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Kia Optima 2006.5-2008



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Edmunds also said that the 2.0L engine in the '07 Elantra is "new", when there is no evidence it is a new engine, and Hyundai didn't mention that themselves at the launch. So I wonder if we can trust Edmund's statement that the Optima and Sonata do not share a platform. Platforms are very expensive to design; it doesn't make much sense that Hyundai and Kia would design totally different platforms for their mid-sized cars at the same time. I do think Kia used unique suspension tuning for the Optima, like they have done with other vehicles that share a platform with Hyundais (e,g. Sportage/Tiburon, Rio/Accent)
  • njeraldnjerald Posts: 688
    from Autobytel road test: They liked the handling and that's about it.

    The front seats don’t travel back far enough in the track for taller people, and they feel a size too small – narrow, with short cushions. Making matters worse, they offer virtually no bolstering, a shame given the Optima’s capable suspension, steering, braking, and optional 17-inch tires.

    Finally, the driver’s seat height adjusts, but the higher it goes, the flatter the bottom cushion gets, removing what little thigh support there is to begin with. Kia definitely needs to go back to the drawing board with these seats, though it must be noted that a female companion for the drive back to Los Angeles from San Francisco had no complaints about seat comfort. Whether the driver or front passenger, I just couldn’t get comfortable. Bigger seats with better thigh support and more seat track travel are a must-have, in my book.

    Kia might be positioning the new Optima as a sporty four-cylinder value proposition, but this V6 has got to go. It’s adequate at best, and stands out as the lame duck mechanically.

    Getting a 2006.5 Optima four-cylinder with a stick and the 17-inch wheels would make for a fun, affordable sedan, but Kia doesn’t offer that combination. Those interested in a softer ride and a quieter interior should check out the standard 16-inch wheels and tires, which deliver on both counts but not at the expense of the Optima’s capable handling characteristics and road feel.
    As a long distance road tripper, the 2006.5 Kia Optima needs work. The front seats don’t leave occupants refreshed, there’s wind noise at speeds above 70 mph, and while the Optima was quiet on the grooved and sectioned concrete of L.A’s network of freeways, traveling the various surfaces of Interstate 5 through California’s central valley showed that the cabin is hushed only on the smoothest blacktop. Plus, we didn’t get near the fuel economy the EPA says we should have on this trip.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I hope Autobytel is consistent and blasts just about every other car that has a single-lever manual height adjuster in the same way they did the Optima, becasue almost all of them have the same fault: the cushion loses thigh support as it moves up. I actually found the Optima's cushion to be a lesser offender on that score than others I have tried, including the Sonata. It was tolerable for me, but not ideal. But there is a power seat available on the Optima for those who don't like the manual seat.
  • njeraldnjerald Posts: 688
    My sister just looked at the 2006.5 Optima and Sonata.

    I was going to print the Autobytel report out for her but she called and said she preferred the Sonata because the Optima (w/power seat) seat cushions felt too short. She liked the Optima interior better.

    She noticed it and she knows nothing about cars except she compared two vehicles.

    Bought her the Sonata LX which was $2,200 less ($2,000 rebate + below invoice) than the Optima would have been.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "...this [2.7L] V6 has got to go. It’s adequate at best, and stands out as the lame duck mechanically..."

    Anyone know what the alleged mechanical issues with the prior generation V6 are?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Not reliability issues, just older tech and 90s power and efficiency ratings.

    Ex- the smaller 2.5L Toyota V6 puts out more hp and torque due to dual variable valve timing, and thanks to a 6A, is also able to acheive strong EPA ratings, and strong ratings in the real world- CR managed 24 MPG overall in their 3400 lb Lexus IS.... I REALLY wish Toyota used this engine more.

  • I’m on my 2nd year with my ex v6 2004 optima and so far no real complaints. I’m glad to see KIA addressed the ride issue in their new optima, but I think the styling took a turn for worse. The new optima looks more like a spectra.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    I tend to favor the new Optima's front-end sheet metal and grill over that of the Sonata. I find the new Optima less taxi-cab generic in appearance in frontal aspect. What I can't figure out is why parent company Hyundai would hamstring the new Optima's performance (and sales) potential with the older 2.7L V-6 for the American market. (unless there's a production bottleneck issue with the new Lambda V6 engine series, since different displacement versions are already going into both the Sonata and the Azera...)
  • jtzjtz Posts: 37
    I've seen three new Optima's on the street and noticed that the headlights are a lot bigger than they appear in pictures; consequently, to me this upgraded me of how nice it really is. The New Optima seems to resemble that new Elantra yet not totally. Hyundai and Kia cars are different and the same but not like GM where as that Buick La Cross has the same body like the Chevy Impala. Or the Chevy Tahoe is nothing but a GMC Yukon. The Sorento looks nothing like the Sante Fe; in addition, the Sonata's body isn't exactly like the Optima's. The Sonata's E and F pillars seem to be more round and the Optima's seem to be more stretched; as a result, this brings a more attractive approach to the E and F pillars to the Optima.

