Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: The body
Cons: drop in property value
Advice: see what else is out thereI bought my Kia Optima LX in January of 2006. It was a 2002 and drove wonderful. After it hit 60,000 miles second gear would stick in low gears(it was a manual) and i would have to force it out. and the brakes were the most squeaky things i ever heard before and the dealership said nothing was wrong. i never had one mechanical problem with for the year that i drove it. i also got into a car accident some guy ran into the driver side and the car is recked. beware of the retail price my kia did not hold its retail at all.
Pros: Apperance is neat aircon is cool
Advice: Buy this carI bought the car used last year in april I have driven the car to Pennsylvania (Pocono Mt) and gave me no trouble at all. the gas is great, the ride is smooth. I climbed to colorado Rocky Mountain with no problem. The car had 4 Cylinder and I can't believed how strong it is until I have driven it back and forth from Calif to Pennsylvania approx 7,400 miles. I recommend this car to everyone. My car is still look new I had 117,000 and still running without problem never been to the shop. Ijust change the Oil and Spark Plugs.
Pros: Handling and gas mileage
Cons: Lack of trunk space
Advice: Buy the V6 if you want performance.I purchased my Kia Optima LS V6 new. I am very impressed with the over all performance, comfort, and gas mileage, which is an average of 30 miles to the gallon at highway speeds. At very high speeds (faster than you should be driving) it feels a little unstable to me, but I normally never drive at these speeds. I only checked it out for perfomace once at these speeds. I have have had only one problem in 10,000 miles. That was a shifting problem. It was quickly correct with a minor adjustment to the computer. With the price I paid ( below the sticker price) and the warrenties. I highly recommend the Kia Optima V6. I think it is a great value for the money, and equals many cars that cost much more than the Kia
Pros: control layout is excellent, and very intuitive.
Cons: cruise control power switch is on dash, while other cruise control buttons are on the steering wheel.
Advice: I would advise all buyers to opt for the V6 and leather upholstery, which gives the feel of a much more expensive car.When looking for a new car to replace our aging 1996 Cadillac DeVille, we were looking for something maybe a bit smaller. We first looked at a CTS. Then a friend suggested we look at Kia. After laughing a bit, I decided hey, why not? So we went to a Kia dealership operated by the Chrysler and Mercedes dealer in Dublin, Ohio. And, I admit to being amazed by this car. The looks of the SE V6 with all the chrome trim, alloy wheels, and moonroof, along with the rear spoiler, were reminiscent of a BMW from the side. When I got inside, I was amazed by the amount of leg room, and the generous seat travel of the power seats. The leather upholstery was as nice as on the Cadillac we owned, and an extra feature that was nice was the lumbar support adjustment. Suffering with lower back problems, I found the seats to be very comfortable, even on long trips. The quality control on this car is absolutely the best of any new car I ever owned in the last 30 years. And, I found the V6 engine to be very smooth and powerful. For freeway ramps and the like, it has plenty of smooth, willing power. Push it, and it growls like a much more powerful car, and will quickly take you well above the speed limit (WAY above). The speedometer is 140+ mph, and since this car is only turning 2500 rpm at 65 mph, and has a 6500 rpm redline, which is easily reached, you can imagine just how fast it can go. The wide Michelin tires are xcellent, and help to provide this fine car with a very quiet ride and great handling for a mid-size sedan. I felt that the car was a bit quieter on the road than my Cadillac was, and it definitely handled better. Shortly after purchasing the Optima SE V6, I drove from Columbus, Ohio to Louisville, Kentucky and found the car to be every bit as comfortable as much larger, heavier cars. And, the great thing about this car is... Getting the look and feel of a luxury car for half the price. And the quality was outstanding, the first car I ever bought that had zero defects from the factory, and in the 5,000 plus miles I have driven, the only problem was a defective seat belt tensioner on the passenger side. As for the engine and transmission, this car, at the oil change time of 3,000 miles (the interval at which I change it), the oil is still clean, and is exactly on the full mark where it was at the last oil change. Also, there were no oil or transmission fluid spots whatsoever on my garage floor, and this is the first car I ever owned that didnt do a little spotting. My experience is so great with this car, my wife and I are alaready planning a second one to replace our other car. And, every control is laid out in a very logical, easy to use fashion. And, under the hood, any user accessible items like dipsticks and fluid fills, are right out in the open and easy to get to.
Pros: SE features
Cons: power windows/locks and a lack of rear interior lighting for the back seat passengers.
Advice: In addition to test driving the V6 models, test drive the V4 models.Since we've (my wife and I) bought the car in April 2002, we've driven it to the western (Panhandle) and Southwestern parts of Florida for leisure trips. Even though we bought the 4 cylinder model SE edition, it really rides smooth whether on the back roads at a slower rate of speed, or on the interstate at a faster rate of speed. We're very satisfied at the level of comfort and performance for the duration of our road trips.
Cons: Fuel indicator
Advice: Don't pay MSRPHad car for 6 weeks/1200 miles. Acceleration is there is you press the gas pedal hard enough. I drive to/from work 23 miles each way. No complaints. I don't drive the car hard, and the cars in front of me tend to leave a large gap for other commuters to cut in front of me. Comfortable ride. Took 2 weeks to adjust the seat just the right way. I paid $14,450 for a 2001 in May 2002. The dealer has one lying around. Had 500 miles on it. For the money, I am getting a whole lot of car. This one is a keeper. Saw comparable Sonata for $2000 more. Personally, I like the exterior of Optima. My wife thinks the Sonata is cuter. Look for the LX V6. You can't go wrong.