Howdy, Stranger!

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

Kia Optima 2006.5-2008



  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    Actually, I think the reviewers/critics had to struggle really hard to find ANYTHING negative to say about this car!! To my recollection, they did not say much negative about handling , just that it was average and in their mind not up to the Accord (what else would you expect?) The I4 like yours compared very favorably against others like it, and the only thing they could offer was that the V6 was not
    comparable to the competitor V6 in power ! You already know my thoughts on that !

    It`s really quite interesting to see how well this car rates with owners on all the internet sites. You might want to check for yourself !
  • joewbjoewb Posts: 1
    I recently purchased that car, I4 with ABS/ESC. But I had to also buy the appearance package, ABS/ESC is not available without the appearance package. So far the car has been great.
    I haven't wished for the V6 yet, the I4 has done just fine.
  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    I am eagerly awaiting the IIHS side impact tests on the Optima

    Me too ! Do you have any info as to why this test is seemingly taking so long? Is it simply a matter of IIHS scheduling and test info publication, or, has Kia been intentionally slow for reasons unknown ? I suspect the former but would like your view. If the side test is positive, the Optima would be in limiteed company for all-round safety testing !
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    The former, unless Kia made recent changes holding up final testing. I'm also waiting on the Elantra test resuls.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I hate to contradict you,but my car is an EX without the appearance package and I do have the ABS/ESC.I do have the leather package however.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Micro,trust me I have read every review on the Optima that I could find.Some say it doesn't handle like a "sports sedan" whatever that is.I'm just saying that you dont need sporty handling unless you race.
  • are you aware that the sonata is basicly the same car. Did you know that KIa has been owned since 1999 by Hundai so whats your point?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    The new Optima is not the same as the Sonata.The old 2006 Optima was based on the Sonata,but according to Consumer Reports,the new style Optima is based on the Hyundai 2007 Elantra.I had a 2006 Sonata and I assure you it is not anything like a new Optima.Doesn't drive the same,it doesn't ride the same and doesn't have the same wheelbase or turning circle.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Mickey is right. The previous generation Optima and Sonata were the same car. The Optima and Sonata no longer share a body or underlying architecture. The Optima is an enlarged Elantra. I don't think that takes away so much from the Optima as it says how the Elantra has been improved.
  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    the Optima is an enlarged Elantra

    Do you have any references or publications to support this statement that you could share? I always thought that the Spectra and the Elantra were "cousins"and that the Optima had the same platform as the Sonata except for differing suspensions ( the Sonata using double wishbone with the Optima using McPherson struts in front and mutilinks in rear ).
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I think you're saying the same thing. The Optima's suspension has struts like the Elantra. It is considerably changed from the Elantra but closer to it than the Sonata.

    I like the Optima's looks a like. Was happy with my 01 Elantra but don't like the new one at all. Would have loved to see the new Elantra hatch (beautiful) but will settle for the wagon that's apparently coming. Much better looking car IMHO than the sedan and it would be on my short list if the Malibu Maxx bit the big one.

    Look at the MPG forum about my recent MPG experience. Not pleased, but maybe it's still breaking in. Until I manually put it in fifth it was upshifting to third and fourth on any tiny grade, probably one big reason why my Malibu would have done quite a bit better on the same trip. Can't beat those much reviled OHV GM V-6's for high real world gas mileage and low, low maintenance.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,869

    Like this!

    Or, even this!


    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Hmm, my only news is that my wife got dinged by another car at Wally World. Both cars backing out but other car caught her at rear-quarter panel. $1200 damage. Both cars were insured by Farmers and this resulted in three different claim numbers and three different reps to talk to: one for our liability, one for her liability, and one for the original damage claim. No one seemed to know what the other side was doing. I think Farmer's has dropped in market share from their traditional #3 place and I'm beginning to see why. Anyway they declared her to be 50% liable and this results in dropping our co-pay from $500 to $250 which is probably fair since everyone was in reverse at the same time. Still the back bumper of the other car caught the side of ours.

    For $1200, it doesn't look like much damage to me. No panels need replacement.

    Other than that, and disappointing mileage, we still like the car a lot. Other than one trip it's mostly around town and the car isn't getting much use (I put as much mileage on in two months as she has in 6).

