Used 2001 Kia Optima Consumer Reviews

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$741 - $1,852

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Not bad for a 14 year old Korean Sedan

Gary Merchant, 09/01/2015
LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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.

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Kia CAN be reliable

Iowa, 07/24/2006
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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!

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Never Ever again

Upsidedown, 03/22/2004
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

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Better choices await...

kcvelo, 01/12/2011
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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.

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2001 Kia

Megan, 04/08/2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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.

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Kia is a deathtrap.

Rebecca McCoy, 06/13/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I have owned my optima for 1 1/2 years and ultimately hate it. I am trying to get kia to take it back as a lemon, but of course they don't want to. there have been 5 recalls to date on this model, and one of those recalls almost caused the loss of life to myself and my 5 year old son on the freeway, as the vehicle failed to operated(ie:the crankshaft positioning sensor recall). i am currently experiencing the second failure of this particular recall. I would have been better off to spend the extra money to buy a honda or toyota. Even though this car has the warrenty, you will use it often. If you love your family, buy a different car.

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Trade offs

DJS, 09/09/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

For the most part I am satisfied with my Optima. I love the acceleration and the smooth ride, but just wish it was built to last. From the moment I got it, I had an issue with the paint peeling off one of my door handles, serious paint chip issue with the side view mirrors,and then some fun with power door locks opting not to wrk. All said you cant beat the price, but you do get what you pay for. I have satisfied for the most part, but if I knew then what I know now, I might have thought longer and harder about my purchase.

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What a Disappointment

Angela, 06/21/2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

At only 62000 miles this car already needed a new timing belt and transmission. Also had to have the auto window repaired. Way too much work needed on a car of this year and mileage. Kia Customer Support very rude.

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Not worth the money

Jessica , 04/24/2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I bought this car brand new off the showroom floor. Immediately we had some small issues but nothing major. After owning it for about 3 years and having more warranty problems, my car spent 6 months in the shop. So many things were replaced it's hard to remember. There were transmission problems, computer problems, speaker/radio problems, window and lock problems, and engine problems to name a few. Due to the horrible depreciation on the car, we were only just now able to get rid of it without going into neg. equity. My advice, stay away, there's a reason for the warranty.

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2001 Kia Optima SE V6

Erika, 07/11/2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The worst part about buying from a used car lot: you don't know what you're going to get. I did just that. Bought it w/94K later finding out the previous owner did not do ANY maintenance to this car. Little "fixes" add up very quickly. Kia service dept. knows what they're talking about. My regular mechanic still can't figure out a nasty chugging/"hiccup" the car does in reverse and idling which has been going on about 6 months now. They cleaned out the idle system, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Looks like I'll have to take it back to Kia to have it checked out. Also has a passenger side-impact airbag problem - $1600 to fix. I'll just go without the airbags... it's not worth it.

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"Engine Light"

geomar32, 03/21/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I have problems with the front passenger window with slow operation {electrical}. Regulator has been replaced, but still is slow going up ,12 seconds compared to others at 5 secoonds. The other problem is the "Engine LightHas come "on" 5 times in the last 6 months. Computer results are gross leak evap system. corrective action was "inspect evap lines & clear code #522 & road tested OK.

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Great Road Car

GG, 04/09/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Great road car. Good power. Had problems with wind noise on the driver's side window. Fuel sender had to be replaced twice. Check engine light came on twice but was due to not having the fuel cap tight. This is a well performing car, especially if you do a lot of long distance driving.

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Great car - no resale value!

admasters, 04/15/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

We have had our Optima for nearly a year now and still really like this car.A couple of minor things have been corrected - front headlight bulb, fuel gauge, and fuel door opening mechanism. My wife really likes driving this car and I also like the sportmatic transmission. The car is roomy and gets decent gas mileage. However, the re-sale value sucks!! That is probably why I will not by another Kia.

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Former Kia Salesman gives rating

Whatever, 04/19/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I happened to own one while selling them to make a living. Periodically the CD/Cassette player gives an error indicating unable to locate last track played on the CD. We are going to have paint problems. Have you noticed the trunk, door, hood, door handle wells need another coat of the same metalic exterior pant? I dislike the wasted jet beams that spike straight up at about a 75-degree angle from horizontal. Look up at tall evergreens after dark while driving some night especially in the fog! "NO REAR CABIN LIGHTES"? Why should I have to feeeellll my way around the rear seats and rear floors in a 21st century automobile? This is Un-American.

