2001 Kia Optima Overview


Looking for a Used Optima in your area?

CarGurus has 35,763 nationwide Optima listings starting at $999.


Not sure what you want?

Find the models that are right for you using the CarGurus Car Finder.



12 national listings
2 national listings
2 national listings
3 national listings

Kia Optima Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 790
#2 kc07kia
Reputation 270
#3 tenspeed
Reputation 250
View All

Have you driven a 2001 Kia Optima?

Rank this car!

Average User Score

3.85 stars

Based on 6 reviews

It Rocks by Kristin
 — it has a spacious interior, adequete acceleration, good on the gas mileage, and fun to drive. The handling is smooth and the maintenance is relatively light if the car is newer and wasn't previously o... Read More
2001 Kia Optima by Jason
 — the kia optima is a great car. it is a very reliable car that makes for a good everyday driver. the car has a good suspension set up for a 4 door sedan. the ride is smooth but not overly loose. i have... Read More
Good Commuter by Jeffrey
 — Some reliability issues as it ages. All of the steell lines(brakes and steering) have rotted. not bad for 140k. Alternator and brakes have been done. Too bad no one can build a car with reliable rear ... Read More

2001 Kia Optima Overview

Overall User Score

3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.85

Based on 6 reviews

2001 Kia Optima

Having relied on the compact Sephia and Sportage SUV as its primary offerings, Kia is starting to branch out into other segments, and the 2001 Kia Optima is its entry into the mid-size sedan market.  Based on the same platform and sharing engines with the Hyundai Sonata, the first year for the Optima was fraught with numerous mechanical problems, however, and many owners complain of repeat visits to the repair shop, most notably for a power window failure.

The first year for a new car is always filled with kinks, however, and what the 2001 Optima does offer is a roomy, comfortable sedan with easy handling and an attractive price tag.  It has a bigger cabin than the Altima, with lots of leg and headroom for both front and backseat passengers.  Rear seats split-fold to expand the 13.6 cubic-foot trunk.  The 2001 Altima comes in the base LX and SE trims, each offered with either a 2.4-liter, 149-hp I4 or a 2.5-liter, 170-hp V6.  A 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed is offered with the I4s, while the V6 Optimas come only with a 4-speed Tiptronic.

The exterior of the 2001 Optima is distinguished by chrome trim, which is carried into the interior of the SE.  Dual front-side airbags are standard, but ABS brakes are optional only on the V6 models.  While the base LX features full power accessories, the SE ups the ante with a power driver's seat, heated mirrors, a CD player, sunroof, cruise control, and real wood trim.  Leather seats are optional only on the Optima SE.  The Kia does not rate well with owners in terms of overall quality.  Besides the maintenance issues, drivers complain of poor acceleration, low gas mileage, noticeable understeer, and dealers not honoring the famous warranty.  On a good note, they do like the handling, roomy cabin and trunk, smooth ride, and the quiet engine.


What's your take on the 2001 Kia Optima?

People researching a 2001 Kia Optima contacted a dealer about

Picture of 2001 Kia Optima LX
Kia Optima
26% of the time
Hyundai Sonata
7% of the time
Nissan Altima
6% of the time
Toyota Camry
5% of the time
Looking for a Used Optima in your area?
CarGurus has 35,763 nationwide Optima listings starting at $999.

Kia Optima Questions


2001 Kia Optima Won't Start

So a couple of weeks ago, my car was having an issue in the rain where it would stutter and even shut itself off on one occasion. I brought it to a local mechanic would determined that the ignition ...

15 views with no answers yet

2001 Kia Optima Lx Stutters And Shakes In The Rain

Hello, I have a 2001 Kia Optima. It has 127,000 miles on it. I had noticed a couple of years ago that when it rains, the car stutters a little while driving. I brought it in to my mechanic and they...

137 views with 5 answers (last answer 2 months ago)

I Need Step By Step Instructions To Change Out A Flywheel And Clutch For A ...

replacement clutch will not release.

441 views with 1 answer (last answer 3 years ago)

I Replaced The Clutch Assy And It Won't Release Any Suggestions?

114 views with 2 answers (last answer 3 years ago)

How Can I Tell If My 2001 Kia Optima Lx V6 Has Abs On It

need to replace the right rear wheel hub assembly but need to know if it needs the one for ABS or not.

326 views with 2 answers (last answer about a year ago)