"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."
"The only thing that makes me sad with this vehicle is the resale value of it. It does not seem quite fair that this car is valued so low. It is below what I owe on it at this moment. I have a 2008 Optima and resale is about $4,000 lower than my loan. I will drive this until it falls apart and will buy another, but I do feel the resale value is unfair on this car"
"Amazing! That sums it up. This is the 3rd Optima I've had. I've had it for 3 years now and 48,000 miles and friends continue to be impressed by the ride and appearance every time in it. All my Optimas have been excellent but the build quality continues to improve. Among the NEW vehicles I have owned in the past 10 years include 2 Mazdas, 3 Dodge Caravans, 1 Volvo Wagon, 1 Nissan Altima, 1 Honda Accord, and a couple that escape me at the moment. This is FAR and AWAY the best value, the nicest ride and most comfortable sedan I've ever owned.
Very nimble in corners and turns, very stable and predictable, extremely quiet, shockingly quick to 60 mph and acouple of months ago I drove I-65 from Chicago area to Indianapolis and was never below 100 mph for an hour and a half and it was sooo smooth and quiet, even at that speed that all my passengers slept most of the way.
Even after 48K miles the car tracks dead straight with my hands off the wheel and stops without any pulling. The ONLY maintenance the vehicle has required that wasn't normal, routine maintenance is the remote trunk lock button on my key fob has lost its programming 4 times. That's it. I bought this car new with bargaining and incentives for just a tad over $12,000 -- it's a 2006.5 model and it's current KBB value is just about $7000. That's a loss of about $5000. A similar Accord has lost just a little more in value but cost over $4K MORE to buy and had less space, the same MPG and poorer handling AND a vastly poorer warranty. And Kia is 5 Star Crash -rated in every category with side-curtain air bags standard even on this model! So, I would have lost as much money to depreciation and paid more to get less. Yeah, I've owned Honda. Never again. As long as Kia makes 'em this good and prices 'em this well, I'm sticking to Kia. Try it blindfolded (let a friend drive) and then YOU tell ME which is better! You'll be shocked. I guarantee it."
"You cannot find a better value in a full size sedan.
5 year/60,000 mile standard warranty with a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain and 5 year/60,000 mile roadside assistance.
Great styling and comfort to boot.
You can buy a base model with automatic/air and all power assists for under $18,000.
You can keep your Camry and Accord. I'll take my Optima and love it!!
No one beats the value of this vehicle!!"
Cons: "Seats a bit uncomfortable, styling very boring"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car has been amazing! Only a few minor issues happened while it was still under 100,000 warranty, and Kia quickly fixed those things at no charge. Since the warranty has ended, we have only had usual maintenance. Nothing has gone wrong with this car! 8 years, and still running strong!"