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Average User Score
4.3 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 10 reviews
2004 Kia Optima Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 10 reviews
Under the radar, Kia is slowly playing catch-up to the big boy economy sedans on the market, combining comfort, convenience, and roominess at a much lower price point. The 2004 Kia Optima is a mid-size family sedan, based on the Sonata platform, that packs in a lot of standard features while remaining affordable for those on a budget. For 2004, the Optima gets a new grille design to distinguish it from the Sonata, and the V6 models get larger 16-inch tires for better road performance.
There are two trim levels for the 2004 Optima, each offered with either a 2.4-liter, 138-hp DOHC I4 or a 2.7-liter, 170-hp DOHC V6. The 4-cylinder comes with either a standard 5-speed or a 4-speed automatic with manual mode. The 4-speed is the sole transmission for the V6 models. The base LX carries full power features, 15-inch wheels, dual-front side airbags, cruise control, and a CD player. The more decked-out EX, which replaces last year's SE, ups the ante with a power driver's seat, a sunroof, keyless entry, wood and chrome accents, an auto-dimming mirror, and a remote garage opener. Only on the EX can you opt for heated leather seats and wood interior trim.
The Kia fares average to poor in some crash tests, but does well in side-impact ratings. Dual front-side airbags are standard across the line, while ABS brakes are only optional on the V6 models. Traction control is not available. Though Kia has always focused on good value for the money (and the 2004 Optima does come with a lot of standard features for what you pay), drivers say the gas mileage, at 20/27 mpg, is disappointing. Other complaints mention the labored acceleration with the I4 engine, the need for more rear legroom, and no ABS option on the I4. But most owners say the ride is comfortable, with incredibly smooth handling and little engine noise. They also like the exterior styling. The biggest draw is Kia's outstanding warranty.
What's your take on the 2004 Kia Optima?
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