Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
The Optima proves to be a nice sedan at a low price. It's four- and six-cylinder engines deliver competitive fuel economy and performance. Controls are easy to use, the interior is nicely detailed and the rear seat is among the most comfortable in its class. On the other hand, although it has a supple ride and secure handling, the Optima isn't particularly agile and suffers from notable suspension noise.
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
NA
The 2008 Kia Optima has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01*
02
03
04
05
06*
07
08
09
10
11*
12
13
14
15
16*
17
18
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
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 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 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
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:BRAKE LIGHTS:SWITCH
Apr 01 2013
Failure to illuminate the stop lamps during braking or inability to disengage the cruise control could increase the risk of a crash. Additionally, when the ignition is in the 'ON' position, the transmission shifter may be able to be moved out of PARK without first applying the brake. This may lead to unintentional movement of the car which may increase the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motors Corporation (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2007-2010 Rondo, model year 2007-2011 Sedona, Sorento and Sportage, model year 2010-2011 Soul, model year 2008-2011 Optima, model year 2010 Forte, model year 2007-2009 Amanti, and model year 2009 Borrego vehicles. Originally, in April 2013, Kia recalled 623,658 model year 2007-2010 Rondo and Sportage, model year 2007-2011 Sorento, model year 2007 Sedona, model year 2010-2011 Soul, and model year 2011 Optima vehicles. In September 2013, Kia informed the agency that it was adding an additional 356,719 vehicles to this campaign. The total number of vehicles being recalled is now 980,377. In the affected vehicles, the stop lamp switch may malfunction. A malfunctioning stop lamp switch may cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause an inability to deactivate the cruise control by depressing the brake pedal. Additionally, a malfunctioning stop lamp switch may also result in intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, affect the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock feature preventing the shifter from being moved out of the PARK position and cause the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) malfunction light to illuminate.
What should you do:
Kia will send an interim notification to owners in May 2013. When parts are available, owners will receive a second notification and dealers will replace the stop lamp switch, free of charge. Owners may contact Kia at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's recall campaign number is SC098.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 13V114000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 980377
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL
Jan 17 2012
IF THE CLOCK SPRING DEVELOPS HIGH RESISTANCE, IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH, THE DRIVERS AIR BAG WILL NOT DEPLOY AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROPERLY PROTECT THE DRIVER, INCREASING THE RISK OF INJURIES.
Summary:
KIA MOTORS AMERICA, INC. (KIA) IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2006-2008 KIA OPTIMA VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 29, 2005, THROUGH JANUARY 29, 2008, AND MODEL YEAR 2007 AND 2008 KIA RONDO VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 13, 2006, THROUGH MARCH 21, 2008. THE CLOCK SPRING CONTACT ASSEMBLY FOR THE DRIVER'S SIDE AIR BAG SUPPLEMENTAL RESTRAINT SYSTEM (SRS) MAY BECOME DAMAGED THROUGH USAGE OVER TIME. IF THE CLOCK SPRING CONTACT ASSEMBLY BECOMES DAMAGED, THE DRIVER'S AIR BAG ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT WILL EXPERIENCE A HIGH RESISTANCE CONDITION POTENTIALLY CAUSING THE DRIVER'S AIR BAG TO NOT DEPLOY.
What should you do:
KIA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE VEHICLE'S AIR BAG CLOCK SPRING CONTACT ASSEMBLY, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 11, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT KIA CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE CENTER AT 1-800-333-4542.
For more information:
KIA'S RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS SC094.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: 12V014000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 145755
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:LEVER AND LINKAGE:COLUMN SHIFT
Mar 09 2011
IF THE DRIVER LEAVES THE VEHICLE WITHOUT ENGAGING THE PARKING BRAKE, THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT THE VEHICLE CAN ROLL INJURE A PERSON IN ITS PATH OR CAUSE A CRASH.
Summary:
KIA IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2006-2008 OPTIMA VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 29, 2005, THROUGH JUNE 13, 2007. THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT THE SHIFT CABLE MAY HAVE BEEN INSTALLED INCORRECTLY, CAUSING TENSION IN THE CABLE. IF PRESENT, THIS CONDITION COULD CAUSE THE CABLE TO DETACH FROM THE SHIFTER ASSEMBLY'S DOWEL PIN PREVENTING THE TRANSMISSION FROM BEING SHIFTED. THE SHIFT LEVER CAN THEN BE MOVED INTO THE PARK (P) POSITION WHILE THE VEHICLE'S TRANSMISSION IS STILL IN THE LAST USED GEAR BEFORE DETACHMENT.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE SHIFT CABLE AND REINSTALL IF NECESSARY FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON MARCH 23, 2011. OWNER MAY CONTACT KIA AT 1-800-333-4542.
For more information:
KIA'S SAFETY RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS SC088.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: 11V153000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 70115
Check Vehicle for Unrepaired Recalls
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Change Vehicle