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NEVER AGAIN

Julie, 08/21/2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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.

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This is a Kia?

Elk, 04/25/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

other than the usual Kia fuel guage failure several times, this is a great car

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Great Car for the Money

pizzu, 04/27/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Just purchased the Kia Optima (2001). Would have like a Honda Accord but saved myself about 6 grand by opting for the Kia. It's a lot of car for the money. Looks and feels like a luxury car. I feel I made a great choice. I would like to rate their Service Center as excellent. They took off some minor scratches, did oil change (minor things to get me and my 2001 on the road right away). All in all a very pleasant experience.

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Rusted/Rotted Out Frame w/ 65975 miles.

KarenD, 02/13/2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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.

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horrid, horrid, horrid car

cleo, 05/11/2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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

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Nice car for the Money

markus, 07/17/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

We were skeptical about buying a Korean made car, but we have been pleasantly surprised. The car seems well built and solid. It is very comfortable and fun to drive. It has all the features of the more expensive Toyotas and Hondas. You cant beat the warranty and the road side assistance. It takes the risk out of buying a Korean car. I think the Optimas are going to hold up very well and put KIA on the map. You know KIA has to build good cars if they are going to be competitive in the U.S. We are very happy with our Optima.

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Z's KIA

zabas, 08/07/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have about 13000 miles on the car. had a slight shimmy at 65 mph, but the dealer had the wheels balanced and that solved the problem. Otherwise I haven't haad a problem. The wife loves to drive the car and is very happy with it.

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Awesome Car

New Yorker, 09/02/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I just had my first child and needed a reliable car that was inexpensive but still looked flashy. (I wasnt ready for the mini van) The Kia Optima is it! The V-6 is a blast to drive especially with the porsche designed tiptronic transmission. When I sit in traffic its on automatic, but when i want to feel the road and the engine, I flip over to manual mode. Tne interior is roomy. I am a 6'2'' and i am very comfortable in the ride. WE just drove to Disney from NY and it was a pleasure. When it comes to styling, people cannot take their eyes off of this car. My boss who owns multiple luxury cars belives it looks like a BMW.

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Excellent Service department

Redman, 09/07/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Yes it has thin paint, but all of the car makers have thin paint these days. It had air leaks at the windows and the engine light came on because of the gas cap not being tight, but the Kia service department fix them and even gave me a loaner car when I needed one. If you want to stay between the Beamers and the MB's going from Las Vagas to LA this is the car for you.

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A used 4000 mi. Optima LX at $119 a mo.

Dangelus, 02/23/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Very quite and comfortable ride, the suspension is comparable to a german ride. The stock audio CD cassette combo is far better that japanise competition. The trunk is Cadillac size! I could no possibly ask more for what I paid.

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Great car for the money

Sal, 10/12/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have only had this car a short time, but I am very happy with it. I trade my Audi in on the Optima, and have been surprised by how nice the Kia handles. The Optima has a nice ride, and good design.

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Squeeky brakes

C Johnson, 11/12/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought a used 2001 optima about 6 months ago. The brakes won't stop squeeking, even after new brake pads. The seats are not very comfortable. The starter feels like it is going out. The door lock keeps jamming. Poor gas mileage. Stiff suspension.

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Minor incov. make BIG PROBLEMS

pJ, 02/23/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Had to take in my car several times for electrical issues, moldings etc. Also received letter from Kia a year later stating the vehicle did not have a 70 hp engine as intially advertised when the vehicle was bought. The letter stated it had a 65 hp engine. Has depreciated and can not compare to similar models in its class do to HP and other factors. Engine ok...slow on start for V6. Will not buy again.

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nastar3's review.

nastar3, 07/17/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have had in the shop for two defects in two years. Other than that it has been a dream.

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Will Never own another!!

TraceyK, 09/16/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have had my car for going on two years. This car has been a disaster since day one! I have had it in the shop 8 times for 13 different problems not counting an accident which was caused by the cruise control not turning off when I hit the brakes which resulted in the entire front end being replaced. I am scared to drive this vehicle on a daily basis!

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My 2nd Kia

JayS, 09/16/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Much better than my Sephia that I was happy with.

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Over 2 years and still going strong

kiaoptimadriver, 11/25/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Besides the horrible re-sale and trade- in value, this has been a great car. We have yet to have any real problems out of this car.

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Not bad

Roger2, 12/07/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

It is a pretty good car for its price.

