2003 Kia Optima Sedan - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 63 Total Reviews
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If I could only have a do over...
By mamanichole on 01/19/12 14:34 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Review

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.
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Life saver
By tpp16 on 10/16/10 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Review

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.
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Great car - couple small issues
By lowlow on 07/28/10 12:48 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Review

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.
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Worst Nightmare
By Disappointed on 07/24/10 13:11 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Review

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.
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Optima has been a good car
By wsm on 01/31/10 19:12 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Review

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!
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Great Ride
By bozpop on 05/30/09 03:17 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan LX V6 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

Review

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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Great Used 2003 Optima
By Ace Shot on 05/08/09 11:09 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan LX V6 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

Review

Bought this car with 26,000 miles and 11 months left on the factory 5 year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty! It had only minor issues (power window switch and power locks) and the dealer made the repairs for free, under warranty. Fun to drive it with its "sportmatic" transmission. I like putting it in manual shift mode from time to time to pass slower cars, or to perform better on hills. I used to think it was a gas guzzler, until I changed my driving habits: If I don't stomp on the gas in the city, and on the highway I speed up slowly and drive 80 mph or less, I get very good gas mileage. Performs very well and looks very nice. I got a lot of bang for my buck with this car.
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You Get What You Pay For
By James on 07/19/08 16:05 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan SE V6 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

Review

We purchased this car used and we know why the original owner sold it. Although the car drives great, the car has had many electrical problems and the transmission started slipping just after we bought it. Each time we put it in the shop it takes two days to get it back. Electrical problems include headlights, remote entry, radio, and battery draining down if not driven daily. Also, we have had the emissions worked on several times. The steering growls like it is out of fluid but it isn't and the dealer can't find the problem. We like the way it drives but with all the electrical problems, would like to get rid of it. We paid way too much for it, no resale!
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Buy american
By thomas frye on 06/28/08 20:40 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Review

Had problems with ac, tried to have door locks fixedseveral times never could find problem. In my opion Kia not much help, seems all work should be done at Kia dealers only. Will only buy American only, have owned VW, Toyota
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Efficient, Zippy with a few Quirks
By Cathy on 10/27/07 11:46 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Kia Optima Sedan SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Review

Overall a great car. Fuel efficient, outstanding pickup, comfortable, love the Speedtronic shift to manual on steep roads, nice sound system. Downside: paint around exterior mirrors vanished after 3 years, had to get them repainted. There are also a few electrical quirks. Radio sometimes goes on/off over bumps, The radio antenna wouldn't retract when shutting off car, instead it would go up/down in a confused fashion until I started the car and turned off radio first. Mysteriously resolved itself. Had problem with passenger interior door lock misaligning and trapping passenger inside-got it fixed 3 times, but was warranteed No mechanical problems in 4 yrs, just new battery & tires.
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