Kia has been offering buyers competent, stylish cars at prices that undercut rivals. But that low price came at the expense of refinement. As with the Sorento last year, the 2016 Optima shows that Kia has turned a corner. It still looks great, and now it comes with more substance. Why is it that some cars fly under the radar? You think more people would know about a certain vehicle and embrace its goodness.
Alerts
There are 4 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
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2016 Kia Optima has been recalled 4 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
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01*
02
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05
06*
07
08
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10
11*
12
13
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15
16*
17
18
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
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
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
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 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 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.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 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

"Dealer performed software update. Problem resolved."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Back up camera fails to come on a few times and some times it will not go off until you place it in park."

Ronald S., FL (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Has had to go in to dealership twice to be reset"

Ryan T., CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"It was intermittently not available. When trying to pull up navigation, dialog box indicated the smart card was not accessible. Since it was covered by warranty it was replaced."

Anonymous, NC (2016 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"The Blue Tooth system regarding the playing of music works at time.s. I have a Android Smartphone that is tied in with the Audio System."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Speakers

"The Harmon/Kardon sound system is outstanding-- however one of the front dashboard speakers sounds like it is blown (a raspy sound which gets worse if the volume is increased)."

David E., CA (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The upgraded audio system is very poor quality, it sounds like all of the speakers are bad."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Front dash speakers were buzzing and distorting. I replaced them with aftermarket units ($70 for the pair). It took about an hour to do. No problems since then."

Jonathan R., CA (2016 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Steering wheel controls

"some buttons on steering wheel would activate the wrong command. (example: volume up button would cause the voice command activate."

Alan G., SC (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"Giving a voice command in a clear and strong voice doesn't always connect for the phone call. It may take several times or will not connect at all. Local dealer has acknowledge problem but unable to fix it"

Anonymous, VA (2016 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

"vibrating sound in the sun roof"

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Vibration of sun roof when closed"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"The instrument panel directly in front of the driver squeaks and rattles virtually any time there is an imperfection in the road surface."

Anonymous, TN (2016 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"making noise when hitting brake going to dealership soon"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"There is a rattle in the sunroof"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Since purchase, I have had popping noises in the rear seat area that are not on a consistent basis. It usually occurs when driving over uneven pavement. Dealer has not been able to determine cause"

Anonymous, VA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Since purchasing the Kia Optima, 12-3-17, the full sun roof pops and snaps when the car makes a turn at an angle. It has been in numerous times and was finally fixed about 5 months ago. However, the same problem has returned and it is scheduled to go in again next week. I first read about this problem in Consumer Reports and brought the report to the Service Department staff. They put some clips in the back left corner of the sun roof. Lasted for awhile. The voice command system is very erratic and has been since purchase. I complained upon purchase and they stated they don't see a problem. But the service department has the same problems I do when a command is given and it may or may not recognize it. Very poor system."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"very quiet on many roads. A high degree of road noise from rough black top highways"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The sunroof"

Anonymous, IN (2016 Kia Optima SXL 1.6-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 panoramic sunroof required a remounting due to a vibration that was caused by looseness and wind at driving speed, Made a thrumming noise inside the cabin."

James L., NY (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"chips and scratches"

Chuck M., NV (2016 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Paint is peeling off the front fenders. This began less than a year after purchase"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"paint flecked off the front spoiler"

Robert L., AZ (2016 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rust

"When this car was only two years old I found matching rust spots on the rear door."

Matthew G., FL (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Hood latch scrapes underside of hood paint off causing removal of paint and subsequent rusting of that area."

Anonymous, FL (2016 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

Glass defects

"Since the panoramic sunroof is not safety glass, and developed looseness requiring repair within two years, it could have caused a serious problem if it fractured and shattered from vibration."

James L., NY (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Sunroof

"There is a rattle in the sunroof"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Brand new car and sunroof would not close once opened. Took to Car Pros Kia in Carson, California 3 times (total of 17 days). They could not fix it. Then took to Kia of downtown Los Angeles and they told me track was bent so first open / close of sunroof burnt out the motor. They had my car for 23 days and finally fixed the sunroof by replacing it"

Kenneth C., CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The sunroof was improperly fitted and would rattle making a wobbling sound. The problem became worse as the car aged. It started intermittently and then went to pretty much all the time after the first 15 minutes of driving. Three visits to the dealer and they were never able to replicate the sound. I recorded and took video and demonstrated what would trigger and disengage the rattle to finally get it fixed. This problem sucked all the joy out of the ownership experience."

Robert L., AZ (2016 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Panoramic roof developed a low rumble/drumming sound at speeds over 40 and needed to have whatever adhesive method reapplied by the dealer, under warranty"

James L., NY (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"will not work every time."

Ronald S., FL (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"This system is now working only with a truck in front of me. It does not recognize automobiles"

Anonymous, IA (2016 Kia Optima SXL 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"My brakes went on and stopped the car while going about 30 with nothing in front of me. Scary."

