Product Reviews

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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 2 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 (sec.) 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.
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.
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.

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
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
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

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
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (274 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 hybrid (199 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 (200 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2014 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 stopped working or showed only back of car even in drive”

Richard H., FL (2014 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen freezes up

“froze up they fix it”

Anonymous, FL (2014 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Computer software is buggy”

Anonymous, TN (2014 Kia Optima Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“The USB interface causes the UVO system to rescan the entire library every time you plug it in. There's no way to preference Bluetooth streaming over USB. Considering the time it takes to operate, using USB interface is nearly useless”

Brian L., WA (2014 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“It would not connect to my phone for some reason. I tried and tried many times. Calling for help was no good. They sent a new signal a few times but it did not connect. After a few months it finally connected on its own and it works fine now”

Anonymous, NJ (2014 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

“Sirius cuts out for about 10 seconds every now & than”

Dennis R., FL (2014 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“satellite radio keeps losing signal”

Michael K., FL (2014 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Radio constantly loses XM signal in metropolitan areas, sometimes for several miles. The antenna has been replaced but this did not resolve the problem. Kia says the cause is interference and will not fix”

Anonymous, UT (2014 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen difficult to see

“Many times when the sunlight is just right it makes it impossible to see whats on the screen. They should have used a non-glare glass”

Anonymous, NJ (2014 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“We had a coolant leak and the dealer replaced a pipe that was leaking”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

“Don't know why this makes noises on the driver side by the door but it was annoying”

Kent B., IL (2014 Kia Optima Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Loose bolts in the panoramic sunroof caused squeaks and rattles when normal road bumps such as expansion strips were crossed. Headliner needed to be removed to tighten them. Had to return car to dealer as voice microphone was not reconnected when headliner reinstalled”

Gary R., PA (2014 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“rattle in dash.fixed in hour”

Anonymous, AZ (2014 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

“when travelling at 60+ MPH a whistle would develop around the sunroof or windshield. Found a small area in the headliner behind the rear view mirror, that if you put your finger over it the noise would stop. So I plugged up hole with some tissue and”

Anonymous, VA (2014 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Headlights

“Light out on one side”

Zabdiel A., FL (2014 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“condensation inside the brakelight assembly”

Anonymous, ON (2014 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Warning lights

“passenger side rear view mirror warning lite malfunctioned when raining. Back up camera imageon dash was clouded with raindrops like spots on several occasions”

Anonymous, NC (2014 Kia Optima SX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Broken wiring chassis caused all the issues. Fixed under warranty”

James T., MA (2014 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Gauges

“Same issue, broken chassis caused all issues. Fixed under warranty”

James T., MA (2014 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

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

“Start car and won't shift out of park. Have to turn of the car, restart then try again to shift. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 tries”

Gabriel N., OH (2014 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rough shifting

“Rough shifting in manual mode”

Marty W., AB (2014 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

“The system is unreliable, randomly rebooting or re-scanning Sirius channels. When paired with a phone using Bluetooth, the unit constantly wants to download contacts, even though I've turned this mode off. It's the worst part of this car”

Brian L., WA (2014 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Not compatible with my Galaxy S3 or LG G3. Can't get SMS”

Anonymous, DE (2014 Kia Optima SX 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

Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“The steering and handling has been a problem after apex 2500 miles. The wondering was so bad as we passed the assembly factory I wanted to take it back and leave it but it was Sunday. The wondering got so bad I found a Kia dealer the next week and explained about steering and they said they could fix it while I waited. They did improve it75%. On the trip home it worked well for a couple of days but it started to regress back to the drifting condition. I took it back to my selling dealer and tol”

Carl B., OH (2014 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wheel bearings

“Not sure I have a wheel bearing noise or a tire problem out of round or just tread design”

Carl B., OH (2014 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

Mirrors

“right door mirror motor failure. KIA replaced it free”

Stanley B., UT (2014 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Sunroof

“Sunroof side rubber guide/seal folded and bent frame. Entire roof needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, WA (2014 Kia Optima Limited 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

“AC was not working and brought to dealer.Was fixed”

Rita E., FL (2014 Kia Optima Unsure 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

Turbo or supercharger

“wastegate went bad and caused engine to go into "limp mode" where it would run fine but had no power to pass or accelerate quickly”

Anonymous, VA (2014 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

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

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

Brakes

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

Drive System

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

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.

Engine Cooling

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

Engine Minor

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

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