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Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • ray_h71ray_h71 Posts: 212
    The Motor in question is the Hyudai-built "Delta" 2.7 liter V6. When introduced as a replacement for the related 2.5 liter motor at the start of the 2002 model year, the new motor was listed as having 181 Hp. Midway thorugh the 2002 model year, Hyundai revised the power rating down to 170 Hp. and offered an extended warranty to assuage the rancor of affected owners. Note: there was NO change in the motors at all - same displacement, same camshaft, fuel delivery system, same engine management setup; it was merely a published power spec. change. A very vocal minority of Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe owners are still so livid they can't see straight, though, with threats to bring a class-action against Hyundai for false advertising. I have a feeling that it was nothing more than an ad copywriter's mixup. Was it preventable? Yes. Should it have been caught before going to press? Yes. Is it the end of the world? Not even close. (These ranters' motors are just as powerful as they were when the buyers signed on the dotted line.) It seems the wag who coined that some people would bellyache even if they were gonna be hung with a brand new rope was probably closer to the truth than he imagined...

    On an unrelated note, I discovered today that the $5.40/qt. SP-III spec. automatic transmission fluid at Hyundai dealers (that I need for my 2003 Sonata) has a Kia counterpart for $3.95/qt. Viva Kia!
  • stockeystockey Posts: 40
    I would like them better to improve from the Daimler part not the Chrysler part,Chrysler quality sucks.
  • I first read this problem for the new sorento, but I have had the same problem on my 2001 kia optima LX manual transmission for the last two months. Has anyone experienced a tap noise from their engine? I only really hear this sound when my vehicle has sat over night on a cold day and the next morning when i attempt to start it i hear this sound. If I stop somewhere and then re-start my vehicle the sound is not present....Could someone please give me some assistance?
  • sedanman2sedanman2 Posts: 26
    after a dreadful winter in nyc i finally washed my optima 2001 black se v6 leather abs. people still look up and down at it , and i still love this car. no problems to report 12500 miles. i love the sorento but would assume i would be killed in the trade. why should i give up my leather loaded black beauty for peanuts, and pay hard for a sorento. i will wait and see how the resales go on sorento before i buy. thanks, people keep posting!!!!
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    What you are hearing is the tapping of the valve lifters. It is nothing to be concerned about if it only occurs on first start-up on a cold day. Hydraulic lifters tend to tap some on cold mornings because it takes longer for oil pressure to build up and take away the slack in the valves. This tapping does not hurt the engine and is not unusual.
  • Thanks very much Ingtongue18 I was so worried. When this vehicle first came out I read everything that was available , because I knew I would be taken a great risk in its purchase. You hit the nail right on its head with your explanation. The tapping noise is only present after my vehicle has stayed stationary over a very cold night. Today all is well with 22950 miles on my vehicle and I regularly push my rpm's up to 5. The only serious issue are those honkook tires. They are the worst in raining and/or snowy conditions. My vehicle slides alllll over the place and those darn squealing front brakes. I had them replace under warranty of course and was reassured these replacement have solve the problem. Other than that all is well. If anyone has any neat accessories or kits that have put on their 2001 Kia Optima LX manual transmission, please let me know. I would like to add fog lights, but do not know the best course of action. I have been given many different answers due to my vehicle was not originally out fitted with this item. ( ex. in addition to purchasing the lights you may need wiring harness etc). I would appreciate any pics and assistance on these matters.
  • diegogdiegog Posts: 1
    Interested in the Optima.
    I took a test drive last weekend. The built quality felt better than the price suggested. The car rode nice although not a lot of feedback from the brake pedal. Interior room was comparable to other cars except perhaps the head room compared to the high ceiling of the Accord.
    Overall I got a great impression.

    Years ago I was a fleet mgr for a rental car company and had a lot of Hunday Accents. we all joked around when we got them, but they ended up being the most reliable car on the fleet. And we all know people are not the most careful when driving a rental car.

    That is the reason I am now looking at Kia (don't like the styling of the Sonata).

    I would appreciate any comments, or experiences you might have.