Anonymous, IA (2016 Kia Optima SXL 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Pipes

"There was a recall regarding one of the pipes connected to the turbo which was replaced under warranty."

David E., CA (2016 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

Normal routine brake wear

"Brakes started making a funny noise, and I took the car to a trusted shop, which diagnosed pads and rotors wearing down. I had them replaced."

Richard C., NY (2016 Kia Optima LX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"normal wear"

Melvin F., OH (2016 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Parking brake

"The second day i parked on a hill and set the parking brake. When we ttied to leabe it woul s not release. We called a service gruck and they were a b le to het it to release. I took it in to the dealer for service and set the brake on a hill in feont of the dealership. The service manager could not hey it to release and after she exited the car the emergency brake released on it's own and the car lurched back. The car went in for service and the result was that i was told not to push the e"

Michael B., PA (2016 Kia Optima EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Driveline vibration

"car vibrates at 60 mph"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Driveshaft or axle

"Recall from Kia Motors re: right front axle. Replaced by dealer. There were no problems with the axle before receiving recall notice"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Traction control

"was not working very well in snow and had to turn it off"

Richard H., NY (2016 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

Rough shifting

"Engine hesitates up to 6 or 7 seconds, then shifts roughly. They cant find the problem"

Anonymous, PA (2016 Kia Optima 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Immediately had problems with shifting around 30 mph. Took it back at least four times to address the issue. On visit to replace the entire transmission. That didn't work. They finally updated the software and fixed the problem. Ridiculous that the transmission had to be replaced to figure out it was the software. Overall I'm happy with the car but it takes many visits to fix even the simplest things. They never have parts in stock. Never !"

Anonymous, MA (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"sensor needed to be replaced as the transmission was slipping"

Richard H., NY (2016 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The technicians' could not fix the rough shifting problem, so the transmission was replaced. That did not work and the 'Lemon Law' option was successfully invoked"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Kia Optima LX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"This replacement was just part of the mindless, brute force replacement of parts until the problem is solved. It's really sad that they cannot correctly diagnose simple computer software problems. I really can't be the first one reporting the problem. It's all over the internet. Too bad, I like the car overall but the service and available parts are sub-par."

Anonymous, MA (2016 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

"Headlights, when in automatic mode, would shut off for no apparent reason at different times. It took the dealer, who initially said they couldn't duplicate, two weeks to fix it. A warranty is useless if dealers are constantly finding reasons to avoid warranty work."

Matthew G., FL (2016 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Left headlight assembly did not work at purchase. Was replaced within first week"

Anonymous, IN (2016 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

"engine smoothness connected with vibration"

Anonymous, CA (2016 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

Evaporator

"The evaporator system failed and was replaced,"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Kia Optima LX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

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

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

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.

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.

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:DELIVERY:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS
Dec 19 2018
A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2011-2017 Optima, 2012-2017 Sorento and 2011-2018 Sportage vehicles that previously received an engine replacement under recall number 17V-224, warranty, or the Knock Sensor Detection System (KSDS) Product Improvement Campaign. The high pressure fuel pipe that connects to the fuel pump outlet may have been damaged, misaligned or improperly torqued during the engine replacement procedure, possibly causing a fuel leak.
What should you do:
Kia has notified owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the fuel pipe, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began January 17, 2019. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC172.
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: 18V907000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 71653
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:DRIVER SIDE:INFLATOR MODULE
Jan 06 2017
In the event of a crash, an air bag that does not inflate fully increases the risk of injury.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) has recalled one 2016 Optima vehicle. In this vehicle, the end seal for the driver's frontal air bag inflator may not have been properly installed, possibly resulting in reduced inflation of the frontal air bag in the event of a crash.
What should you do:
The affected vehicle was remedied on January 10, 2017. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC143.
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: 17V007000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1
POWER TRAIN:AXLE ASSEMBLY:AXLE SHAFT
Oct 03 2016
If the driveshaft cracks and separates from the vehicle, it will not be able to move forward. Additionally, if the parking brake is not applied upon exiting the vehicle, the vehicle may roll. Either scenario can increase the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2016 Kia Optima vehicles manufactured November 13, 2015, to April 23, 2016 and equipped with a 2.4l engine. The right front axle driveshaft may crack and fail.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front axle driveshaft, free of charge. The recall began November 2016. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC139.
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: 16V705000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 12214
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL
Apr 21 2016
If the second stage air bag does not deploy it increases the risk of injury or death.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2016 Kia Optima vehicles manufactured November 10, 2015, to February 12, 2016. In these vehicles, a chemical enhancer required for the for the second stage deployment of the driver's frontal air bag was not loaded, resulting in the second stage not deploying in necessitating crashes.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver's frontal air bag module, free of charge. The recall began on May 6, 2016. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC131.
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: 16V231000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 17
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