2002 Kia Optima

Change Vehicle
2002 Kia Optima
Available in 4 styles:  2002 Kia Optima 4dr Sedan shown
Asking Price Range
$547–$7,435
Estimated MPG

18–21 city / 24–28 hwy

Summary

By 

Cars.com National
Vehicle Overview
It seems that South Korean manufacturers introduce a new model in the United States and then immediately begin to consider modifications. Hyundai installed a bigger engine in its XG350 sedan after only a year on the U.S. market, and Kia has done the same for its Optima.

Based on the Hyundai Sonata, the midsize front-drive Kia Optima emerged in December 2000. For 2002, the Optima gets a new 2.7-liter V-6 engine, though the four-cylinder also remains available. The base sedan trades in its 14-inch tires for 15-inchers. Automatic on-off headlights have been added to the SE model, and a leather package for the SE includes a power front passenger seat.

Both Kia and Hyundai have shown big sales gains in recent years, and each has been expanding its lineup. Kia’s four-door midsize sedan is closely related to the front-drive Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai is the largest South Korean automaker, and it owns Kia; the companies maintain totally separate brand identities and dealer networks.

But warranties from the two automakers are identical; they cover the entire vehicle for five years/60,000 miles, major powertrain components for 10 years/100,000 miles and corrosion for five years/100,000 miles. Owners also get free roadside assistance for the first five years.

Exterior
Although Kia borrowed some styling touches from the Sonata, and the two share some major components, the Optima has a unique nose with a crosshatch grille. That’s the main visible difference between the two. Both the Sonata and Optima have a 106.3-inch wheelbase, but the Optima’s overall length of nearly 186 inches is a tad shorter than the Sonata’s and a few inches shorter than the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Optima is 71.5 inches wide and 55.5 inches high.

Interior
Front bucket seats and a three-place rear bench allow the Optima to seat five occupants. A folding rear seat expands maximum cargo space beyond the trunk’s 13.6-cubic-foot capacity. A two-bin console storage box holds items inside the SE sedan.

Standard equipment for the base LX model includes air conditioning, a cassette stereo, and power windows, locks and mirrors. The SE sedan adds a power moonroof, keyless entry, cruise control, a power driver’s seat and a 120-watt stereo system with cassette and CD players, among other features. An eight-way power driver’s seat in the SE includes lumbar support.

Under the Hood
Both the LX and SE sedan have a choice of engines: a 149-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 170-hp, 2.7-liter V-6. Sedans with the four-cylinder can have either a five-speed-manual or four-speed-automatic transmission. The V-6 is available only with the automatic, which incorporates adaptive logic and a provision for manually selected gear changes.

Safety
Antilock brakes are optional on models equipped with the V-6 engine. Side-impact airbags are standard, which is a first for Kia.

Driving Impressions
A smooth and easygoing ride leads the list of merits in Kia’s top model, which glides neatly past moderate bumps without transmitting much commotion to occupants; but rougher surfaces begin to impair its composure. The Optima is easy to maneuver and offers excellent stability on the highway. Acceleration with the V-6 reaches well beyond adequate, and the automatic transmission responds well even though an occasional abrupt downshift can occur at lower speeds.

Seats are somewhat firm but comfortable, and few faults come to mind after a lengthy drive. In overall competence, Kia’s midsize model comes surprisingly close to the level of the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Throw in a modest price, and the Optima serves as an appealing contender.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Featured Services for this Kia Optima

  • Sell your current car quickly and easily on Cars.com.
  • Not sure what auto repair should cost you? Use our price estimator.
  • Get help with car repair now on Cars.com. Visit Repair & Care

Search Inventory Near You

Calculate Monthly Payment

What will my monthly cost be?

Check Payment

Calculate Affordable Price

What is the most I can afford?

Check Price

More Calculators

Compare finance offers to decide what's right for you.

Certain specifications, prices and equipment data have been provided under license from Chrome Data Solutions ("Chrome Data"). ©2013 Chrome Data Solutions, LP. All Rights Reserved. This information is supplied for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without the express written consent of Chrome Data. Chrome Data makes no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, including without limitation any warranty of merchantability or fitness for particular purpose, with respect to the data presented here. All specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice.