Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Compact Car Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000
Go

2003 Kia Optima

Style:

Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 335 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
    8.3/10
Sort Reviews by: 
Per Page:  5 | 10 | 25
Previous | 1 2 3 ... 67 | Next

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

The Best Value Car I Have Ever Owned!

By on Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfy, reliable, easy to maintain, cheap to run"

Cons: "Chrome not so great"

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

"I bought my Kia Optima little over 2years ago. In that time my wife and I have driven it 35,000 miles without any drama at all. It is comfortable, quiet, reliable, cheap to run, roomy, and has everything we need in a car. We have already decided to buy another Optima when it comes time to retire this one. I bought it with 50,000 miles as a cheap runaround for my wife. We wanted to stop using our Buick SUV so much, and wanted something cheap to run. Our beloved Buick ended up being sold, and the Kia is our main car now. After four trips to Tennessee - 2000 miles each way - and endless trips to Albuquerque and into Texas and Arizona have convinced us that Kia is the way to go. Best three grand I ever spent!"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great Car.

By on Thursday, June 24, 2010

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"Bought the EX with V-6 loaded New. No problems with this car at all. Living in MI with heavy snow fall and ice this car gets around awesome, never a worry driving anywhere. Stick with Michelin tires and it is great. 7 years old and still looks and drives like new."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

a real workhorse in a wonderful package

By on Wednesday, February 06, 2008

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

"I bought this car with no real time to shop around. My other car died in a less than great area, enroute to a freeway, without any warning. The transmission simply QUIT with 40,000 miles on the car! I decided to look at a Kia because of the 10 year warranty. I don't know what will convince me to buy another make of car ever! This rides and handles like a luxury car. I have an LX that is loaded with all available options. IT IS NOW 2 1/2 YEARS OLD AND I AM HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH IT. I expect to keep the car until I can no longer drive it. All controls are logical and well placed. It hugs the road like a much larger and heavier car. The trunk has plenty of room and the rear seats fold down to give you plenty of cargo space and room for rear passengers at the same time. You can carry a long item in the trunk, fold down part of the seat and still have one or two passengers in the rear seat. The automatic climate control system is as good as any that I have had on far more expensive cars. I have not had one single problem with this car and my dealer washes it for me at no cost if I just take it in and ask for a wash. What more could you possibly want?"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

2007 Kia Optima Ex

By on Monday, April 23, 2007

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have had my vehicle since late november and would reccommend it. I think the body style is pleasing and a real eye catcher, don't understand previous assumptions. Drives like a 6 cylinder and is only a 4 and gets better gas mileage. What more could you ask."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Sort Reviews by: 
Per Page:  5 | 10 | 25
Previous | 1 2 3 ... 67 | Next
Find Deals Near You vehicles for sale matching Kia Optima near Honolulu. See local deals