  • hi there... can anyone think of reasons not to buy this car? My wife and I are currently leasing a 2001 Nisan Sentra. We still have warranty left on the car (currently sitting at 50K), however when we try to address items which should be covered under the bumper to bumper warranty, quite often we are charged $24 for each item that the dealer claims is NOT a warranty item (and I am not talking about wear and tear items either). they won't even provide us with an estimate first!!!

    What I would like to know is, how does KIA treat their customers in terms of after sales service? Will I have to fear a bill every time I take the car in for to inspect a problem? I have looked at the literature on the Kia Magentis (Canadian name for the Optima) and it looks quite nice. Especially from the price. Is it too good to be true?
  • sedanman2sedanman2 Posts: 26
    obviously i would recommend buying a new optima! saw new ones on the lot in new jersey. i own a 2001 se v6 leather abs and the car is great. people still look at it, guess they think its some kind of sonata leganza mercedes230 crossbreed!!economically it is definitly a smart choice. check out the prices on similarly equipped accords camrys and altimas (that everyone on the block has)and your jaw will drop!kia even has a $2000 discount cash back $3000 for previous kia owners! its a no brainer! saw a v6 optima lxv6 with alloys cd and spoiler going for 18g- so if you take the cash discount you could pick up one for about 16500 awesome diomond silver! well good luck
  • gideon26gideon26 Posts: 1
    The local dealer has some leftover stock from last year. One 2002 V6 Optima SE is listed at around $14k (including current rebate)... is this a good deal? Anyone else have particular words or praise/warning about this car?
  • grs2grs2 Posts: 2
    Can any Canadian owners explain how DRLs are implemented on the 2003 Optima? Are they a provided by a hard-wired switch or are they activated by program changes to the cars' computer?
  • nnboxnnbox Posts: 1
    This board seems kind of abandoned right now, but I'll ask my questions anyway. I don't own a Kia Optima, but am interested in doing so to replace an old reliable Honda. First of all, is it acceptable to depend on the Optima to be able to run for 40,000-50,000 highway miles per year, for possibly up to four years? Secondly, if so, would it be better to go with the fuel efficient V4 or the more powerful V6 (keeping in mind this car would have to run for a long time, but also keeping in mind I need at least above average gas mileage with all the travelling I do)?

  • sedanman2sedanman2 Posts: 26
    i simply went to my dealer and picked up my sport visors for my optima. easy installation, no tools, looks incredibly cool. thinking about adding a spoiler to my already loaded optima. guys at work are talking about getting optimas and sorrentos, i noticed a loaded optima on ebay!i would recommend this car to anyone. the sonata is cool- but they are everywhere- like altimas, that kinda kills a kia , be different- be cool!!!
  • grs2grs2 Posts: 2
    Finally figured out how to have pseudo-automatic daylight running lights on the 2003 Optima. Just turn the lights on and leave them on. When the ignition is turned off and the door is opened, the battery saver function turns the lights off immediately. When the car is started again, the lights come on immediately.
  • ofrakinofrakin Posts: 12
    Never heard of a V4, except on motorbikes.haha BUT,we were in the same situation. That is until I bought my wife a GSX Spectra. I bought it a week before xmas '02, for $11998-tax,tags and delivery incl.Then I see here that robsmith got a great deal.
    She drives 500 miles a week in rushhour traffic between Balt. and DC. It always gets 33mpg w/1800cc4cyl. I've got a v6 Caravan thats dying w/140K(16mpg). A GST Spyder w/91k(27mpg.w/hi-test only). A Volvo740 w/280k (15mpg) and runs better than the van. A GSX w/30k and a 5spd.

    With $5k down and $125 a month, a Mazda transmission (or clone) and a Hyundai Alpha motor,I feel I got a very good deal.
    I personally believe that a Korean company now, as a Japanese company in the '70s, can't master an automatic transmission, or the complexities of a V6. The firing order of a 4cyl. has been the same since TR's, MG's and AH's of the 50's.

