The Kia Optima stands out among typical humdrum midsized sedans with a well-tailored coupe-like silhouette. It also comes with a generous helping of standard equipment for the price. But look past these initial draws and the Optima proves quite ordinary. Neither noise isolation nor ride comfort are stellar. This iteration of the Optima remained a good choice, but was showing its age relative to the newer-designed competition.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A 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.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A 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.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2009. Side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2007. ESC available from 2006, standard from 2010.
Road Test

The Kia Optima stands out among typical humdrum midsized sedans with a well-tailored coupe-like silhouette. It also comes with a generous helping of standard equipment for the price. But look past these initial draws and the Optima proves quite ordinary. Neither noise isolation nor ride comfort are stellar.

This iteration of the Optima remained a good choice, but was showing its age relative to the newer-designed competition. The Optima has secure, if uninspiring handling and the engine and transmission are unobtrusive. At 27 mpg overall, fuel economy was respectable, but fell short of the 30 mpg competitors were doing at the time. A hybrid was available too.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (274 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 (200 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 hybrid (206 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Kia Optima owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"Camera failed one month after rnd of warrenty. Cost to repair $450"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Backup camera was staticky. It was covered under warranty and replaced"

Anonymous, NV (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"backup camera would intermittently not function. most noticeable on hot days. dealer could not recreate the issue, so it has not been resolved"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"backup camera was going out for several months intermint and couldn't get it fixed when I took it in for service took 1.5 yrs to get fixed"

Thomas H., FL (2012 Kia Optima SX)

"Backup camera failed at 49000 miles. Needed to be replaced by the dealer. Kia has issued a TSB about this problem so it must be common"

Michael M., OH (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Back up camera failed to work all the time. KIA installed a new camera, covered under warranty"

Mary G., MO (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"back up camera stopped working. still trying to determine cause"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"camera doesn't work on rainy days"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
CD player

"Amp problem same as radio"

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"CD player stopped working. Had to be replaced"

Anonymous, OR (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"It's very different from phone apps and is too complicated to use while driving"

Charles N., NC (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Navigation system calculates the best route thinking that any state routes are automatically 60mph highways, which is rarely/ever the case. Its estimates of drive times are wildly inaccurate, rendering the system nearly useless"

Michael M., OH (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"It constantly loses the stored previous destinations. The Sirius xm road reports give constant wrong information about traffic conditions. It is not easy to use"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"VOICE ACTIVATION DID NOT RECOGNIZE A LOCAL CITY"

R S., ON (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"In-dash system touch screen stopped working. KIA replaced entire unit under warranty"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Phone became difficult to pair with Bluetooth, and will drop Bluetooth connection sporadically"

Holly C., MO (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Bluetooth system is horrible in this car. Have to regularly disconnect everything and reinstall phone info. Have taken it into dealer, they said, this happens in Kias and offered no solution"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Bluetooth was UNABLE to connect my Iphone but was ABLE to connect my wife's iphone. CaR did did NOT acknowledge my phone"

Stephen F., VA (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Rarely automatically pairs with mt I-Phone"

Leonard A., FL (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"For unknown reasons the Bluetooth periodically disconnects. Regularly, your stored contacts will not be available"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Unable to download number address book. Dealer unable to resolve."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"Amp"

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"When rear defroster is turned on, it causes radio static"

Reynaldo A., CA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Radio stated fading out, then stopped completely"

James W., MD (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Radio freezes and/or loses connection"

James D., TX (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"radio failed and was replaced"

David K., CA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Sound stopped coming out of the radio system. I had to pay to replace it and I paid for a refurbished one. It failed within the first month and had to have a 2nd one installed. Both were NOT the same as the original in very slight ways"

Jennifer S., CA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Radio did not download cell phone book and stations would get stuck, the radio was replaced under the extended warranty I purchased when I bought the car"

Archie E., MN (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The entire radio had to be replaced at a cost in excess of $500."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The radio first lost its memory, and then stopped receiving Sirius XM signals."

S S., PA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Steering wheel controls

"reset button did not reset so that you could not clear a message and read the cars mileage"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Steering wheel controls froze up once"

Leonard A., FL (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"I cannot change the volume on the radio anymore...and the voice command on my Bluetooth works intermittently."