    Also, I read that the Optima looks like the Spectra, but the Pontiac G6 looks more like a bigger Chevy Cobalt than the Kias. The tail lights are at least different and the headlights are too. The cobalt looks like a baby G6 with the same tail lights and body. The Spectra's E and F pillers resemble the Camry's E and F pillars. Furthermore, Korean vehicels interiors are different unlike GM and Ford. The Ford 500 looks like that Lincoln sedan. The Escape was cloned three times; nonetheless, the Sportage looks nothing like the Tuscan. The Sportage is longer. The Dodge Charger looks like the Chrysler 300's body, yet the Amanti's body looks nothing like the Azera.

    If people are complaining about Kia's looking like Hyundai's turn to GM and Ford first because they have clones. :confuse:
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    At the risk of re-hashing old information that may've already been posted, I did a visual comparison of it and the Azera's 3.8L V6 at adjoining dealerships this A.M. These two engines are visually identical except for the decorative covers (and they appear to be physically interchangeable). So I'm now of the opinion that the Optima's V6 is also a member of the new Lambda engine family. Another visual clue is that the oil filler cap is now on the left side of the front bank of cylinders' cam cover as you view from the car's front. The previous engine's oil filler cap was located to the right. Of course I wasn't able to remove a cam cover, so I have no way of knowing whether the KIA iteration employs CVVT, but since the KIA Optima sales brochure makes no mention of that feature, the safe assumption is that it doesn't. On the other hand, where is Hyundai getting the extra 15 advertised horsepower from the same advertised displacement?
  • chuck1959chuck1959 Posts: 654
    I saw one on the streets (Houston, Texas) just yesterday. IMO another winner for Kia. It had dealer plates on it. It went past me on the freeway, I only got a glimpse but saw the Kia emblem. I thought wow a Kia I haven't seen! Looks a lot better than the previous model. I am so glad Kia got rid of there funky front ends on all there cars! BTW I have 2 Rio Cincos....2002 and a 2004. Trouble free cars!
  • chuck1959chuck1959 Posts: 654
    God I hope not, Amanti sales are already slow as molasses! Too bad too because the Hyundia Azera will kick it's you know what! I had one as a rental a few months ago. IMO a great car although a bit underpowered. Kia: LISTEN HERE put the Azera engine in it! I am NOT making this up, but a few people asked me if it's a Jag!
  • chuck1959chuck1959 Posts: 654
    GM needs to look at these pictures. THIS is how you make the SAME car look different!! :)
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    I found an owner's section on KIA's website, and never standing on protocols (such as not really being an actual owner), boldly registered for entry to the KIA on-line shop manual. Some interesting stuff. This new engine is definitely NOT the previous 2.7L V6. Nor is it the new Hyundai lambda series V6 as used in 3.3L and 3.8L displacements in the Sonata and Azera, respectively. But, though it does appear to be closely related in most respects, there are differences. KIA's site designates this engine with the Greek letter mu. Unlike the lambda series, the mu relies on a composite, toothed belt as the primary drive from the crankshaft to the overhead camshafts (though the progression of power from intake camshaft to the exhaust camshaft on each cylinder head uses a short chain and autotensioner). Unlike the lambda engines, the mu uses a spin-on conventional oil filter mounted vertically (open end up) at the front of the car near the oil pan. Looks to be as easy to access as the horizontally mounted oil filter on the older Hyundai 2.7L V6 engine, without the obligatory mess when loosened. Of more interest is diagramatic and text confirmation that this new KIA engine DOES use CVVT variable valve timing AND a variable air induction system. (I wondered where Hyundai came up with the 15 additional horsepower in this new motor from the older 2.7L V6.) The valves, themselves, are actuated via solid valve lifters. There is no adjustment to KIA's arrangement (put away your screwdriver for the lash adjustment and closed end wrench for the lock nut). The adjustment procedure consists of first measuring and noting the lash (cold, thankfully) for all 24 valves. The next step is to cry if any are out of range because the "adjustment" procedure requires completely removing the intake manifold's plenum chamber, the cam covers, the intake-to-exhaust camshaft chains, autotensioners, CVVT actuators, and camshafts (which requires removing the main timing belt after removing the engine's front covers), followed by removing the measured out of tolerance lifters (solid cylinders that are available in 40 sizes from KIA dealership parts departments). Once the replacement lifters are installed, the four camshafts, their CVVT actuators, chains, and autotensioners can be reinstalled, and the cam covers re-installed along with replacement cam cover gaskets and the plenum chamber along with a new gasket, too. Then, the engine's timing belt can be re-installed, or, if necessary, replaced, and finally the engine's front covers can be reinstalled. This adventure is not going to be a light afternoon romp during half-time for do-it-yourselfers, nor is it going to be inexpensive at the dealership level. Hopefully the valvetrain is engineered to hold its adjustment to at least the point at which the main timing belt has to be replaced, but that may be wishful thinking. (I found no information in the online shop manual how often a valve adjustment must be performed.) I don't imagine a set of those precision machined valve lifters are apt to be cheap, either. If KIA follows common industry practice, abandon hope of buying by the piece.

