The midsized Optima is essentially a Hyundai Sonata with less-adventurous styling and a generous helping of exterior chrome. Like the Sonata, it is available in two trim levels and with a choice of two engines: a 2.4-liter, 149-hp Four or a 2.7-liter, 181-hp V6. V6 models are only available with an automatic transmission. Four-cylinder models come reasonably well equipped, though antilock brakes aren't offered.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
The 2002 Kia Optima has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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Overall Reliability Verdict
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NA
NA
NA
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NA
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NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 420,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2019 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Recalls
PROVIDED BY
SUSPENSION:FRONT
May 27 2009
CORROSION OF THE FRONT SUBFRAME COULD LEAD TO SEPARATION, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
KIA MOTORS CORPORATION (KMC) IS RECALLING 36,538 MODEL YEAR 2001-2004 OPTIMA VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. ROAD SALT APPLIED IN THESE STATES DURING THE WINTER MONTHS MAY RESULT IN PROGRESSIVE, INTERNAL CORROSION OF THE FRONT SUBFRAME. OVER TIME, SUCH SUBFRAME CORROSION NEAR THE CONNECTION TO THE LOWER CONTROL ARM CAN LEAD TO WHEEL MISALIGNMENT AND/OR OTHER NOTICEABLE STRESS IN STEERING, OR ACCELERATED ABNORMAL TIRE WEAR.
What should you do:
KMC WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND DEALERS WILL REPAIR THE VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON JUNE 15, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT KIA'S CONSUMER ASSISTANCE CENTER AT 1-800-333-4542.
For more information:
KMC'S RECALL CAMPAIGN NO. SC075.OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V183000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 36538
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:STORAGE:TANK ASSEMBLY
Apr 12 2004
FUEL SPILLAGE IN THE PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE COULD RESULT IN A FIRE.
Summary:
SOME PASSENGER VEHICLES MAY CONTAIN A FUEL TANK ASSEMBLY VALVE THAT MAY NOT CLOSE PROPERLY. IF A VEHICLE WITH A FUEL TANK ASSEMBLY VALVE THAT IS NOT PROPERLY CLOSED WERE TO ROLL OVER, FUEL SPILLAGE MAY OCCUR.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSTALL AN ADDITIONAL FUEL TANK ASSEMBLY VALVE. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN JUNE 25, 2004. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT KIA AT 1-800-333-4542.
For more information:
KIA RECALL NO. SCO38.CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 04V180000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 25803
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:STARTER ASSEMBLY
Mar 04 2003
INTERNAL GAPS WITHIN THE CASES ALLOWED EPOXY TO CONTACT THE PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD, WHICH RESULTED IN CRACKING OF THE CIRCUIT BOARD CAPACITOR. A DAMAGED CKP CAPACITOR COULD RESULT IN ENGINE STALLING.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH 2.5 AND 2.7 LITER V6 ENGINES, THE CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR (CKP) CASES DID NOT MEET DIMENSIONAL SPECIFICATIONS.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE CKP. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN MARCH 28, 2003. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT KIA AT 1-800-333-4542.
For more information:
KIA'S RECALL NUMBER IS SC021.CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 03V067000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 11501
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