt error but couldn't figure it out. My car is still getting leather (hopefully today) and the EX loaner doesn't have an owner's manual.

    Glad to know about the chain because belt changes on the Elantra were expensive. Think my 60 thou. service (only one I did at the dealer) ran about $800. For comparison, my 30 thou. at an indee. shop ran about $35.

    BTW-- Does Kia have any requirements for specific transmission fluids or coolant. Remember Butterfield (when he was Kia president) warning radio call-ins to use only Kia parts to protect warranty. E-mailed the radio program warning that he was clearly in violation of Magnusson-Moss.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I found nothing in my owners manual about using only Kia tranny fluid,or for that matter nothing about filters or other such things. :P
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I remember Hyundai used to specify their filters to eliminate start-up rattle. Suspect the rattling was in cars using Fram.

    I used Super Tech oil and filters exclusively in my Elantra for the 80K that I owned it. Ran a used oil analysis at about 40 thou. (should be able to find it in bobistheoilguy if you search Elantra and Super Tech). Despite the oil's less than impressive additive count (about equal to Valvoline, less than Phillips or Pennzoil) I had almost no wear at 4000 mile change intervals.

    I use ST filters and Pennzoil in my Maxx which is good for 7K oil change intervals. ST and most GM filters are now Champion Labs.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,876
    fluids for the manual tranny, front and rear differentials, etc. done every 30,000 miles. Except I believe the first one was done at only 15,000 miles. I don't think we used genuine Kia filters or fluids but I've kept all the receipts along the way. The 120,000 service was completely thorough and at another shop I had the 120,000 timing belt w/water pump changed out. With an oil change it was a tad over $500. The thing is, that bill could have been much worse.

    The little South Korean SUV is humming like a top and doing great at just short of 125,000 miles. I should go over 125,00 miles next outing.

    Yeah, the Rondo looks good. I will give it a close look whilst perusing Kia's.

    csandste-the new 2008 Chevy Malibu looks great. I must learn more about it. For instance, it has the 2.4L Ecotec 4 cyl motor but do they offer a 5-speed manual tranny or just automatic. Anyone know about that? The car looks good, real nice.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The 'Bu is probably automatic only. I for one will miss the ohv engine-- great torque, no maintenance, 7K oil changes, the same mileage as a Kia 4 cylinder. Plus that hatch--I'll hopefully drive it into the ground.

    New 'Bu looks good but like others, I think the rear looks too Diamante-ish. Wish they'd stuck with round lights.

    While you're looking at replacements for the Sportage, keep an eye on the Kia Soul. It was shown at last year's Detroit show and is supposed to be a definite go.

    Back to the Optima. We're still driving the EX loaner. Leather was supposed to take a day but it's going on seven. I took the Kia over the Hyundai because I didn't like the local Hyundai dealer. The Kia dealer is a Dodge subsidiary but they're not too fast on this one. Oh well, we're driving a more expensive car with power seats and automatic climate control. Shouldn't complain I guess. For some reason we never got a remote key fob and keying a car with no passenger-side lock is a pain.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Tried to figure out how to alert the maintenance moguls at Edmunds about their timing belt error but couldn't figure it out.

    At the bottom (the VERY bottom) of this page on the right is the Help link. Click on that and then click the dark gray Contact Us tab at the top. It's self-explanatory from there. :)
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I think the error is in the individual dealers and service managers.The manual clearly states the replacement of the belt is for the 2.7 engine.Unfortunately there is no mention whatsoever of the timing chain in the 2.4 engine.If my salesman hadn't made such a big issue telling me to be sure to replace that timing belt(nonexistent)I would :sick: have simply read the maintenance schedule,seen the note about the 2.7 engine and forgot about it.The problem is that the KIA employees at the local level are not as well informed as they should be.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The error is also posted on Edmund's schedule although the belt is 105K, not 60K. I did contact, although I wasn't sure what subject heading fit and just clicked miscellaneous. We shall see.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Good. Let us know what happens.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,876
    overall, how do you like your Optima's interior? I haven't looked at many pictures of the '06.5 and '07 Optima interior shots. So far I haven't found much to dislike about the new Optima. And if I can indeed talk them down using a college grad.rebate, customer loyalty rebate, etc., I may get a price on a base LX model w/5-speed transmission for something in the low 15's somewhere. For that car I think that would be awesome. My wife doesn't want to trade in yet and doesn't want us to have a car payment once the Sportage is paid off(around June or July of '07), so she will need some strong persuasion come trade-in time.

