Used 2001 Kia Optima Consumer Reviews
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.
I love my 2001 Optima. I've had it for only a month, and it has 95,000 miles on it. It drives like a Buick, though, and is as reliable as a Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai. I had to have a new timing belt put in it ($500), but that was just a maintenance thing since it looks as though the previous owner had never done it. It's so much fun to drive, though, and all of my neighbors, friends, and family salivate over it saying it looks brand new. I couldn't find a better deal for $5,000 with all the options!
The car is roomy, great gas mileage with the five speed, and the base 4 cyl is not bad at all. However I have had nothing but problems with this car. Everything from the center console falling apart to the infamous power window problems. Premature clutch failure, electrical dash problems, engine problems and on and on. Yes there is a bumper to bumper warranty, but it does not pay for car rental if you have to leave the vehicle in the shop (which you certainly will). When you factor in the horrendous resale and/or trade-in value I would say that this is one of the worst automobile purchases you could ever make
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.
My Kia Optima is one of the worst cars that I have ever had. The dealership failed to inform me that if the car transfers owners then the warranty will only be good for 50,000 miles. My car was at 55,000 miles when my timing belt went out on it and blew the whole motor.