Purchased a Kia Optima LX 4 cylinder/automatic sedan for my son in college. He drives it... I pay for things. At 156,000 miles the car runs great. Starts quickly regardless of temperature, A/C still blows cold and all power features still work including windows. The only thing I've had to do is put brakes on it and one motor mount. When a motor mount breaks, you'll definitely know it!!! Sitting outside year round in the Midwest including snow and salt on the roads, the car has zero rust on it. Paint has chipped off around the door handles, but the clear coat remains. Could be because the car is washed weekly, but the car is surprisingly comfortable, particularly for something so old. The car features side impact airbags and that is rare in all but high end luxury cars of that vintage. I suspect a lot of people carping about their Optima's bought them used and are the kinds of people who don't believe in maintenance. Change the oil and fluids at the recommended intervals and you should have good results. If you buy ANY car with the notion that it's a throwaway vehicle, then expect to do just that... throw it away. UPDATE: As of September 2016, the Optima is still performing fine.
Bottom line: This is a very cheap, no frills car. If you are looking for something that will get you around and no more...this is the car for you. If you are looking for a car that holds it's resale value...this is NOT it. Currently worth more as a tax credit on donation -or- totaled than trade-in value.
I bought this car in 2003 and have put approximately 45,000 miles on it, mostly highway. At 75,000 total miles it looks and drives like it has 150,000 miles.
Cons: 1. Paint chips off the door handles. 2. The airbag recall fix has been performed three times but the airbag light is still on. 3. Check engine light comes on for weeks at a time then turns off for no apparent reason. 4. Body paint scratches very easily - clearcoat...what's that?
5. Run rough even after a tune up. 6. Battery goes dead every 18 months. 7. Headlight burn out every year like clockwork. They are VERY hard to change and expensive. 8. Noisy inside.
nothing but problems from the get go, quite expensive, 3rd set of brakes, alternator, batteries, electrical problems, expensive replacement parts, never ever ever ever ever buy a kia, only car i ever had that came close was a renault
how about the whole car and do something about the sensor problems
My experience with my '01 optima has not been pleasant. I have had to have both front windows repaired several times and they still don't work properly. My door locks don't work right, I have had to put money into this car hand over fist and now to find out that according to my inspection station (certified kia dealer) that this car is junk because it has a rotted out frame. I will never buy another kia again. I have had nothing but problems with this car since I bought it brand spanking new.
My radio, even though the speakers don't work properly.
They need to improve the quality of the frame. They also need to back up their cars by taking care of their customers when a customer calls them with issues. I called directly to Kia for answers and he tried making me feel like I didn't know what I was talking about.
OK, It looks good, HOWEVER, I have only had this car since 86,000 miles (Now 102,000) and have replaced the alternator twice, all four power windows, have had fuel problems, and check engine light comes on and off sporadically. I hate this car and will never buy a Kia again.