    The list of cars I'd be interested in is 4 right now...the '08 Chev 'Bu(if 5-speed manual tranny is available, that is), '07 Kia Optima, '07 Suzuki SX4 crossover or sedan(if I like the sedan as much as the hatch-wagon) and the 'XX Dodge Hornet. Supposedly China's Chery Motors is going to build the Hornet for Dodge, I just don't know which model year will be it's first. I have to say that the '07 Kia Optima is now leading the short list but if Chevy prices the base model 'Bu competitively with the Optima I may be able to start a bidding war and drive down a decent price on a '08 Malibu for us. I've only seen that 2008 Malibu bodystyle for a day or two and I love it right off the bat. I think it's stronger looking in the front but I do like the rear end of it as well. I really like how they designed it. Looks like Chevy will offer a 5 year, 100,000 mile Warranty on the Malibu's powertrain, which is not too shabby, either.

    To get back to the Optima, though, do you dislike the Optima's cloth interior material or did you get a great deal on a leather option, csandste?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Wife wanted leather and I felt it was worth $500 at the time of the sale. Thought the base cloth was much better looking than my Malibu which is ugly but, so far, quite durable and cleanable.

    The add-on leather kit was from Roadwire:

    After a couple of hours with the interior my first impression is that it looks as good as the original leather. Asked for perforated-- didn't get it, but after waiting for six days when they told me it would take one, I'm leaving that one alone. I could have had heated seats for an extra $50. Dealer assured $500 was less than his cost (???).

    The kicker on the heated seats is that they told me the passenger seat couldn't be heated because of conflicts with the air bag seat sensor. On second thought it might have been worth the extra fifty to get the driver's seat wired, but this was my first brush with leather. Wife really wanted it.

    I've done numerous comparisons with my Maxx and the Optima so won't repeat here. I'm personally sold on the old-tech OHV engine, even with the four speed automatic. I guess Chevy finally got tired of hearing laughs and snickers about this power train so good-bye it goes (although Saturn base car keeps the ohv design-- maybe only for this year).

    If I was buying the Malibu I'd probably go with the four cylinder engine on the new one. Too me it looks really sizable, especially with the same wheel base as my Maxx and a lot more overhang in the rear, so I hope it wouldn't be underpowered. I'm not sure if that engine requires (or prefers) premium, computers will compensate, but buying premium would be a turn off.

    As far as getting my four cylinder back after a week with the 2.7 V-6, frankly I think I made the right decision with the four. Can't tell much difference, although I'm taking it easy with the four. Sweet engine to this point.

    Personally I think Chevy has a stronger dealer network than Kia (my dealer is OK, combined with Dodge) but most of the other GM divisions have learned a thing or two from their Saturn experience. I've stated that my local Hyundai dealership was a bit too old-timey car dealer and that my experience wasn't the best with my Elantra-- although no real horror stories.

    My experience with many Japanese dealerships is that they're arrogant. Looked at a Civic when we bought the Optima-- similar price, much less car. Real smarmy salesman. Toyota always seemed too busy to be bothered, and I'm troubled by the recent recalls, lawsuits, etc. I think it's a company ready for a stumble, even though my daughter drives a 91 Camry with 200 thou on it.