    I may have mentioned it before, but I'm a bit disappointed in the auto headlight feature, unlike my Maxx it's got to be pretty dark before these things fire up. Is there any way to make adjustments?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    CS...I did tell you about the gas mileage,didnt I.When on the highway,you wont be disappointed though.
    I asked about the auto light feature and they said it's not adjustable,but I'm thinking about contacting KIA directly.The service people dont always check their service letters.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Just leaving the lights on dim is just about the same as having DRL's since the lights go off with the ignition. With the exception of the electroluminescent gauges, I'm not sure if the rest of the stuff is worth the money of the appearance group update:

    Auto headlights= not until it's pitch dark
    DIC= crippled with no mpg, no OLM
    50 series tires= nice until I have to pay to replace 'em.
    Upscale wheels= yeah, pretty nice-- worth maybe $400 @ Tire Rack
    Black rather than chrome trim= who cares?

    Am I forgetting anything? That leaves the instrumentation and that might be worth several hundred bucks in itself. NIIIICE.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    IMO the only real value of the Appearance group is that, on the LX, it appears you have to get it in order to get ABS/ESC. Really, really stupid on Kia's part I thnk. "In order to be safe, we think you need to have these spiffy alloys too." :P
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I pretty much agree with all of your points.Not having a MPG pretty much kills the computer.
    I have 16" rims,so I dont know if those are series 50.I got the leather package so that I wouldnt have the 17" wheels which are really hard riding.
    I'm not sure what the electroluminescent instruments are.Maybe I dont have those,although my car has every option.(as far as I know)
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    If you have 16 inch rims you've got 60 series tires 205x60x16, if you have 17 it's 215x50x17---more $$$ at replacement.

    I've never driven the base car at night. My car has nice bright blue gauges-- upscale. Much nicer than my Malibu. I understand these are part of the upgrade. I'm not sure if the EX has them as standard, probably do.

    Backy-- (or anyone), also haven't driven the Sonata at night. How do they compare?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    The Sonata has the green gauges. That color isn't considered stylish anymore, but they were easy on my eyes. I haven't driven the Optima at night.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    17" Michelin® tires/alloys AP AP
    Blacked-out headlights AP AP
    Blacked-out front grille AP AP
    Fog lights AP S
    Supervision meter cluster AP AP
    Trip computer AP S
    Auto light control AP S
    Aluminum interior trim AP AP
    Leather-wrapped steering wheel & gearshift knob AP S
    Silver-accented inside door handles AP S
    Black one-tone interior trim -- AP
    Black-leather seat trim

    I'm sure this won't line up properly but hopefully this clipboard from the Kia site will be sort of readable. LX is on the left, EX on the right.

    Don't know what "trip computer and supervision cluster are" different components of the DIC perhaps. My comments on the upscale lighting are from another forum. I'll have to check the base car to see if it's true.

    If it is an add on, it would be the most attractive part of the appearance group. Most of the other stuff is unnecessary or doesn't function correctly (DIC, auto light control).
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    As I had said CS,I do have the 16"wheels.I didnt like the 17 inchers.The first Optima that I tested had them, and I didnt like the bumpy ride.
    I had a 2006 Sonata, and honestly I think it was a better car in every way including the lights which were outstanding.The dash lights were nothing special.
    This car (Optima) has grown on me,but it's very possible that a hybrid is in my future,unless my common sense gets the best of me. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Other than the trip computer (if it has a mpg readout), I don't need ANY of that stuff. But I am forced to buy it in order to get two important safety features. Stupid stupid stupid. :mad:
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    No MPG rating, Backy. Extremely crippled DIC.

    The car definitely handles better than my electric-steering Malibu, but where the 'Bu Maxx gets better and better, the small stupidities on the Kia kind of wear.

    I've owned 30+ cars and the Kia is still one of the top 4 I've owned-- maybe as high as second:

    1. Maxx
    2. Optima
    2. Elantra (tied)
    4. Festiva

    Hey, that's three of the top four cars that are Korean. The Maxx is better than any of them in its comfort and detail, however--- just more throught out than the Kia--to bad it's got such an ugly front clip.

