2008 Kia Optima

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$2,386 - $3,027 $16,755 - $20,900

2008 Kia Optima Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Kia Optima was new.

The Optima delivers a spacious and affordable ride, but can't match the reliability and solid performance of some of its competitors.

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 9.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Lower sticker price than most midsize sedan competitors
  • Lengthy basic and powertrain warranties
  • Spacious interior and cargo capacity
  • Base engine generates below average performance on the highway
  • Many important safety features are not available as standard equipment
  • Some reviewers find braking and steering sub-par

2008 Kia Optima Overview

The 2008 Kia Optima is a solid choice in the midsize sedan segment because it offers newly standard features for a competitive price, in addition to a redesigned exterior, quality feel and enjoyable ride. However, the Optima is considered average in a class that includes competitors that offer more of everything.

The Optima is available in two trims: the base LX and the EX. Both trims are available with either a standard four-cylinder engine or an optional V6. There are very few changes for the 2008 model, but they include a standard auxiliary input jack and updated gauges. If you're in the market for an affordable midsize sedan, also consider the Honda Accord or the Toyota Camry.

  • "Its appearance, albeit conservative, now borders on stylish rather than bland, and its quality and performance are nearly on par with that of the Japanese competition." -- Motor Trend
  • "Optima is a welcome alternative to the trendiness that has infested the midsize family sedan marketplace." -- The Auto Channel
  • "While I'm not convinced that Kia's manufacturing quality is quite up to the level of the company's parent, South Korean automaker Hyundai, the Optima's overall execution is so good that it comes across as a vehicle worth a lot more than its price." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • "The good news is that there isn't much to criticize with the Optima. The bad news is that there is equally little to outwardly praise." -- About.com
  • "Its strong suits are comfort, lots of standard features, and steadily improving quality. However, there is nothing in its persona to tempt enthusiasts." -- Car and Driver
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