2002 Kia Optima SE from North America - Comments

10th Mar 2005, 12:43

I bought 2002 Optima. Paint was coming off car and dealer said not covered at 11000 miles because of road conditions in winter. Headlights have had moisture and burned out bulbs. The check engine light comes on repeatedly. Dealer reset it once. I have reset it several times. The computer says it was loose gas cap. No way. It happens when cruise is on after long time. gaskets around windshield have had to be reinstalled, because they come off. Had two recalls I only found out by taking car in to dealers. No mail notification. I am original owner. I will never buy another KIA. just too many repairs that warranty will not honor. I have never had so many things in under 50,000 miles before.

11th Mar 2005, 10:43

I have a 2002 KIA Optima, engine light is always coming on and there always seems to be something needed to be done to it, and it has less than 40,000 miles.

17th May 2005, 22:19

Just buy a Honda and be done with it!!!

23rd May 2005, 23:19

Today, I looked at and test drove a 2002 KIA Optima. The car has about 43,000 miles on it and the dealership was asking $10,000. After reading the reviews and things that have gone wrong, I don't think this is the vehicle for me. I already have a car that breaks down and/or has problems all the time. Thank you for your comments to help me make my decision not to buy this car.

30th Sep 2005, 01:19

I have a 2001 Optima, and have experienced many of the same problems that you have all faced. Window problems, door lock problems, batteries after 6mo, rear hubs, trailing arms of all things, brakes every 40k Miles, etc. HOWEVER, a lot of this has to do with the routine maintenance, and the Dealer.

Dealer makes it or breaks it quick. My rear run-channels had to be replaced twice as the first dealership did not choose to fix it correctly. The alternator was later replaced (by another dealer) as it was miss-diagnosed by the first dealership.

When the first was finally confronted his reply was "Some dealerships are concerned with profit, others with customer satisfaction" (quoted from Courtesy Auto World MGR.) So just remember that you can get screwed up dealers anywhere on any market.

Also note, that all of my repairs except the Paint and Battery have been 100% covered by the factory warranty.

3rd Nov 2005, 04:27

I am really confused by your reviews. I do have a forty thousand mile kia optima and have had no problems whatsoever with it.

I am not in the states and I do have a right hand drive Singaporean model, so maybe the difference is there. The windows have slowed down yet always worked, the car's been very reliable and comfortable. When the engine light comes on there is a problem. With my gas system in this case (i converted my car to run on gas).

4th Feb 2006, 22:51

Girlfriend has an 02 Optima and has had some troubles. The only thing is, none of the problems she's had are the ones descirbed here.

First the engine died (not sure what happened because I wasn't there) at 50K and was replaced under warranty. That surprised me that Kia honored it.

Second, the rear suspension seems to shift as she turns the car. It's been getting worse and worse, and recently has been getting so bad that the tail end will lose traction because of the recoil from the shifting. She drives at an average speed, but not slow.

Third, the fuel pump died and had to have Kia tow it to the dealership. The car was out of commission for a few days. Annoying.

20th Mar 2006, 19:52

I have a 2002 Optima and it is the worst car by far I have ever seen. I spend more time cursing the car than driving the car. I will never buy another Kia...ever!

21st Mar 2006, 18:07

You get what you pay for. Do not compare Kia with a quality brand like Toyota or Honda.

28th Mar 2006, 00:00

I have a 2003 Kia Optima SE. I have given this car to my wife and purchased a 2006 Civic. I put a lot of miles on the car for work and the kia now has 63000 miles. We have had a few problems and they seem to keep emerging, but the car still runs and drives well. Here is a list of annoying problems, but again: I paid $12,500 for a loaded vehicle and it is still running and driving at 63000 miles.

Battery Died.

Door locks kept locking themselves (26 dollar part that I replaced)

Windshield seal came loose while my wife was driving to Florida (she fixed this with some direction over the phone)

Antenna locked for 2 days and started working again on its own.

Belt squeals on start in the morning. I have tightened the belt three times, but it comes back after a week or so.

Rear speakers stopped working (I blame my wife and a trunk full of luggage for this one)

Sunroof up/down button not working, but the open close now does it all so it's all good I guess. Baffled by this one.

I had the car appraised today at carmax today because we were thinking about leasing a Pilot and realized the following.

The car is worth $5,600 (according to Carmax) so based on a purchase price of $12,500, we have paid approximately 11 cents per mile plus gas, oil, and about $100 in parts.

I love my Honda, but all things considered, the Kia was still a good buy in my mind.

25th Apr 2006, 23:55

We too have fallen victim to the low qualityof KIA. We have a Kia Optima 2001 SE and what hasn't gone wrong with it? Windows have been in for repairs so many times we've lost count. Electrical issue after electrical issue.

One of the most frustrating was the factory auto alarm would lock us in the car and not let us out...

Currently at 40K the engine light has come on again, the engine is running fast and car is stalling. Our car spends as much time at the dealer as it does in our drive way it seems all for needless poor engineering quality!

You could not give me another KIA!

14th Aug 2006, 12:21

Don't let the above postings completely scare you away from KIA. In 2001, I bought a 2000 KIA Sephia and drove it for 5 years. Over that time, yes there were some problems that come up: speakers, break drum, and CV joint. HOWEVER, every service job was picked up 100% by my dealer with no questions asked or gripes. I currently moved myself up to a 2006 KIA Optima I'm so happy with my former cars performance.

28th Aug 2006, 11:05

I own a 2001 Kia Optima SE with 66,000 miles. The engine light issue is also driving us crazy. My own trusty mechanic as well as the Kia dealer service department cannot fix it. It will not pass TN state inspection in this state so I guess we'll drive it until the tags expire and sell it for parts or yard art. We will NOT buy another Kia.

12th Oct 2006, 19:43

I have had many of the same problems with my 2002 kia optima.

Check engine light that keeps coming on for no reason. Said fuel valve problem, but both have been replaced with out a change.

Head lights have stopped working recently. It's not the bulbs or the fuse. Have to find away to get it to the dealer (which is an hour away).

Battery died. Weather stripping on front windshield came loose. Stereo resets itself and I have had my own stereo installed, so it must be an electrical problem. Turn signals turn the brights on too. Airbag light is on and won't shut off. Engine lid doesn't seat properly. Alignment goes out easily and wears tires down fast. Gas cap door won't stay shut. And unfortunately my warranty on these items ended just before all of my problems started.

I won't ever buy a Kia again due to the constant problems and the extremely low resale value. I have owned my car for four years and I still owe more than it is worth. I keep hoping that someone will hit me and total the thing.