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 is 1 recall 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 2018 Kia Optima has been recalled 1 time 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
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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 2018 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

Android Auto

"The google system automatically puts my cell into do not disturb and makes my phone useless unless i exit the google mode"

Anonymous, FL (2018 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"System does not work at all, despite several service appointments."

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Optima Plug-in 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Radio

"SiriusXM intermittently stops working. Had it to dealer 4times; still occurs. Sirius says it’s a loose connection or bad XM module. Dealer says everything is working!!! Can’t get them to replace it."

James R., OH (2018 Kia Optima Hybrid 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Routine software updates

"A recall for a computer update on engine performance"

Anonymous, NJ (2018 Kia Optima LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Software update fixes

"Earlier models would slow down engine. This software was to prevent problem to happen or give an early warning. Our grand daughter had this problem in her 2012 Optima."

Anonymous, AZ (2018 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"the system does not recognize my voice commands"

Anonymous, FL (2018 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

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Road noise on driver side, since it was new. Seems to be this way across other Optimas that I drove. Dealership replaced weatherstripping but still have road noise."

Anonymous, MI (2018 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"Ceiling console makes noice in wnter"

James B., NJ (2018 Kia Optima SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"Started getting wind noise around top of driver's side window or door shortly after delivery of car. Most noticeable at highway speeds with A/C on. Went on for 6 months with no resolve. Had lots of trouble trying to find out whether it was related to weather stripping around window or driver's door. Local Kia dealer could not find solution to problem. Very noticeable in such an otherwise quiet & comfortable car! Finally got zone mgr. involved, & he knew the solution...adjust front door hinges very slightly. Noise was miraculously gone after hinges adjusted!! Very pleased with car after frustrating problem was resolved...why dealer wouldn't contact "big brass" about this is beyond me. (Guess they think because we're over 50, we're just CRAZY!!!)."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Developed an annoying air leak/whistle around the driver's side front door while operating vehicle. Got worse & louder as speed increased. Local shop could not find the problem. Had to get zone manager involved, & he knew that a minor adjustment to the door hinges would cure the problem. It worked, & now no more awful whistling while driving. Amazing how this small adjustment has improved the ride/drive experience in this car!"

Anonymous, TX (2018 Kia Optima EX 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 ran rough and shook. Took it to Kia dealer and they replaced an electronic module."

Anonymous, AZ (2018 Kia Optima SXL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Problem(s) fueling the tank

"It would not allow it to auto shut off the gas pumps. The dealership replace the entire gas tank. No charge to us."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Kia Optima EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Belong to a monthly car wash club and the drivers side trim comes off frequently."

Monica B., AZ (2018 Kia Optima 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint on front bumper nicks and peels from bugs"

Anonymous, AL (2018 Kia Optima SXL 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

Transmission computer

"At 5 mph the car, when the brake was applied, would have a hard stop similar to the type of stop you would have in an emergency stopping incident. They reset the transmissions computer timing and all was again perfect."

Stephen S., PA (2018 Kia Optima SX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

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

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"trunk cover came up twice while parked for several days"

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Optima EX Unsure)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

Heater system

"The heater never worked well. The warmest was not warm enough. I got the run around when trying to get it fixed. It has a 100,000 mile warranty, but it was useless when attempting to get it fixed. They said it was a software glitch they were working on. One ogf=f the managers also said they had problems with about five other Optima's warming up."

Gary W., MN (2018 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

Shocks or struts

"Clunking noise coming from the rear every time I got a bump or potholes"

Anonymous, NY (2018 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

Headlights

"Switch was defective. Headlight indicator would flash on and headlights would turn off intermittently"

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Optima EX Unsure)

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 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

Drive System

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

Brakes

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

Engine Cooling

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

Exhaust

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

Compare 2018 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
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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