    For those wishing to peruse KIA's online shop manual, here's the url:

    The new model KIA Optima is designated as "MG" when accessing the online shop manual.
  • ukraguyukraguy Posts: 28
    Older 2.7L V6: Delta engine
    New 2.7L V6: Mu engine
  • harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405

    They test drove the Manual and automatic 4 cylinder, and seemed to like both.
  • harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405
    I,too, live in a midwest state. There are 3 Kia dealerships in a 75 mile radius of me(90 minute drive, or less).
    One is now with Hyundai, and yes, they tend to have less models on the lot than Hyundai.

    The other is on a lot with Hyundai, Toyota, and Chevy, and have a lot less space for their vehicles.

    The 3rd is across the street from a Honda, Nissan, Mazda dealership(they just closed their Suzuki dealership of 10+ years), same owner, but it is really sad.

    The building is big enough to have 4 vehicles in it, 3 desks, and a "garage"(service center) where one car can fit in it at a time, and one mechanic, and one sales person(On a Saturday!).

    When i went to the Honda dealership, after looking to test drive a Rio5(lady said'maybe next visit you can test drive one!?), they had 6 sales persons vying to help me out!

    There were maybe 75 cars on the Kia lot.

    There used to be one on a Nissan, Buick, GMC, Kia lot, but that place folded a few years ago.

    Another Kia dealership closed a year ago.... they were on a lot with VW, BMW, and Volvo. Shared a building with VW.

    They had a lot of models, but when I went there, they seemed to try to push the more pricey VW's on you.
    They tended not to push the Kia's, thus, they did not do well.

    What ya gonna do?
  • harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405

    This says a new platform will bring a sedan(the 07 elantra?) and 2 other vehicles, a 5 and 3 door car(s)....on another thread on future vehicles(see the Kia Coupe, and has another sketch of 5 door that looks a lot like a modified Spectra5, and info)says Kia will have the 5 and 3 doors(for Europe).

    hard to say what will happen with HyunKia.

    As for are Optima and Sonata on different platforms? Dunno.
    All I know is that the old XG350 and Sonata(last generation) shared the same platform, yet one was larger, more HP,etc.

    Take Care/Not Offense.
  • jtzjtz Posts: 37
    Has anyone ever seen the car with the rear spoiler? I want to see what it looks like. :)
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    Hey there new Optima owners!

    I'm very curious to see what the gas mileage is like for the new 4-cylinder engine in the Optima.

    I hope that it this engine has been engineered to not only run well, but to get decent mileage too....a common KIA bug-a-boo.

