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, the 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 2 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 2017 Kia Optima has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
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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 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.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2017 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

"Backup short distance proximity system did not work from purchase date. Dealer performed a Firmware update in order to make backup proximity sensors active."

Anonymous, ON (2017 Kia Optima Plug-in 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Display screen freezes up

"When shifting into reverse, the display screen would occasionally freeze to an image of when the vehicle was turned off. Any other vehicle or pedestrian would not appear. My wife and I got into the habit of moving the steering wheel slightly to see if the backup rectangles would move at all. If they didn't we had to turn the vehicle off and on again to fix the problem. We worried that a parking lot attendant could kill or injure someone, by running into this problem. After months of complaints and visits to the Kia dealer, they finally replaced the display unit. This seems to have fixed the problem."

Harry G., CA (2017 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Display screen goes blank

"Another issue with the display that still hasn't been fixed. Three or four times when turning on the car, the display would stay blank. Turning the car off and on again has fixed the problem. The Kia dealer has not been able to fix the problem."

Harry G., CA (2017 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Spotify on phone or Phone Navigation only works sometime, and only if plugged into the USB port, will not work with Bluetooth."

Anonymous, HI (2017 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"gps is out of date, dealer wants $180 to update. I thought s was by satellite. this caused a lot of friction between myself and the dealership. VERY poor service!"

Anonymous, NV (2017 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Radio

"Extremely spotty reception on my side of the island (Oahu). Other cars in the area do not have this problem."

Anonymous, HI (2017 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Routine software updates

"Again dealership did nothing."

Anonymous, NV (2017 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Speakers

"Driver side speaker works intermittently. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to when it works or doesn't work. It is not tied to the HD availability with stations. But it was not able to be reproduced at the dealership, so they can't fix it. It is just frustrating to have the speaker right next to me going in and out randomly. It does not affect the safety or drive-ability of the vehicle."

Pamela P., MN (2017 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

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

"Would not move out of park"

Anonymous, NC (2017 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rough shifting

"down shifting into first and second gears when in traffic or approaching a stop light or sign was like climbing on the brakes! When I took it in to be checked out, there was a service bulletin addressing the issue so it was known."

Anonymous, MN (2017 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission computer

"There was a service bulletin addressing the issue. The dealer did a software update that corrected the issue"

Anonymous, MN (2017 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Engine (rpm) began racing when gas pedal depressed but no increase in speed. After arriving home, I could not get the car into Park and all systems were inoperable. I called a tow truck and the driver showed me how to reset the system with the shift lock release."

Bruce J., FL (2017 Kia Optima)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Failing to shift properly"

Mark F., VA (2017 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Vehicle would not start. Get hybrid battery checked light was on. Dealer had several parts replaced: electric oil pump assembly, sealing, seal-oil, bolt-seal, etc."

Anonymous, WA (2017 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Minor scrapes of the front bumper cause significant patches of paint to come off."

J M., CA (2017 Kia Optima Plug-in 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Rust

"Surprised to see rust behind the back right wheel well."

Doug K., MN (2017 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Small rust spots have appeared in lower front fender area."

Michael H., LA (2017 Kia Optima EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"notified of emission problem by service people"

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel injection system

"It was a factory recall to repair potential problems with the GDI system. I experience no issues. Kia was being proactive, which is yet another reason I have been totally satisfied with Kia in general."

Dorothy L., GA (2017 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Check engine light came on at about 7500 miles. Initially was told the gas cap wasn't tightened. But the light persisted. Required the dealer to remove the gas tank and replace some sensor only accessible then."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Kia Optima Plug-in 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Rear right passenger window toward the back has wind noise when traveling over 35 mph. Brought into dealership twice. The last time during a ride along they confirmed they heard it too, claimed fixed. Same sound in same location still present. It is disappointing although not worth a third visit."

Doug K., MN (2017 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"Rattle in sun roof which was corrected"

Anonymous, TX (2017 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Loose or improperly installed sun roof. Required two days of repair."