    Actually many of the Optima's short comings -- lazy automatic light detector, no oil life monitor (if GM and Honda can do it, so can Hyunkia), missing MPG indicator could easily be fixed. Also, I don't think I'd mind the base car as much-- it's just that most of the add on's in the appearance group are so flawed. If you're going to charge me extra for the nicey-bits, they should add to the experience not remind me that the car isn't completely thought out.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    "not completely thought out"...I think that comment hits it right on the head.Hyundai doesn't seem to have that problem with the Sonata,wonder why KIA does.I also wonder why the KIA has the cassette and Hyundai doesn't.I love that option since I have some many of them from the "olden" days.Why the top of the line Sonata does have a compass and the Optima doesn't,yet the owners manual does describe the set up....hmmmmmmmm... :confuse:
  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    While you`re certainly entitled to your opinion concerning the Optima. don`t you think a little more balance would be appropriate ? Both of you fellas have had your cars for some time now and the list of real problems consists of what? An airbag sensor that acts up intermittently!! This cars performance has to be considered exceptional, especially when compared to real problems other manufacturers are having ! You have seen fit to focus on two features that the Optima does not have ( mpg inicator and engine oil indicator) while not even giving mention to the full array of convenience and safety features that this car does in fact have -again a list that no other manufacturer in this mid -size class can match !! By the way, to characterize the two features as "shortcomings" seems unfair since you knew, or should have known, that the Optima did not have these features before you purchased it.And to criticize the Optima for "lazy automatic headlights" just doesn`t even warrant a response
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    What comments would you want?I did say the car was growing on me.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I stated that it's the second best car I've had out of more than thirty owned. I just prefer the Maxx. Everything I find frustrating about the Optima could be fixed for a very few bucks.

    1. Why don't the auto headlights come on?
    2. Why isn't there a mpg meter? (I won't ding the car for lacking an OLM, most don't)-- but the mpg meter is obviously something that's being computed but being blocked from being shown.
    3. If buying new (there was none on the lot of the local dealer at the end of the year and I got a good deal) with a wide choice of cars, I'd probably pass on the appearance package and save the thousand dollars. That's not negative, just stating a fact.

    The Kia still handles a lot better than my Maxx, looks better than my Maxx. I gave it a 9.5 out of 10 on the Edmund's consumer checklist--pretty damn high-- a lot better than many of the comments on the new Camry, a car that looks like it's got a LOT of ongoing problems.

    Kia should just fix a lot of the little stuff for 08-- it would cost them about five bucks a car. I also sort of share Mickeyrom's suspicions that someone at Hyundai may be purposefully decontenting the car to bring it in under the Sonata. If so, they should stop it.

    There should be major savings in suspension components (Elantra-like platform rather than the multi link of the Sonata)-- if that saves 'em a hundred bucks or so it doesn't bother me a bit, the last gen-Elantra I owned is tied for my second favorite of all time and the only problem I have with the present Elantra is my local dealer and the fact that the new car is (IMHO) ugly.

    If my Maxx bit the big one I'd give serious consideration to a Rondo. I'd also look carefully at the new Elantra wagon/hatch --that car looks beautiful-- even considering my rather lame local dealer. A Korea basher, I'm not. Just in this case, my pug-ugly Maxx does the details better.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I should also add that the Hyunkia's practice of having lights go off with the ignition switch probably makes the auto-headlight controller unnecessary. Just keep the dims on, they look just like drl's anyway.

    I will have to see the base car at night. If those nifty electroluminescent dash lights are part of the appearance package, those and the upscale wheels might be worth the extra thou. in themselves.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    "...this car does in fact have -again a list that no other manufacturer in this mid -size class can match !!"

    Optima has, Malibu Maxx LS (base) doesn't:
    1. Electroluminescent display.
    2. Elapsed time as part of DIC
    3. Fold back mirrors (could save $$$)
    4. Sunglasses holder
    5. Nicer exterior and interior styling
    6. Heated mirrors (I think)

    Malibu has, Optima doesn't:
    1. Adjustable brake pedals-- power (not very important)
    2. Power seats (2 way)
    3. OLM in DIC (important but only GM and Honda have)
    4. MPG in DIC
    5. Intelligent radio (relays artist, song, etc.)
    6. V-6 3.5 engine gets better mileage than Kia 4.
    7. OLM and easy on oil nature of engine results in lower maintenance costs 6-7000 mile changes on dino. Longer fluid changes. Neither car has a timing belt-- important.

    I paid $16 for the Maxx and $16.1 for the Optima with appearance package (including $500 for add-on leather).

    The breaker in my case is the Maxx's hatch. Since GM did absolutely nothing to market that feature and it's being dropped in 08, I would very likely buy a Rondo or Elantra hatch/wagon (whichever they bring over) if I was in the market for a replacement.

    Interesting side point-- Normally when I'm on this site I get an Optima ad in the side panel. It's now showing a Malibu. Edmunds is more clever in their marketing than I would have thought. The pop adds don't just rely on the forum, they know what you're writing....
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    After I made my last post, the Malibu side post went away and was replaced by the Optima post. "They see you when you're sleeping, they know when you're awake....."
Sign In or Register to comment.