2003 Kia Optima Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Kia Optima Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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Kia Optima Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Kia Optima

  • The Optima may trail Japanese competitors when it comes to overall polish, but those seeking a well-equipped sedan will find this Kia appealing.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent warranty, pleasant highway ride, lots of bang for your family sedan buck.

  • Cons

    Noisy four-cylinder engine, some cheap interior bits, ABS isn't available on four-cylinder models.

  • What's New for 2003

    The Optima gets several revisions for its third year on the market. Most obvious is its new front-end styling, which replaces the Optima's reserved countenance with a more upscale European look -- double light clusters call to mind the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Other changes include new wheel designs, and inside, a new center stack, new door panels and fresh seat fabric. A manual transmission will no longer be available on the four-cylinder SE model; all automatic four-cylinder models will offer Sportmatic manual-shift capability. The LX model now comes with cruise control and a CD player (at the expense of the cassette deck). The SE will include automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Homelink and Infinity speakers; a wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel is now part of the Leather Package. Lastly, engine horsepower ratings have been lowered following parent-company Hyundai's announcement that it had misstated outputs (the Optima is a corporate twin of the Sonata), but the engines themselves are unchanged.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



If i could only have

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Optima SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my KIA with only 3,000 miles on it in late 2004. It was great until I ran out of warranty time, once that happened the car started falling apart. The timing belt went at less than 70,000 miles causing me to replace the whole engine (in 2010). For the past 2 years the car has decided to cut down when I am driving. It spent 3 months in a KIA Dealership repair shop and they still do not know what is wrong with it. How can a KIA Repair shop not know how to fix its own cars? They now say I need to spend another $1200 just to see "If that is the real problem." I loved my car during the first 5 years, but I wish I could go back and traded it at 4 years.




Life saver

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Optima SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

My Kia was my first car after turning 16. I liked he car a lot and it was very practical as a first car. The thing I will remember most is that this car saved my life. I totaled it through a light pole and into the trees at about 70 mph. I made out without a scratch because of the incredible safety of this car. I had heard that Kia's has low crash test ratings but this car proved them wrong by saving my life.




Great car - couple small

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Optima SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I love my car. In the 7 years I have had it there has only been a few issues. The alternator went, but that was covered. Same with the switch for my power seat. My biggest issue is with the locks! Had it fixed when the car was 5 yrs old. covered. But now the same issue. When I go to open the door (passenger) all the doors will lock. Now the door will not open at all. The dealer want $360. Guess my passengers will have to crawl through the window for now. Over all I have spent $500 in 7 years other than brakes and tires. Still have the original battery even.




Worst nightmare

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Optima SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Everyone says foreign cars are better. I would say to them don't include kia in the mix. Brand new alternator twice in 14 months, had to replace just about everything on it so far and have only 76,000 miles on it. Sound system is horrible it skips like a cd player and the cd player hasn't worked since the first week i bought it. Alarm hasn't worked for 2 years it goes off whenever it wants to when its set. And the parts are so expensive its stupid! I would NEVER recommend a Kia to anyone stick to toyota or honda.




Optima has been a good

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Optima SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

We bought our 2003 Optima just after getting married in 2003. We werent particularly looking for a Kia but due to the rebates Kia was giving at the time we settled on the Kia because it had superior options and a price we could afford. After 7 years of ownership we are ready to upgrade though and unfortunately wont be buying another Kia. Heres why: Cons: we paid 18000 for the car and today we can get about $3500 if we're lucky. Depreciation on this car is terrible. Belt squeals nonstop and dealers cant figure out problem. Always had transmission troubles that again dealer cant fix. Pros: Super reliable, fuel system problem at 30000 miles and door problem at 120000 but otherwise Reliable!




Great ride

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Optima LX V6 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

At 190000 miles has been a great reliable car. Standard maintenance and very regular oil changes. Today will buy 4th set of tires. Get 25-26 MPG mainly freeway driving.



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Full 2003 Kia Optima Review

What's New for 2003

The Optima gets several revisions for its third year on the market. Most obvious is its new front-end styling, which replaces the Optima's reserved countenance with a more upscale European look -- double light clusters call to mind the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Other changes include new wheel designs, and inside, a new center stack, new door panels and fresh seat fabric. A manual transmission will no longer be available on the four-cylinder SE model; all automatic four-cylinder models will offer Sportmatic manual-shift capability. The LX model now comes with cruise control and a CD player (at the expense of the cassette deck). The SE will include automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Homelink and Infinity speakers; a wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel is now part of the Leather Package. Lastly, engine horsepower ratings have been lowered following parent-company Hyundai's announcement that it had misstated outputs (the Optima is a corporate twin of the Sonata), but the engines themselves are unchanged.

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Talk About The 2003 Optima

2003 Kia Optima Discussions See all Started By

iluvmysephia1
iluvmysephia1
11-09-2002
Optima with Regal-design changes incorporated will still be called Optima in America? Just checking-we discussed that about 6 months ago in here but I just wanted to bring it up again as it's intro in...


spectraman
spectraman
11-03-2004
Optima Reports Its Best Month Ever Leading Kia to a 51.3-Percent Increase In Month-Over-Month Sales...


anandamayadas
anandamayadas
04-11-2011
I wanted a manual transmission and liked the Optima since seeing it at the 2010 S.F. Auto Show. Mostly, manual transmissions are only offered on base models with many manufacturers, including on th...



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