    Drove the Suzuki but was not impressed. I guess it's OK if you're looking for four wheel drive. Frankly preferred the Aerio-- sorry it was replaced (not talking 4 door sedans here). I'm sure Chinese cars will be taking market share in five years, people shouldn't laugh at them. They already did that with Japanese cars in the seventies and Korean in the nineties.

    To me, cars is cars, but I try to get the best deal I can. I'm a free trader and it means little to me if a car's Korean or American. When I bought my Maxx it was because it was the best car I could find that had a hatch and at 16K it was a screaming deal.

    I'm delighted with both my Malibu and (so far) my Optima. After another week or so I'll give an evaluation of the car on Edmunds, but it's too early to score yet. That artificially low score (seven something) is quite a bit too low IMHO. At this point, I'm very impressed.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Re. the comment on the new Kia Rondo. This vehicle is known as the Carens in Europe, and the one we're getting here in the States is the 3rd Generation Carens. These types of cars, along with the Mazda 5, are very hot in Europe, but really haven't caught on here. BTW . . . Hyundai is coming out with their own version as well, but will have unique Hyundai styling, including high-mounted tail lights unlike the Rondo. From the spy pix I've seen on Hyundai's version, I prefer the styling of the Rondo.
  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    I srongly agree with your comment that the 7.3 rating given by the reviewer on Edmunds is `artificiallly low`. This guy downgrades the car unrelistically given his `problem` with the airbag sensor on the passenger seat ( I`m not sure he even realizes that the sensor turns off if there is no adult in the seat !). Oh well. it takes all kinds, doesn`t it ? Just like some who downgrade the car because the door swings open too far ! ROFLOL .
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Now now micro...Im not stupid.I know that the light goes on when there are no passengers.I didnt rate it 7.3,it was the cumulative rating that the computer came up with.I faulted the car on other things besides the air bag issue.The ride is too stiff, and I would like a bit better mileage.Other than that the car doesn't track as well as my Sonata did.I'm getting used to it,so will keep it,but please dont assume that someone with who you disagree is an idiot.I would really appreciate that. ;)
  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    Sorry, I meant no offense and will gladly apologize for being somewhat mean-spirited ! It`s just that I cannot comprehend how you can rate the car with 5.0`s in the areas of Comfort ,Build Quality,and Reliability given the types of issues you identify ! Since yours is the only rating of this car, it leaves a very unbalanced view on the largest ,most read Auto Forum on the internet ! Again, sorry if this observation offended you .
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    No apology needed.I couldn't rate the car any better because I had to return to the dealer 4 times already.I dont consider that very dependable.If I were looking for owner's impressions,I would appreciate the facts with all the warts.IMO, 7.3 isn't all bad.However its not outstanding either.I guess it depends what you expect out of a $23,000 car.I still wish I had bought a Hyundai Sonata Ltd. or the Elantra Ltd.
    A feature that I really do like,is that like my Chrysler T@C,it plays cassettes in addition to CDs.Thats a nice feature if you have ton of old cassettes.While Im at it,I find that the sound of the stereo does not live up to it's advertised power and rarely do I notice the sub woofer.Having said all of that,my wife,the one who really matters...loves this car,or will if they ever solve the problem with the air bag.After all shes the one usually in the "death seat" :D
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    PS...I just reread my entire review and found it pretty fair.I had a bunch of 9s which isnt all bad.I also mentioned that reliability is hard to predict after only one month.I do wonder why my review is the only one there.
  • I don't want to sound like I'm ganging up on "mickeyrom", because I'm not:) But, I agree that the Optima's rep is being tarnished based on one persons preference for soft suspension. Just because the Optima is designed to be more sporty and better handling (thank god) than a "bu" it shouldn't get a poor mark.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Consumer guide rates the 2006.5 Optima as a 6,so Im not all that hard on it.I repeat,why aren't there more reviews?Im sure some will give it a 10 across the board.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "I found nothing in my owners manual about using only Kia tranny fluid..." ((