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Please somebody fix my windows

JoannR262, 01/02/2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I really like my Kia - but there is always a problem with the electric windows, always. They go up halfway and stop working, or won't go up at all. They do go down just fine, but driving in the snow after passing a toll booth with the window down is ridiculous. I am trying another dealership to try and get the problem fixed. Other than this one problem, I have been satisfied.

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Excellent

PDBurns, 03/15/2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

The car is great to drive, very resoponsive gets up to Hwy speed very quickly. Very little problems and what there was was taken care of right away. I would recomend this car to anyone.

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2001 kia optima

sjmalone, 04/24/2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Love the fuel economy, looks sporty, sorta mix between the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima, I feel the engine is plenty peppy enough for the city.

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Never been happier!

Meshoo96, 04/21/2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought my Kia Optima in 2001. It had 14 miles on it when I drove it off the lot. To date, it has 81,150 miles on it! Other than routine service and recently the alternator letting go, I have no complaints. It handles well, has ABS brakes, and gets excellent gas mileage. I'd have to I drive about 150 miles round trip to work every day.

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Optima = Affordable Luxury

clintondee, 06/17/2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Our 2004 Optima Ex 4 cylinder model is an absolute rare find. For less than $14,000 we have a loaded stylish and well made car for our family. After loading in the kids there is still plent of room for me and the wife to sit comfortably and enjoy the ride. The engine and tranny are responsive and smooth and the suspension is great for highway travel as well as handling City bumps. With the long 10 year powertrain warranty and side impact airbags my family will be safe for many years in our Kia. Its also important to compare this car to others in the price range. Before you buy a smaller car for more money make sure you test drive a Kia Optima.

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Car from Hell

Magentis, 03/10/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

The Optima is the U.S. name, it is called the Magentis in Canada. At 55,000 km the dealership has replaced all four brakes and the transmission. The new transmission is acting up just as the old one did.Door locks have been replaced.Windshield wipers have rusted. The life of the headlight bulbs is six months.The fuel guage was replaced after two months of driving.It takes 3 months to get parts at some dealerships.I've been to three dealerships because the first two closed.

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Former Sales Person

salesperson&owner, 03/12/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

OK Who would have thought during the demo drive, that the interior dome light was positioned too far forward to service the rear seats, much less the rear floors. Even basic-bare-bones- buckets for automobiles, sold in America, ironically have big-bold- bright-bulb-ed interior dome lamps better served as light houses on the rocky shores of New England with doors closed. Understandably the 2001 Optima engineers could not have foreseen how impossible it would be, to locate any item on the rear floors or rear seats in our Optimas after dark. Why? Because their drawing boards were well lit during the design phase of the Optima’s interior. For crying out loud!

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Take off and drive.

b. m. maddox, 09/02/2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

When I first drove the car I was surprised of the pick up it had. I live on top of a mountain which has many curves. This car handled like my other sports car but rode much better. We go on trips many times a year and we need trunk space and the Optima has more than we need. All I can say is the Optima is fun to drive.

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Kia Renee

renee, 07/28/2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Very reliable vehicle with a smooth ride and excellent reliability.

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Good car for the money

Iowa, 10/19/2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Although I only bought my Optima SE V6 4 months ago, I absolutely love it. With 97,500 miles on it, I have noticed only minor glitches. The clock sometimes flickers when I accelerate, and the windows seem like they need to be lubed because they have a hard time rolling up when it rains - but I am getting those fixed soon...they do not affect the performance of the car. The V6 does not get very good gas mileage, but that was assumed when I bought it. I am a college student, and it was an amazing price for a foreign vehicle!

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Can't complain

Erika S., 04/09/2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have owned my Optima for a little over 10 months. There have been a few more little problems than expected, but I just can't part with it! I ran a risk buying it used and paid for it. Maintenance things such as brakes, tune-up, belts, filters, electrical etc. were never replaced. I am currently experiencing a problem with the passenger side-curtain airbag. $1400 replacement probably due to the car possibly having been in an accident at one point. I love this car to death, though. Looks and drives like a true luxury vehicle. I am a college student and it was an amazingly affordable vehicle that attracts a lot of attention at school. 102,700 miles and still running like new!

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Great car for the money

sal, 10/12/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have only had this car a short time, but I am very happy with it. I trade my Audi in on the Optima, and have been surprised by how nice the Kia handles. The Optima has a nice ride, and good design.

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