Anonymous, MD (2017 Kia Optima SXL 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

"bottom on drivers door stuck out from body 1/4 needed adjustment."

Anonymous, IA (2017 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Locks and latches

"Left rear door handle fell off. Covered under warranty. Made it unable to secure vehicle door locks."

Michael H., LA (2017 Kia Optima EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Windows

"Wind noise on right rear window. Dealership could hear it, but did not fix it. When I picked up the vehicle they claimed it was fixed. It was the same."

Doug K., MN (2017 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"code indicates AEB not working. came on twice. took in to dealer to check out.could not find anything wrong. i'm still worried"

Anonymous, IL (2017 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"They said I must have hit something, like a curb, that damaged the frame holding the automatic braking mechanism. I certainly don't remember that; was surprised to encounter the problem."

Kenneth G., VA (2017 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

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

"While going 70mph on an interstate, the car suddenly began sputtering, bucking, slowing down considerably with the Check Engine light blinking. It basically left me stranded on the highway. Luckily I was near an exit ramp and was able to nurse the car off the highway. Got towed to an auto garage where they could not find the problem. They did manage to get it running smoothly, and sent me on my way. Took to a Kia dealer who, after three days, told me they replaced the wiring harness. All is working fine, but I just don't trust it any longer."

Mark H., NY (2017 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Electrical failure

"control modular failure started last august 800 miles no ac heater climate check eng light on problem was intermittend went back to dealer i bought the car from twice could not locate problem told me i had to drive car at least 15 miles for control modual to respond problem continued to get worse check eng light now stays on steady brought car to another dealer said sensor was bad replaced sensor problem is now worse said to bring car back they are not sure what the problems is Have tried to call kia national service center several time with no luck was on hold for two and a half hours before i hung up"

A T., NH (2017 Kia Optima SX 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

"left side of air vents blew cold and right side blew warm. dealer went thru 4 steps before replacing heater box and condenser"

Anonymous, IL (2017 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

"worked on and off since car was 4 months old dealer unable to locate problem finally stopped working all together they do not know why"

A T., NH (2017 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"a link between the gas engine and the electric power broke"

Norman O., CA (2017 Kia Optima EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Kia had a recall to install updated software with a Knock Detection System. I've heard Kia has had many complete failures of the 2.4 L 4-cyl engines (Theta engine)."

Anonymous, OR (2017 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

Body control module

"ac stopped working heat ran on hotest setting all the time temp sensor read -20 when working found problem on line dealer said it wasnt problem brought car in twice couldn/\'t fix it left car for almost 3 weeks fixed problem which was the original problem i found on line usb port not working when car came back kia factory srvice very poor"

Alan T., NH (2017 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Headlights

"The mentioned problems were all the result of a computer glitch and Several months before the dealer accepted the problems and took action. I do not have any problems since they took action."

J S., QC (2017 Kia Optima Plug-in 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

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 computer indicated an internal malfunction and put the engine in”limp home” mode (I.e. partially disabled). Was told that engine would require replacement. After waiting over 3 months for the replacement engine, during which time we were provided with a rental car, Kia finally decided that the problem was in a wiring harness. After that was repaired, we received the car back. That was about a month ago and so far no further problem."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Kia Optima 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Car would not drive more than 15 mph. Dealer replaced the transmission."

Bernie K., CA (2017 Kia Optima)

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

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.

Engine Cooling

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

Brakes

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

Compare 2017 Models

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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
HYBRID PROPULSION SYSTEM
Mar 08 2018
If the VPD activates while the vehicle is being operated in Electric Vehicle (EV) mode, there may be a loss of power, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Kia Optima hybrid vehicles. These vehicles are equipped with a Voltage Protection Device (VPD), designed to protect the high voltage battery module, that may activate inadvertently.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will remove the VPD switch and install two newly designed Battery Management Systems (BMS) that contain Overvoltage Protection Devices (OPDs), free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 2018. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC162.
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: 18V161000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1710
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