2002 Kia Optima Overview


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Avg. Price: $4,341

Kia Optima Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 660
#2 Christopher Taza
Christopher Taza
Reputation 220
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Average User Score

3.35 stars

Based on 6 reviews

Fun To Drive And Definitely Reccomend It! by zy
 — Very reliable car! No major problems with it! Quick acceleration up to a point. Interior and exterior looks are above average and definitely compete with a comparable model accord and toyota. It ... Read More
Great Sporty, Family Car. by cooltonep
 — I really like this car and I would recommend it to others. It has a nice body and its deceptively fast. The one negative is that it requires frequent fuel fill-ups as it does eat up gas if used as a p... Read More
Effective by Diana715
 — Overall this is very reliable car. It is a safe car. I like the fact that it has leather seats and a sun roof. It drives very well but does have a few mechanical issues that need some work. It is ... Read More

2002 Kia Optima Overview

Overall User Score

3.3 out of 5 stars3.3 out of 5 stars3.3 out of 5 stars3.3 out of 5 stars3.3 out of 5 stars3.35

Based on 6 reviews

2002 Kia Optima

Some drivers might think you'd have to be optimistic to buy a Kia Optima, since the early years of this mid-size luxury sedan were riddled with problems, including power locks and window failures.  Owners also mention that unhelpful dealers had to be pushed to honor the Kia warranty.  But aside from these problems, the 2002 Kia Optima is an affordable family car that offers a lot of comfort and convenience for the price, if not a lot of power.

There were few changes from its inaugural year, but the 2002 Optima did get a new 2.7-liter V6 engine that puts out 178-hp, a gain of eight over last year.  The 2.4-liter I4 remains the same at 149-hp.  A 5-speed manual is standard on the I4, with an optional 4-speed automatic.  The V6 engines come only with a Tiptronic.  The base LX sedans also got bigger 15-inch tires this year, to match those on the SE.  The more luxurious SE gets automatic headlights and adds an optional 4-way power passenger seat to the standard 8-way driver's seat.  Even as a base model, the LX is nicely equipped with power features and dual front-side airbags.  The SE adds a sunroof, faux wood trim, foglights, and gaudy chrome interior and exterior trim.  Leather seats and trim are optional on the SE, and ABS brakes are optional with the V6 engines only.  

The 2002 Kia Optima hopes to compete against the Camry and Accord, and definitely wins in the price and roominess categories.  Owners are surprised at the amount of legroom and the large trunk.  Despite being underpowered and struggling on acceleration, the Optima handles well and provides a smooth and very quiet ride.  Drivers like all the standard features on the base model and the overall style, which makes it look more expensive than it is.  Along with the repair woes and engine weakness, downsides to 2002 Kia Optima ownership include less than expected gas mileage.


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Picture of 2002 Kia Optima LX, exterior
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Looking for a Used Optima in your area?
CarGurus has 33,035 nationwide Optima listings starting at $1,500.

Kia Optima Questions

Philmon Bell

How To Replace Fuel Pump

Remove and replace

30 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 weeks ago)

U Put A Can Of Freon And It Blows Very Cold Air But It Leac It Out Fast U C...

air conditinig leak

15 views with no answers yet

I Need To Replace An O2 Sensor. The Trouble Code Is P0154 "oxygen Sensor C...

874 views with 5 answers (last answer about a year ago)

Kia 2002 Optima Front End

42 views with 3 answers (last answer about a year ago)

What Would Be A Fair Price To Have Front Wheel Bearings Installed ? They Ha...

I have a 2002 kia optima with a V6 , the bearings are shot , i can get the bearings i just don't know what to expect to pay for labor

11,657 views with 25 answers (last answer 2 years ago)