Sharon B., NC (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The button that controls the radio does not work"

Sharon B., NC (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"Have to speak loudly and repeat myself. Sometimes I just give up. Also, the thing requires key words that I just forget"

Charles N., NC (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"voice control rarely gets familiar voices right"

Stephen F., VA (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Problem actually happened about two years ago. The UVO quite "talking" when the listen button was pressed. Dealer replaced UVO head unit and fixed the problem. Has not returned"

William H., TN (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The cell phone connection ability failed for a month or two. However, it did start working again and has worked ever since."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"I realized within the first day of owning my Kia that it was pulling to the left. I took it in and they did not fix it. A few weeks later, I hit a guard gate for which I had to have my windshield etc replaced. After the repairs, I took the car in again with the same complaint. They kept my car all day then presented me with a bill for several hundred dollars saying that the problem was an "alignment" issue caused by my accident and it should have been fixed by the auto body shop. I have tak"

Cheryl S., FL (2012 Kia Optima LX)

"Control of the car"

Anonymous, AL (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Ball joints

"shifting was jerky. factory rep ordered replacement. went bad have to be replaced"

Anonymous, UT (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Bushings

"Steering had a clunking feel at end of radius turn of wheel. Found out there was a recall so had it fixed at next maintenance interval at no cost. Why I wasn’t contacted about this bothers me."

Mike G., CA (2012 Kia Optima)
Power steering leaks

"the power steering problem made turning difficult and it also made noises."

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"Noted clicking sound on steering wheel. Found a worn out power steering motor rubber coupler."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"This was an early electric power steering system for Kia. On center feel on the highway, especially with a crosswind, is very poor. By very poor I mean a pronounced stickiness when making steering corrections when traveling in a straight line. Because of the constant corrections required, this is extremely tiring on highway trips."

Robert C., ON (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"The steering rather suddenly became "notchy". On-center feeling was lost, and it became more difficult to maintain a straight line on the highway. The dealer replaced a worn coupling in the steering linkage under warranty, and although there is a definite improvement, I am not entirely convinced that it is back to the way it was"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"steering coupling had a serious flat spot occurring at around 8000 miles. They told me the factory installed a inferior part and they installed a better one"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"There was too much play in the steering wheel. A faulty piece was replaced under warranty"

Mae S., MD (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"A small plastic linkage part went bad, causing uneven steering response. It is well known by Kia and was replaced under a special extended warranty"

Robert L., VA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The steering wheel was sticking when driving"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Need to have a steering bushing replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The electric power steering assembly began to have problems, making steering difficult."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Considerable back & forth play developed in steering wheel. Dealership diagnosed as linkage failure that could be catastrophic. Estimate to fix $1,200-$1,500. Fortunately, extended warranty purchased when car was new covered. Out of pocket only $100."

Anonymous, OR (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"clicking feeling when at higher speed and moving the wheel very gently to right or left. If I was going 55 miles per hour, for example, there was a click when I had the car going straight but wanted to go left or right. Dealer fixed."

Paul R., LA (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Part of a recall I was not notified about. Fixed at no charge"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"steering had a flat spot in it. replaced a component that is supposed to be more relient"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Steering wheel vibration

"I had to get the steering repaired under a recall because the wheel would rattle every time I hit a bump."

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Steering wheel loose during slow,short turns. Mx replaced bushing and it fixed the problem"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Tie rods

"Ball joint went bad and was a dealer ONLY replacement option"

Anonymous, UT (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Need to be replaced because of a potholes"

Micah T., MI (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"After ONLY 7,400 miles, I had to replace the front tires! Nexus tires are an inferior product"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"Started getting noise from front of car, took it to dealer and they diagnosed a bad wheel beraing. The repair was completed and included under warranty."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

"12vokt power plug dud not work. Radio stopped working"

James W., MD (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Cruise control

"Cruise control button has stopped working entirely. I cannot use cruise control at this time."

