Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • 12 Best Family Cars of 2014
  • 10 Most Affordable Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
Go

2003 Kia Optima

Style:

Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 334 Ratings for the 2001 - 2006 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    7.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.3/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.4/10
Sort Reviews by: 
Per Page:  5 | 10 | 25
Previous | 1 2 3 ... 14 | Next

Great car! I'd buy one again!

By on Wednesday, August 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage, good price, reliability,"

Cons: "Belts and pulleys, cost to fix expens, order parts"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have a 2004 Kia Optima LX (4 cyl 2.4 L) When I bought this car USED, I bought it from a Buy here, Pay here dealership. The car had a little bit of a Warranty left on it, and had 46K miles on it. Now 2014, and the car has 114K miles on. Pros- GREAT GAS MILEAGE. In 2006, 2007, to fill my tank from 1/4 or even "E" it cost me about $20 to fill up. Now 2014, with gas $3.14-$3.45, it costs about $25-$30 from a 1/4 tank of gas. RELIABLE- The saying about "car will last long depending on how well you take care of it," is true. With that being said I have done religious oil changes, changed belts and pulleys on time, etc..Nothing but normal wear and tear on it. Cons- Squealing belt in cold weather, or wetness, due to heavy rain. Kind of hard on brakes. Since Kia is not American made, the parts have to be ordered, so therefor it can be expensive when it comes time to repair things. I know the motor/plastic piece on my door that has the mirror and window motor things, (can't remember name) was $200. Just for that little piece. This can also be said for Toyota's, good reliable cars, but expensive when time comes to fix. TIDBIT: Hyundai's are the sister to this car. Do not use belt dressing/grease on your belts! Makes things worse! Use gator back belts. Do pulley and belt change at 60,000 miles! If not, belt could break and get caught, causing damage to the engine! So if you see a Kia in the junkyard, it is probably more often then not, that someone didn't change the two belts."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

I bought the cheapest wished for the best!

By on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Easy to handel lots of fun to drive"

Cons: "The windows dont all work from driver controls"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my KIA! It's been a great car for me for the past eight years! Not one problem!"

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

a great car

By on Monday, June 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "boring body style"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have had this car for 4 years, very dependable."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Good value

By on Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought with 30k, now has 250k on original engine and original transmission. Cars dont last forever but this one is pretty close. Been burning oil for a while now. Have replaced most everything but how many others cars will go 250k and everything else still be original? Styling is a bit bland. But it drives nice and rides nice and is good on gas."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

I would buy another Kia, for sure.

By on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,500

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"My Kia has been a safe and reliable car. I would buy another and recommend it to friends."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Little Car!

By on Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fit, Finish, Standard Luxury, Reliable, Handling"

Cons: "Sound System Could be Better, No Rear A/C"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my Optima EX and she's done exceptionally well for us. No mechanical issues and lots of pep. She was my husband's car first for commuting and them my runabout. Holds lots of cargo for a sedan and very comfortable. When brand new she was often mistaken for a Lexus because of the body styling and leather interior. Very nice fit and finish and still going strong. We bought another Optima EX (2011) and love it also. We'll always have an Optima in the family."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

This is a great medium size car

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "it handles very well in any kind of normal driving"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This has been a very dependable little car with minimal maintenance. It is easy to operate and handles well in heavy traffic or interstate driving. All we have done as far as maintenance is tires, batteries, oil changes plus a couple inexpensive repairs which I don't recall as it was a few years back. This car was bought used from a dealer when it was two yrs. old. I would recommend this car to anyone who is looking for inexpensive transportation at a reasonable cost."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Just my size and comfort

By on Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have enjoyed my Kia and am now looking forward to upgrading to a Soul, it looks just quirky enough for my style. I have had minimal up keep to my I Optima, it has done well for me in all kinds of Michigan weather."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car for cost

By on Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Ride, Plenty of room inside"

Cons: "Stock radio not very good, Headlights"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I loved the price and what you got, and I upgraded the stock ugly radio with a Blue Tooth radio that works great in the car. I also dislike headlights that aren't glass because they get fogged but that is on my cars now days and I'm not too crazy about the seperation of lights in the front.. It has a great, smooth ride that I enjoy, especially on the bumpy wisconsin roads. Love it when my kids fall asleep on long drives, makes things alot easier Hah."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

very dependable

By on Saturday, March 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "dependable, beautiful body style, great warranty"

Cons: "small paint chips around door handles,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car with 11,000 miles on it. A one-owner car with all service records. The warranty was 60,000 miles. The only issues I had was with the stereo and the lumbar in the seat. Both were replaced free of charge. I traveled all over the country for work, and never had a problem. I would recommend Kia to anyone. The V-6 gives it power when you need it and it rides like a dream."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Longest I've ever owned a car

