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.
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.
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!
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.
My Kia is a great car. I use it to drive 40 miles to work and back 5 days a week. The only problem I have had was when a sensor went out. I believe it was a recall. The dealer took care of the problem quick. It handles better than I ever imagined a Kia would. I would change to front grill of the 2004 back to the 2003 style. It gives the appearance of a more expensive luxury car. Not what you would expect from a Kia. I am planning to trade it in on the new Amanti in a couple of years. Who knows, there may be a Kia in my garage for a while to come.