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"An ongoing issue is that when I push my cruise control button to "ON" it actually changes a display that also shows gas mileage, trip data, miles to emply etc. It's ALWAYS a roll of the dice as to whether I will actually get the cruise control turned on with the first attempt (usually that answer is NO). This is the problem that the KIA dealership has told me "we cannot fix this problem because we cannot duplicate it". I'm not buying that excuse, but I am sick of dealing with an incompetent s"

Cheryl S., FL (2012 Kia Optima LX)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"One of the driving lights burned out within 1 yr. It was too expensive to replace: $150"

Anonymous, NM (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Break lights would not light. Dealer charged over $500 for repair which ended up being a failed relay with value less than $20."

Joseph P., AZ (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Gauges

"warning message came on intermittently. dealer had problem finding cause. finally came up with answer. not a problem. dashboard gauges (MPG) resets by itself. warning message comes on for about two seconds, then goes off"

Anonymous, UT (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Headlights

"Bulb burned out"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seats

"Drivers seat failed, then passenger seat failed approx. 12 months after"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Heating pad in bottom of driver seat failed"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Both front seat heaters failed to heat properly"

Tom W., NJ (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The seats didn't warm up or cool down properly"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Front passenger heating element stopped working at 30,000 miles (replaced under warranty). Front driver's side heating element stopped working at 45,000 (being replaced under warranty)"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The passenger seat has ceased to heat up or cool down anymore. Not sure for how long as I don't frequently have a passenger."

Sharon B., NC (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"The overhead dome light quit working properly when the door was opened. The switch was found to be faulty. I was able to replace the entire unit to correct the problem."

Anonymous, MO (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Overhead light console failed - light would not go on when door is opened"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Interior lights did not come on when door was opened was fixed by replacing the light panel under warranty"

Patrick C., GA (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The interior lights sometimes don't come on when the doors are opened. It would appear to be an issue with the fuse box and it needs to be replaced. We don't plan to do this because the problem is intermittent and not a major issue"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Interior Console Dome light did not come on when doors were opened. Covered under warranty, replaced and is working now"

Dan B., TX (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"interior lights stop working. No lights when doors open and proximity lights did not work"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Warning lights

"Front air dam closed. Not resolved due to high cost to replace. Doe not affect performance"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Wiper motor or washer

"Did not spray washer fluid onto windshield. Washer motor covered and replaced under warranty"

Dan B., TX (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Compressor died. Second compressor died within 100 miles of warranty. Lose something caused it to go bad - likely caused it the first time but not found/fixed so caused it again."

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"A/C stopped working without warning, compressor replaced. Covered under warranty"

Holly C., MO (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The A/C compressor quit working at 65000 miles soon after the warranty was finished. Very unsatisfied"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The problem I experienced was that it would take a very long time for the air to start to blow cold. The hotter it was outside the longer it would take."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

"System won't blow cooled air or heated air."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"system failed that directs air to different areas of the car, ie Floor, windshield"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The temperature is not held correctly as we often have to increase it abnormally to stay warm. The A/C comes on too to supposedly take out humidity in the cabin but it makes it too cold."

Randell F., OR (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Blower (fan) motor

"total failure of blower motor"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Strange noise occurs when running ac"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Condenser

"A/C stopped working, dealer could not find the source of the leak. Put inFreon three times, finally took out the dashboard, and found the leak in the condenser. Had to buy a new one, high cost of labor for this repair."

Lisbeth Z., NC (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seat controls

"The cooling aspect of the driver seat stopped working. The cost to repair was way to high and thus has not been fixed"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

"Problem recently occurred. Waiting for repair."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Refrigerant leaks

"Just happened ran out of freon they could not find leak"

Janet R., AZ (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"The front bumper clearance from the ground is so low that the black trim/baffle on the bottom of the bumper is constantly rubbing on parking strips and has come loose"

Dave H., OR (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"A piece of the metal trim is coming off."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"A piece of the metal trim is coming off."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Clear coat began pealing off on the door handles about 6 months ago. 2 months ago the rear bumper clear coat began bubbling and pealing."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"the clear coat started peeling away on front hood area about a year after purchase"

Anonymous, ME (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"paint is chipping in certain places, Kia will not pay to have the car repainted"

Frank O., FL (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Paint is disappearing around the car on most surfaces. I don't have a garage so it's always kept outside and always in my driveway."