By on Thursday, January 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my baby brand new with only 17 miles on her in August 2003. She now has 120,000 miles on her and I'm trading her in on a 2013 Kia Optima. Previously, I traded my cars in every 2-3 years since I rarely was happy with a car for very long. The day I bought this car though I knew I'd be happy with her for a long time. The only maintenance I've had to do on her is a timing belt replaced, catalytic converter last year and a CV joint on the front axle last year. Oh, and a radiator hose that collapsed 3 months ago. She's been a great car and still gets 28 mpg (34 HWY). I'll be sad to see her go but I think it's time for an upgrade. Maybe my next Optima will last me just as long as this one did. This will be my 3rd Kia purchase in 15 years (first car was a Kia Sephia). I'm a proud Kia owner and will never buy anything else."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

One owner, dealer care, very clean, no dents, fun

By on Saturday, January 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Very clean, dent free, roomy 4 door V6 low, low mileage. Recent dealer oil change and check up. One owner, a very good driver, a lttle old lady in sneakers."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

a lovable money pit

By on Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive, handles well"

Cons: "engine troubles, picky about gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I bought this car used 3 years ago. It was the first car I've ever test-driven and I loved how it handled. There is enough play in the wheel that if your hands jitter a little, it won't affect where the car is headed, but it has automatic steering and is nothing like the ball-and-pinion steering I "upgraded" from. I didn't like it as much as I do now when I bought the car, but I needed a set of wheels other than my mother's car and the car I owned at the time was undrivable. I simply love my car, but what drives me crazy is how much work it needs to maintain. In the last 16 months alone, I had roughly $4500 worth of work done on the car, half of that alone from major engine work fixing a cylinder head issue. Before I had that fixed, the car had been having intermittent acceleration issues, but after I got it fixed (it was probably broken the day I bought the car and the problem kept getting worse with time), the car drove like a whole new car. I still sometimes have trouble with the acceleration, but now it is mainly due to bad gas (this car is so picky when it comes to gas, it acts up every time it doesn't like the gas you fill it up with) and/or wind. Although this car doesn't get pushed around in the wind easily, the 4-cylinder engine sounds stressed whenever it is very windy out. Overall, when it is not being picky or having engine issues, this car is a very reliable car. The only other issues I've had is the AC compressor somehow got busted on me and I have to replace a headlight every three months (and soak the headlights every year). I also replace the windshield wipers every year, but that's mainly due to love bugs tearing them up and scratching the windshield in the process. I love my car, but I think I bought a lemon the day I bought it. Overall, I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone because it is a money pit, but if you have the money (which I don't), it does make a fantastic car that handles well on curves and is a nice car to take down a windy country road for a drive. If I had known three years ago what a money pit i would be buying, I wouldn't have purchased this car, but now I'm stuck with it. Oh well. I'll probably keep driving it until the day it refuses to run, as I cannot afford to repair it (college student...I love my parents) yet less replace it."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

good famely car

By on Friday, September 27, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "cheep parts easy maintenance compfy ride"

Cons: "exterior trim falls off easly"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I always thought kia's were cheep, I was wrong. good quality affordable reliable parts. Good balance between power and fuel efficiency."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

An OK car

By on Thursday, September 26, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "cheap price, decent gas mileage"

Cons: "bad acceleration, fuses, loud noises"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I bought this car used in 2006. I've had to fix a lot of problems on this car, and just like everyone else said, the headlights go out quickly and they never seem bright enough. My cd player constantly skipped, even if my cds were new. My radio even acted up sometimes. I do not have a v6 so my acceleration was not good at all. I have a hard time driving up hills. It's okay on gas mileage. I would suggest this car as a first car for someone. I would not purchase another kia."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

best vehicle i ever owned

By on Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "No better car for the price."

Cons: "None."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car new. It has never been in the shop for repairs other than recommended maintenance. Mileage is better than expected."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great handling, good mileage, low maintenance

By on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "mileage, great ride, reliability, good value"

Cons: "headlight issues, electronics, dealership woes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Have owned two Kias and they both are great. Common issues on both however are: Key Fobs go bad, have electrical issues (blown fuses) and headlights burn out way, way too fast. Complaint is that the design requires a special tool to replace headlights costing $40 for labor to install. Have gone through over 20 headlights in 9 years! Also dealership does not stock any Kia parts so it requires 2 appointments for even routine maintanance. First for diagnostic and second for repair. Kia claims to have free loaner cars always available but we have found out the hard way that's just not true. As much as I love my Kias overall I probably will not buy another one due to these easily fixable issues. Be aware!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Ended up being a good surprise

By on Monday, August 19, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "priced well, comfortable"

Cons: "blows headlight, taillight bulbs."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I have been satsified with this vehicle, rides great, good gas mileage, comfortable. I have the V6 so it has plenty of pick up. The only issue I have had is that it went through a period where it was blowing tail light, head light bulbs. I replaced about 12 in a 2month period??? Issue finally resolved, weird."

