The 2004 Kia Optima is a very poorly constructed vehicle and buying this car was very regrettable choice. It was my first Kia and definitely the last! Edmunds was listing this car as "excellent." Where these "raving" reviews come from are a mystery; whoever is providing the information making the 2004 Kia Optima look so good, in my opinion, is absolutely lying through their teeth with inaccurate information. Believe me, nothing is good about this car, except maybe it looks "pretty." My 2004 Kia Optima has given me nothing but problems from the day I purchased it and drove it home. I had it for almost one year and nine months. Maintaining it was a constant stress on my wallet with tire, mechanical, heating, transmission and electrical issues. I was amazed at how everything was cheaply made and how easily everything breaks consistently. When jacking up the car, the frame will actually bend. I put at too much of my hard earned money into keeping this lemon on the road. Finally, enough was enough & sold this poor excuse for a car for a huge loss. But the beauty of my sad story is this "nightmare" is finally out of my hair. I will never drive another Kia again, even if it is given to me for free. I feel sorry for those who invest a large amount of money into buying a new Kia. Do not buy a Kia!
Originally purchased from auction in 2010 for 2,500 USD with 125K. I did a CarFax check and it was a former rental, which can be a problem, and was owned by a private owner for less than a year after it was part of a fleet. Belt squeak and no air conditioning when I bought it, I knew it was a gamble. That gamble paid off. V6 is the preferred version of the Optima. The 4 cylinder had numerous problems. Bought a cheap can of R134A. Air conditioning done. Belt squeak stopped mid-trip home from the auction. Spark plugs replaced and fluid change in 2010. Spark plugs and all hoses changed in 2014 as well by mechanic before driving to a new home in Florida from Alabama. Car drove like a dream until probably 2016. Mid-2015, the CV Boots finally leaked and there is creaking as I drive. I have purchased both axles and struts and shocks. Brake changes 3 times since purchased. Compressor leaked out refrigerant 3 weeks ago. From my receipts, I have paid about 2300 USD in parts and labor for the last 7 years including oil changes. All work except for the checkup before my move were done by me. 191K on the engine. Rear windows stopped rolling down in 2015. No need to fix. They roll up fine once down, but I use this primarily for commute. Interior issues, none. Seals still intact and no air leaks. No tears in cloth upholstery from wear or other issues. I keep the interior clean and do a deep clean about 1-2 times a year. Steering, Braking and Acceleration are great. Only issue is timing for low gear to high. There is a small amount of lag when shifting into low gears sometimes, but the pickup is great. Exterior looks good. Door handles and door trim are plastic and the paint has chipped off as time has gone by. This is not a big issue, but it effects the uniformity of the exterior, but it is a 13 year old car, so I can't complain. Overall, a great purchase. About 685 per year outside of gasoline for purchase and maintenance. I am satisfied and this is a good, solid used car for everyday commutes.
I bought a 2004 used Kia Optima LX 4cy, front wheel drive, back in 2006 or 2007. It had 47k miles on it. This car was bought from a reputable dealership, one owner, and the cost was about $10,000 dollars. It had air conditioning, powered windows and locks, cd player and radio, powered mirrors, and rear folding seats, with a console to pull down in the back for 2 cup holders. And 2 cup holders in the front. It was awesome on gas. Very reliable (if you take good care of it). Change your belts and pulleys when needed or at 60,000 miles! You have 2 belts. One for power steering and ac and the other is something else. Since it is the sister car to Hyundai, the parts between the 2 are interchangeable. Only issue I had was electrical problems when I hit over 100,000 miles. But it was 10 or 11 years old when I got rid of it. Also, if there are heavy rains or big puddles, your belts will squeal, no harm though. Brakes are good. When it breaks down, might be a little more expensive to repair because it's not american, but you don't have to take it to a special dealership or anything to fix it. Plenty of places will fix them. CONS: During the winter it handles about as well as any front wheel drive, but it sits a little lower to the ground. Electrical issues I had at 100k miles was the horn blaring at random times, and radio being funny. My LX 4 cyl, didn't have heated or cooled seats, sunroof, gps, or blue tooth. But had cigarette outlet and outlet for gps or whatever. Not good for very tall people. My 6ft 7 ex husband had a hard time getting in and out, and leg room problems. It's a good car for short or shorter people. According to my husband at the time, he said it had a 15 or 20 gallon tank. I got about 25-32 mpg. Take good care of it and it will take good care of you. Only cars I will drive are chevy and Kia's.
This car is very reliable, but no fun. The style is very bland inside and out, there is no power behind acceleration, the V6 guzzles gas like an SUV or truck would. I owned a little 4 cylinder Hyundai Elantra before this car, and I really miss it. I went from filling the gas tank every 2 weeks to filling it every week now. This car is like a tank, heavy, safe, reliable, I would take it anywhere, but have no fun getting there. I just don't like the way it handles. I got this car with 75,000 miles on it, so I'm probably stuck with it for awhile. It hasn't broken down on me yet.
Needs better mpg for sure, more storage space in front and back.
I bought this car two years ago as my first car, i got it for 400 bucks all smashed up. i fixed it at 75k miles and ive had no problems at all except crank sensor and belt squeak. I drive it pretty rough, but i perform all needed routine maintenance. it now has 86k miles and has served me well.
its nice and simple to use and isnt very expensive to own, i put premium in it and i can get 400+ miles on a tank.
engine bay upgrades, everything is shoved together. wasnt easy to rebuild.