Maureen W., KY (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint is peeling on the column next to the windshield, on the drivers side. KIA refuses to warranty it. Obtained repair quarts for $950."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Paint is flaking off around the windshield. Quoted $1200 to fix!! Not covered under the extended $1200 warranty we purchased."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The clear coat is peeling off in 6 spots on the front of my car. The car has been waxed/washed regularly."

Joshua H., WI (2012 Kia Optima)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"As the car ages it is experiencing more Sirius and rattles as interior components loosen. This leads to a louder cabin environment as you drive"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Minor squeaks with pano roof when closed. Appears to be related to cushions around pano roof rails (I can make it stop by pushing on it with my fingers)"

William H., TN (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Panoramic sunroof had clicking noise when the car would flex over bumps and uneven pavement. Car was in shop three times and was finally fixed after a three day in shop visit"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"There is a noise in the dash that rattles over every sharp bump. Terribly annoying!"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattles in the passenger door. Service center couldn't figure the source and suggested replacement of the door!"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Dealer cannot find what is causing rattling noise every so often"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"The door seals are not doing a good job of wind noise reduction. I have had to replace one that fell off the door"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Major irritant is ROAD NOISE. It is a very road noisy auto. A pleasure to drive but sounds like your rolling yourself on the highway. Window air noise is not as problematic"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Engine failed and was replacement (for free) under a recall"

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"They had to drop a new engine in it. It had internal failure"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"dealer had to replace engine"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"piston connecting rod let go went threw the block .Replaced under warranty 60000 km. took 7 days. had to pay for a rental car"

Anonymous, BC (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Kia sent a recall for it.Replaced engine under warranty"

Patricia R., PA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Well known problem of engine seizing due to improper lubrication of main bearing/s. They took care of it at no cost to me and provided a free rental car. It's been running fine since the replacement. Lucky I didn't take it on my summer vacation as usual and instead took my F150. This problem must be costing KIA many many millions of dollars."

Patrick T., NY (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Turbo or supercharger

"Vehicle lost power on the road and had to have the turbo waste gate cleaned. Another time I lost power on the freeeway and they had to replace the high pressure fuel pump. All warranty work"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Master cylinder

"Brake pedal went to the floor after 3 weeks. Dealer kept car for 3 weeks ordering and changing parts. Final correction was replacing defective booster cylinder attached to master cylinder. Dealer kept at it until resolved. Was covered under warranty"

Tom L., WI (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

"Complete front and rear brakes replaced. Rotors and pads. And all other[arts that makeup or support those items."

Anonymous, NH (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Premature brake wear

"The car just goes through brake pads much to quickly. I have owned other vehicles that would last over a year. the Kia less than a year"

Michele E., NY (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Pulsation or vibration

"At state inspection time the dealer said the rotors were out of round and had to be replaced. In less than a year we are again experiencing vibration from the front brakes when braking."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Regular brake failure

"I live in a high salt area during winter and it takes a heavy toll on the braking system. I drive a lot of miles every year and the two things eat up braking systems. Add the dirt roads I travel to get to my home and these parts fail often. The parking brake does not hold the car still if it is engaged. It never has and it is a feature I despise. Very few cars parking brakes prevent the vehicles from moving. . I have replaced the braking system three times since I purchased it."

Anonymous, NH (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"My rotors would sqeal when the car sat for a period of time. As well my rotors were pitted after 15,000 kms. The dealership replaced them under warranty. I have already had a brake job done at a very high cost. I don't think it was any fault of the c"

Jeff B., ON (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear rotors rusted so severely on the inside face that the metal was flaking off of them. They had to be replaced because they could not be resurfaced."