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Isn't the "new" I4 engine in reality the same Hyundai engine used in current four-cylinder Sonatas? They're the same displacement and both have a CVVT cylinder head. Owners of four-cylinder 2006 Sonatas have already posted fuel mileage results for about a year, now, so you might want to check the Sonata board to get an idea. One Optima advantage over the Sonata is that the Sonata equipped with an A/T coupled to the 4-banger uses the prior 4-sp tranny. Optimas similarly equipped get the Hyundai-built 5-sp A/T tranny - potentially better performance without a fuel useage penalty.
  • magmaxmagmax Posts: 88
    The Optima is sold as the Magentis in Canada as well as in most other countries. I laid eyes on my first one a little earlier this evening. It was pearl white with an all black interior. While the Sonata looks quite large, this Kia looks much smaller than it really is, almost like a sleeker Verona or whatever that Japanese Chevrolet it called. I liked the grille and headlights but thought the taillights were a little weak -- too small for the area. My biggest gripe is the all black interior. It's like a cave in there and when I checked on line to see the specs I learned that in Canada at least we'll be getting all black leather interiors with no choice in the matter. And that does it for me. I'll keep my Amanti and continue to be delighted with it. When it's time to switch to something else, it will be a car that gives me a choice of something other than black for an interior. What's wrong with these manufacturers that they can't provide lighter interior colours. Kia's just as bad as Subaru in that respect.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    That's weird, in the U.S. we get light-colored interiors (tan or grey) standard, and black is extra-cost I think.

    P.S. the Verona is a Korean Chevrolet (or Suzuki depending on where you live).
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    ....especially in smaller cars. Canada gets nailed with black-only interiors in the new Yaris, the Mazda5 and the Magenta/Optima, to name a few. Give us light, airy interiors standard, as an option only.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,874
    the Toyota Yaris sedan I was looking at for a while here had a tan interior with tiny black speckles on it.

    Interior conspiracy? The thing is I would be all right with a 2007 Kia Optima with a black interior. Especially an all-white '07 Optima.

    BTW, the first '07 Kia Optima I've seen on the street was a white one, not Pearl White, more like a Polar White. I couldn't really tell but I think it had a black interior. It was whipping down one of the main streets in Jackson, WY, the other day. Looked really nice.

    My wife and I took the Sportage 4x4 to Yellowstone Park and the Grand Tetons and then down to Jackson, WY.

    The Bison have been real busy last winter..there's Bison babies running all over Yellowstone National Park now! :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    Just saw my first Optima in "the wild" (grocery lot) today.

    I hate to say it but..... b-o-r-i-n-g.

    Granted it was a white one with hubcaps, but I really think KIA should have gone more radical/dramatic in the styling department.

    The interiors of them are nice, AND the build quality looks really good too.

    But to an average schmo, it could have been a prev-gen Chevy Malibu.

    Anyone who purchases one had BETTER get the EX in a darker color, and some nicely done dual-tone painted pinstripes (like my Spectra) to add a little personality!

  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Agreed. I was actually considering one, because the price to equipment ratio is one of the best in the industry. But "in the metal" I found it innocuous and boring. Even more so than the Sonata. The exterior is certainly inoffensive, but it does not look like a car with auto A/C, stability control, power adjustable pedals, etc. It looks like a low line Malibu.

    I also don't understand why they require black leather with the extra aluminum interior trim, or why they have the two trim packages ($1300 and $1500) where you must take the combination of equipment from one or the other, but you can't get, say, aluminum trim with heated seats, etc.
  • magmaxmagmax Posts: 88
    I visited the showroom yesterday to pick up a brochure and chat with the sales manager whom I know. He confirmed that any Magentis (Optima) with leather would have the all black choice. Also the Canadian model doesn't have the rear window sunshade. I guess they figure there's no sun in Canada. I find this kind of thing really offensive. The darned cars come off the same production line and differ only in instrumentation so why the heck can't we have a choice of options and interior colours. Oh yes, there are NO options at all on the top of the line LX V6 Luxury model; it comes with everything except a decent interior. And to top it all off, the very nice brochure actually has a picture of a grey leather seat in its air bag section. I suppose that's just another example of cost cutting -- use a picture from the American brochure -- or maybe they're just thumbing their nose at prospective customers. I'll be writing the company to express my disgust.

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    There's sunlight in Canada now? Wow, must be part of the global warming thing... (I agree completely with you about the "sport"-led black interior phenomenon. The comment about "cave"-like is right on. I don't know what Hyundai's product planners are smoking, but I wish they would stop.)
  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    While color choice is a personal thing everyone I know loves black interiors, myself included. I'm glad to see black as an option at the least. Light gray and tan are most often the only choice auto companies give it's customers. I will buy a car with either a dark gray or black interior but not one with tan. We have a Santa Fe at the moment and it has a light gray interior. I really didn't like it when we bought it(wife wanted it ;) ) and have grown to hate the color. I spend most of my time driving our Matrix.
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