2005 Kia Optima Reviews and Owner Comments

2005 Kia Optima owners review and rate their 2005 Kia Optima.

2005 Kia Optima (8 Reviews)
Body, Interior & Misc.
Drive Train
Electrical & Lights
Exhaust & Emissions
Heating & Air Conditioning
Suspension & Steering
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Wife has had 2005 Optima 6cylinder since new. Problems experienced same as screamed about elsewhere: head light bulbs blow out: USE ONLY FACTORY BULBS - after market last moments; Door lock system malfunctioned. Fortunately wife uses key - horror stories elswhere where locks engage when they want to and will not allow exit from vehicle - safety complaint considered minor by NHWSA (sic?)
Oh yes, lots of reports elsewhere where straps holding fuel tank rub (and trap salt no doubt) causing holes & fuel leaks.
Now big problem: Leave vehicle for a week or two and battery is drained. Dealer claimed it was the audio amp that was defective. I replaced it. Six months later same deal. "Technicians" in the dark, one voice from the tombs said "the go to sleep switch is not switching" because current continues to flow when all is turned off. Now wasting time doing their job.
Otherwise nice car
th1s car has prerformed well so far. I have about 110.000 miles on it, my wife was driving
it the engine cut off and it wouldent start up again. After waiting about an hour I tried to start it again the engine turned as though it was draging and then the starter began to click.I thought that it needed a starter.The deaqler installed a starter it still wouldent start. Now they tell me that the engine is bad and it will cost $4000.00 to repair I cant believe it..
we have a 2005 kia optima, while we were headed to a dr appointment, it started fine early that morning, about 6 a.m. stoppped got something to eat, started just fine, got to the VA hospital, pulled up to let my husband out of the car, I killed it, tried to start it, all it did was click, it hasnt started since, we were told probably the starter, changed out the starter, it still does the same thing as it did before we replaced the starter. any clue???
I recently bought a 2005 Kia Optima after driving my Sportage to the grave. Car has run great, good gas mileage, great stereo, just recently it started making a funny clunking noise from the front left tire area, and a equally strange whirling noise from the front of the engine. Going to the shop. I love this car, I really loved my Sportage, mini-me mercedes, 4x4, 5 speed. Always started, overhead cam seal was leaking and I didn't take it to the garage.
My Mom and I had the same Kia Optima 2005 purchased with in a year or so mine new hers used with about 13,000 miles. I had trouble with the headlights blowing-in the 3 years I had the car I changed 2 every 6 months or so. My moms did the same thing. We started carrying an extra bulb due to being pulled over with a head light out!! We were fortunate enough to hear of the time belt issue before it became a tragic event and had them replaced. I did have to have a sensor replaced (I have forgotten which one) Break pads and rotars were changed regularly, the repair shop had to beat them off with a hammer once after only 8 months of being on the car. The breaking point for me was last winter, my back tires would seize up and not turn, the first few times we were able to break them free by driving forward then reversing to release the break, took it to the shop a couple times no reason could be found. Then both tires seized I could not even move the car, they removed the Emergency brake and I did not have the issue again. My Mom in the past week has been having the same issue, today she had to have the car loaded on a ramp truck due to the tire being seized. I traded my car, not for a Kia. I liked it in the beginning but began to feel like things were going a BIG way...and no small shops in our area know about the car to fix them. The dealer is not a reasonable distance for repairs, or to have it towed there. I loved it when I got it, reasonably priced and great gas mileage. But in the end the issues were so much of a hassle and beginning to get expensive.
Bought an 05 Optima LX - ran great first 2 years, no problems at all. The breaks suck. I've had to replace the pads and rotors twice now within 1 1/2 years, second time had to replace the calipers because they were sticking and wore down the pads & ruined the rotors. Light bulbs are also a huge problem. I'm changing them several times a year. I've had other cars that I owned for 3+ years and never had a light go out. I think it has electrical problems! Car is in shop right now - flat tire (my 3rd now due to a bad seal) and radiator or water pump leak, not sure yet. Plus they recommended changing the timing belt and after what I've read here, I'll bite the bullet and pay up. For all the money I've sunk into this car, I could have had something much better. I initially loved this car, but now am very disappointed at how quickly it is deteriorating. I won't buy another KIA.
Recently had to have my crank shaft sensor replaced. The car would cut off while driving it. Finally took it to a Kia dealership and they found the problem. However, this is a time consuming repair. They had to take out the engine and while they were there they replaced some belts. The crank chaft sensor was covered by the warranty but I still paid with new belts, etc around $700 including labor.
This is the most expensive repair I've paid for and I've had the car for at least 2 years. I did have to have the gas tank replaced last year. It was rotted and was leaking gas.
Not sure if I would buy another Kia.
Owned since April 2006. Bought new from dealer for traveling job as telecommunication field engineer. Vehicle is LX with 4 cylinder and automatic. Odometer reading at this time is 168,177.

Have replaced timing belt twice (~60,000 miles/replacement) and expect to replace it again around 180,000 miles. Repairs - Driver's side headlight unit and AC condenser (both under warranty), Battery at 120,000 miles. Oil pressure sensor at 140,000 miles. Current problems: 1 - Heating/AC blower motor stopped working yesterday. Will get it repaired this week. 2 - Engine requires High Mileage oil (20W-50) due to mileage and many hours of idling. Using regular oil (10W-40) allows the oil pressure light to come on at idle. Have done oil changes every 3000 miles and all other preventative maintenance as required.

I would have rated the engine higher due to its demonstrated reliability but set it lower due to the timing belt maintenance issue. While I would buy another KIA, I would make sure it didn't have such a high cost low mileage preventative maintenance requirement. It is my understating that KIA has gone with a longer lasting timing belt in it's new vehicles.

Overall I've found the car to be comfortable, competent and reliable. Repairs have always been done at a KIA service shop and I use Express Lube for all other preventative maintenance.