Robert C., ON (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

CV joint

"Noted grease on exhaust pipes. Found driver side inner CV Joint Boot Torn"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"right CV joint went bad"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Driveline vibration

"Whirring noise intermittent. Slips to 1st gear with no reason or indication"

Dennis B., TX (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Electrical failure

"computer board had to be replaced. under warranty"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Hybrid system failure......car is in process for lemon law, replaced hybrid battery, check engine light repeatedly comes on"

Steven D., FL (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Stability control (ESC)

"The ESC warning light illuminates when brake pedal is released after car stopped on an incline. Determined the Hill Assist Control (HAC) was malfunctioned. Replaced the HAC relay to restore it back to normal."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"acceleration bogging down when pressing accelerator at low speed"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Sensor recall"

Dainna D., ON (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

"Reg oil change due. Told down 4.5 qts oil. No oil warning notice lights ever lit. After that, noticed changed color of dip stick. Tech told me known issue with engine particles and causes oil of loss. Longer dip stick to read oil better."

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Issue was evasive. Replaced certain parts on spec."

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Persistent oil leak. Dealership resealed oil pan which did not fix issue. They ended up replacing the turbo seal and the gasket for the timing cover to fix the leak"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"dent on inside of door would not allow indoor lights to turn off and look doors. Do not how the door got a little dent???"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Locks and latches

"Door handle came off on front passengers side after a car wash. car was not much over 2 years old at the time"

Anonymous, ME (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The door handle on the passenger side fell off."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The door handle came off on the passenger side of the car."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Kia Optima 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Mirrors

"Sticking"

Craig R., TX (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

"Direct Injection Fuel Pump failed"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel pump

"It went while driving cross country. There was a TSB on it"

Mark L., AZ (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"driving home and car started missing bad about 60 miles from home would not go over 50 mph made it home would not start next day had to tow it to dealer, needed a loaner, go it back next day ok now"

Thomas H., FL (2012 Kia Optima SX)

"Fuel pump failed at ~43000 miles; repaired under warranty by dealer in 2 days, provided loaner car during service. Satisfied with experience"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Fuel pump failed. Replaced under warranty."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"satellite radio fidelity sounded very compressed. my other vehicle does not have this "compressed" sound"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"It died"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The UVO system does not synch easily with iPhones, iPads, or any MP3 or music storing device we have tried. In some instances the music will load onto the system after a 5 minute wait, but it will usually crash about 15 minutes into operation"

Kevin H., CA (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Warning light came on - was related to recall - local dealer had no info - took months before we called Kia Canada to force dealer to address without charge."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"Car stuck in neutral. Shift cable I think."

Anonymous, (2012 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission computer

"I started having issues when attempting to accelerate during regular driving, or during times when I expected the transmission to shift gears. Instead of shifting to a higher-numbered gear, or downshifting as necessary to maintain speed, the engine would drop to idle for a few moments, decreasing the car's momentum. If I pressed down farther on the accelerator, it would usually make the shift and engine speed would return as required. It was sporadic, but began happening more and more frequently. I was concerned that the transmission itself was failing, and I had it looked at by my local Midas repair shop, but they checked the computer and did a test drive but could not replicate it and saw no issues come up on their diagnostic computer. I continued to drive the vehicle for a couple more weeks, and took it to the dealer for an announce recall for other reasons. The dealer also looked at it then, but also could not replicate the behavior and found no issues on the transmission or electronics. After a couple more weeks of this, and increasing frequency, I was able to see that instead of the transmission failing, it appeared that the engine was just not receiving the right signals from the accelerator, since the power of the engine kept returning to idle, until more aggressive accelerator pressure was applied. I returned to the same dealer with a more detailed description of the behavior to a different technician. They were able to understand the behavior, and also reprogram the computer. They said that it had to do with the transmission computer getting erroneous dual accelerator and brake signals, causing the transmission to trigger it's Limp Home mode. They were able to reprogram and correct the issue. It was frustrating that the dealer did not fix the issue on the first try, but they did not charge me for that visit."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I have had to take my car in 2 times to replace the computer part for the turbo charger"

Anonymous, NM (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The transmission failed around 90k miles, but no sensors indicated a failure. It took Kia close to 3 months to rebuild my transmission, and it still does not work correctly. Kia refuses to do anything further because there are no sensors indicating a problem even though the car does not shift correctly"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"The transmission suddenly stopped shifting into higher gears. The dealer replaced it under warranty but I was without a vehicle for a week"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

"dealer had to replace stater"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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