    While we'll have 100k in 2 yrs., therefore the choice and warranty, I believe a Corolla at 42mpg will last longer. 4whatitsworth
  • bigorange30bigorange30 Posts: 1,091
    She says that she has gotten a quote of $16K and that there is a $2K rebate. When I look on Edmunds TMV, it indicates that they are going for more like $18K right now. I am thinking that the $16K is after the rebate and she is confused about that. Imagine a dealer letting her be confused about that. Who would have thought? What do you think? What are these things going for right now?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I would have to say the price she was quoted includes the 2k rebate. If it also includes tax and tag, than she has a very good deal.
  • Wow...Its pretty dead around here...

    Does anyone know of what changes will be made to the 2004 Magentis / Optima?
  • tahugorengtahugoreng Posts: 10
    Guys i am planning to buy a used one.

    Any regrets so far?

    Which one would you choose:
    - Honda Accord EX 1999 or Kia Optima 2002?

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I think Optimas depreciate more rapidly than Sonatas and may be the better buy used. Like the 02's better than the '03's (C&D recalled Hannibal Lechter styling).

    I'm sure that the Accord is objectively the better car, but I'm worried by Honda's getting more and more conservative with each new generation. Compare the 04's with the late eighties hidden head-light third generation car. The new car looks like its mother may have been raped by a Buick Roadmaster--where else would it get that ugly rear end?
  • dmungerdmunger Posts: 1
    I have a new '03 optima SE 4 cyl. with a sliding sunroof. Very often when going between 35 and 50 mph. I hear a sound coming from above my head like a dull taping sound between the headliner and roof..and it seems that when the front windows are down it happens most. The tapping does not seem to speed up or slow down with the speed of the car either. Whoever figures this one out deserves an award.
  • phorvickphorvick Posts: 1
    I am looking at purchasing an Optima SE V6 in the next few weeks. The dealer has 2004's coming in then. I really would like to hear experiences or reasons why or why not to purchase a Kia. We will put a lot of miles on it, ... has reliability been an issue? Red Flags?? Praise? A reply to my e-mail would be appreciated.
  • bigorange30bigorange30 Posts: 1,091
    The come in as the lowest rated brand in the industry as rated by JD Power in their long term reliability ratings. Consumer Reports also rates them very poorly.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    since the Optima IS a Hyundai Sonata with different headlights and taillights. Consumer Reports tags the Sonata with its "Recommended" label.
  • smulveysmulvey Posts: 139
    I think the Hummer H2 , a $ 50,000 SUV is actually the lowest rated quality of any new car in the history of the survey firms work.

    I thought that was very funny , considering the price of the H2.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Being that this survey doesn't include the Optima (or any of Kia's other new and improved products), it really won't mean much to phorvick. The Optima is a Sonata which has been doing very well in surveys and is recommended by Consumer Reports.
  • smulveysmulvey Posts: 139
    I went and look at that as you suggested.
    I am an old fart and have had many new cars.
    My 2 Kias , a Spectra and Sedona , are both a year old with plenty of miles on them.

    I can't square any of my experience with what the " survey says".

    I looked for some specific details and there are none. I wonde rif the survey is very useful.

    After all , if my experience has been GREAT and I bought 2 different cars and 2 differt types of cars, shouldbn't I have had SOME issue?

    I can assure you the dealer has not touched my cars since I tok them home. I have done the service and there has been nothing but oil changes needed. There is something goofy going on with those surveys.

    Even the Buick PArk Avenue fell according to their survey. And the Lincoln went up. I have a cousin at Ford and I know the Lincoln could not have gone UP!
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Assuming you find your way to this thread to talk about your new Optima, don't worry about your initial fuel mileage. It will go up as the engine breaks in. However, as a previous Kia owner, you should also know by now that Kia and Hyundai products do not get great gas mileage anyway. I used to own a 1995 Sephia and a 1997 V6 Sonata and neither of them got great gas mileage either--and the Sephia used a Mazda engine! Go figure.
  • I really like my new 2003 Kia Optima (4 cyl). Could someone give me an idea of what MPG you're getting? My first tank was calculated at only 22 MPG. That seems really low. I hope it improves as the vehicle breaks-in. Thanks!
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