Love it still

By on Friday, August 16, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "RELIABLE"

Cons: "BULBS GO OUT ALOT"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my 2005 kia (v-6) optima used with 68,000 miles, I drive a lot to work and home now at 108,000. I changed timing belt, and replaced a/c condenser (pin hole leak) that's it. been very reliable, decent on gas, was considering getting new one, but ILOVE THE BODY STYLE OF THIS MODEL! REMINDS ME OF A JAGUAR!"

BEST CAR I HAVE EVER OWNED

By on Friday, April 26, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "EXCELLENT PRICE. FUN TO DRIVE."

Cons: "HEAD ROOM LITTLE TIGHT"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"AWESOME CAR. NO MECHANICAL ISSUES YET."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

very good vehicle for a short person

By on Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price, very reliable, easy to drive and park"

Cons: "Back seat pockets elastic is too strong"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"vehicle works great for a short person. the back seat neck braces obstruct drivers view. removed mine as no back seat passengers. the only problem I have had is the air bag light coming on and staying on when no problems with the air bag. This only happens when the drivers seat is put in a different position. Have had no problems since I no longer move the driver seat."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Loved this Car

By on Friday, January 04, 2013

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Totaled

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Engine never missed a beat, ok on gas"

Cons: "Electrical stuff started to fail."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Engine Never failed it was clean and never even sounded funny. I literally lived in it for 2 yrs. it was the first car I owned. So I scratched it up but it still looked great from a distance. I nicked and dinged it like crazy but was not easily damaged. Comfy and rugged believe it or not. I put this car through a lot and as long as I did all the maintence it stayed steady"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

This is my second Optima

By on Monday, November 26, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very reliable, afforadable, and great on gas."

Cons: "Seats can feel small to larger men"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my first Optima and put 80K on it. This is my second Optima and have put 90K on it. I am looking at buying my third Optima. Rides like a bigger sedan."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

MY FIRST CAR

By on Thursday, September 27, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, Accelerates good, handles well"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I love my 2001 Kia Optima LX. I am only 18 and i purchased this lovely vehicle, it is just for me to go form point A to B and let me tell you i have never had a Major problem or issue, i did once when the check engine like came on for something so small, which it cost me under $30 and that was it. It is safe. I get really good gas mileage."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Worst car I ever owned! Literally fell apart!

By on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I owned and sold this car
Reason: This car is not durable-- literally falling apart

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good gas milage, handled well"

Cons: "Cheaply made door locks, sensors, and latches fail"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"From the moment we bought the Kia Optima, small things began failing on it. The quick response from the engine and the manageability of this car was a great selling point, but it is NOT DURABLE AT ALL. Every time I turned around something small and plastic broke on this car. The starter was replaced on this car 3 times in 3 years. It was less than 24 months old when the windshield SPONTANEOUSLY (no chips in the glass) broke all the way across from one side to the other on a hot summer day. I sat in the car and watched the crack travel across the glass. Then the latches on things broke-- the center console storage, the fold down middle armrest in the back seat, the glove box latch, and the trunk release latch-- all malfunctioned or broke off. Then the door locks began to fail-- they are all plastic gears inside the doors and will suddenly stop locking and unlocking. I can't count how many times we would have to "work" with the doors to unlock. I got "locked" in this car more than once and had to crawl out the opposite side because neither the key lock or the door handle would open the door. We fixed one door and another door did the same thing. The side moulding on the exterior this car also became lose and would come off. The clips that hold it on break off, causing it to peel off the car while driving. During the time we had this car, we replaced the headlight bulbs numerous times (my husband started carrying extras in the car)-- and I have never had a headlight "burn out" in any other car. The final straw was when the sensors for the air bags began malfunctioning. You cannot get it inspected with lights blinking that the airbags had failed, and it was only the sensors giving false readings that needed to be replaced (repeatedly). This car felt "cheap" and plastic and was not worth the money that we continuously poured into it to keep it running and looking good. The only good thing I can say about this car was that it got good gas milage."

16 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Sort Reviews by: 
Per Page:  5 | 10 | 25
Previous | 1 2 3 ... 14 | Next
Find Deals Near You vehicles for sale matching Kia Optima near Honolulu. See local deals