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.
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.
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.
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