2003 Kia Optima - LX V6 (A4)
Pros: Drivers seat, being able to adjust the seat to me
Cons: Rear view mirror, but this was fixed with an after market mirror
Advice: Buy this car, Optima LX V6, you will not be sorryIn walking up to the vehicle the first thing is the appearance of the car. It looks impressive just standing there. The vehicle we took home was a 2003 Optima LX V6 Olive Green with the tan interior. The interior offers plenty of room. In sitting in the drivers seat I adjusted the seat all the way back, I was surprised to see I could stretch my legs all the way out. Being 6-1 this was a plus. The drivers side seat offers many options or positions to make the ride that much more comfortable. Another feature that I liked was the controls. All are with in reach and do not require any stretching to reach. Plus you don't have to take your eye off the road long to locate the controls. Once you have adjusted to the vehicle you can locate the controls with out even glancing at them. The steering wheel fit into my hands great and the tilt of the steering wheel affords a custom fit to each driver. The pedal, (brake and gas) are located to offer comfort to each driver. The transmission and being able to drive the vehicle like a manual transmission, (minus the clutch) is great. The V-6 engine gives the car all the punch it needs. I was impressed at the take off power and ability to get out and pass another slower vehicle. There is plenty of glass and offers the driver the ability to see other vehicles and down the road in comfort. The ride is great! Driving this car is fun! Having looked at other vehicles of the same size I am very impressed with the quality, comfort, price, gas mileage. Speaking of gas mileage the sticker stated 20/27. I have 1000 miles on our car and we have averaged 30 MPG in City/Highway driving. I am sure that the first road trip with the car we will find it getting 30 plus on the highway. Another feature that is a plus is the dealership. I was impressed with the sales people and the upper management, and the service department. Plus having called the 24 hour road trouble number I found that the people on the other end were very caring. I am sure that if I ever had a problem that getting the car back on the road again would not be a problem at all. Warranty. There is none like it! And unlike other warrantys that other manufactures give the people at KIA stand behind what they say and provide what they say. Looking for a new car.......... buy a KIA Optima, you will not be sorry. My entire family has been a GM only family. When I pulled into my fathers driveway the comments were, 'Did you buy a Jag'? They all looked at the car and when given a ride they were all impressed with it. Great looks, great ride, great features, and super price, buy this car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2003 Kia Optima - SE V6 (A4)
Pros: The 10yr/100k warranty and it's smooth ride.
Cons: It seems to unhappily and loudly labor under hard acceleration.
Advice: Don't let pre-concieved notions about Kia keep you from considering this car, it's quality will surprise you.Good ride quality with pretty good handling and road manners and very quiet. The V6 has pretty good acceleration, but doesn't seem to like to be pushed too hard. The transmission shifts smoothly and the tiptronic feature gives the Optima a sporty flair, it's not a sports car, but it's no slouch. It's very comfortable to drive and to ride in, but it could use a few more ponies under the hood. It's a car you can like (not love) to drive. The Optima offers near Camry and Accord size and features for Carolla or Civic price. On a scale of 1-10, if the Camry's a 10 then the Optima is an 8.5, but at a 7 price with an 11 warranty. Sounds like a bargain to me.
2002 Kia Optima - SE V6 (A4)
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.
2002 Kia Optima - SE (M5)
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.
2002 Kia Optima - LX V6 (A4)
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.