    There should be an ATF listing in the back of your owner's manual in the "Specifications" section and, perhaps, in the Do-it-Yourself Maintenance" section elsewhere. Presuming you have an automatic, ALL current Hyundai-built automatic transaxles require "SP III", a highly friction-modified synthetic blend ATF that's the only approved fluid for top-up and service fill. It's only available through Hyundai, KIA, and Mitsubishi dealerships and there are NO aftermarket equivalents. Use of any other ATF will void your factory warranty on the transaxle. The specific brand is irrelevant - just be sure it's one of the three automaker brands I listed and that "SP III" appears on the label. And, yes, it's pricey. There's no user serviceable or replaceable transmission fluid filter on Hyundai automatics. There's a cleanable screen internally, but since Hyundai automatics have no pan (They're a split case design.), you'd literally have to remove the transaxle from the car and disassemble it - hardly a Saturday afternoon shadetree mechanic procedure. There IS a transaxle drainplug screwed into the aluminum case which takes a 24mm or 15/16" 1/2" drive socket - and a 6 pt. socket is preferred to avoid damaging it. A breaker bar would probably be advisable.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Are you saying that when a dealer changes the ATF they literally disassemble the trans axle?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,876
    I am digging Kia's product so much lately. The new Kia Rondo appears to be a really nice new minivan/crossover/hatchback/wagon for the NA market now.I think Kia will sell many of them. I looked at the Kia Rondo advertising website today and took the "Rondo tour" on there. Very, very impressive new car from Kia. These guys are sharp, these Kia dudes. Very, very sharp. I just sorta "sensed" it as I accelerated in my '99 Kia Sephia. I loved that Sephia and I love my '01 Sportage 4x4. Built as solid as a rock. Didn't know this but read that the South Korean military uses Kia Sportages. Anyhow, one negatory thing I read about the Rondo. The only transmission offered is the automatic tranny! 4 or 5 speed automatic depending on which engine you choose, but, I could find no indication that Kia will offer a manual transmission for the Rondo buyer. :cry: test drove a 2007 Suzuki SX4 crossover/wagon? And you didn't like it? I can't wait to see the sedan come out and play.

    As for Consumer Guide or Consumer Reports or whoever dissed the 2007 Kia Optima: don't read too much in to that review.They are pert-near eternally biased against Kia and maybe Hyundai as well. These two makers are getting so good it's starting to scare me. I flirted with getting a Scion xA or Toyota Yaris for a while and now believe that favorite Kia is a better expenditure of both my time and my money and it's very likely my next new car will be Kia for the 3rd time in a row.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I guessed I am one of those owners who "dissed" my Optima.I want to point out that 5 on a scale of one to 10 would be average,and my rating was 7.3.That means good,just not great.Its too bad that one cant go back and change the ratings,because if it turns out to be dependable,I would be very pleased to change the dependability from 5 to whatever is appropriate.
    Im happy to hear someone who loves their KIA Because I have read several posts from KIA owners :surprise: who had many problems with theirs.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 996
    5 on a 1-10 scale would not necessarily be an average rating but only the numerical average of the rating choices. It may be that an average response would equate to a 2 or an 8.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    You have changed the whole concept with that POV.If 1 is terrible and 10 is perfect...what is 5? :P
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Most cars tend to average in the mid eights to low nines's. Of course that includes a lot of new users who give their cars a ten in all areas less than a week after purchasing. Someone did post the 7 rating on Car and Driver board as proof that the Optima was a sub-standard car. (Not on an Optima subject, it was done as part of another discussion-- can't remember which one).
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Was an automatic hater until I got my Maxx. Wife wanted an automatic Kia because she had a nasty leg break last year. Gotta say that I no longer miss the manual transmission, something I don't think I would have said when I had my Elantra.

    Found the Suzuki to be a totally different class of vehicle and frankly less satisfying than its predecessor. If you like it, buy it but there's been some bad comments about its lack of power. On the other hand it's probably the cheapest all wheel drive vehicle you can buy.
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