2008 Kia Optima

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2008 Kia Optima. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    24-26 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    162-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Price
  • Ride and handling
  • Strong engines
  • Interior fit and finish

The Bad

  • Awful new-car smell
  • Uncomfortable cloth front seats
  • Highway tire noise with 17-inch tires
  • Small trunk pass-thru
  • ABS is optional

Notable Features of the 2008 Kia Optima

  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Side-impact and side curtain airbags
  • Impressive warranty
  • Optional rear sunshade
  • Optional adjustable pedals

2008 Kia Optima Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Kia's Optima is a conservatively styled midsize sedan that's available with either four-cylinder or V-6 power. It can be equipped with some uncommon features for its class — like a manual sunshade for the rear window — and is offered in LX and step-up EX trim levels. It competes with other family sedans like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Changes are few for 2008: The Optima no longer comes with a cassette player but adds an auxiliary input jack for connecting MP3 players to the car's stereo. The Supervision gauges have been updated, and the side mirrors are now finished in black.


Exterior
Although the Optima's exterior styling doesn't break any new ground in the passenger car segment, it's well-proportioned overall. An Appearance Package features 17-inch wheels and a blacked-out grille and headlights. V-6-powered Optimas have dual exhaust pipes. Trunk volume measures 14.8 cubic feet.

Interior
Front bucket seats and a three-place, split-folding rear bench seat provide seating for up to five people. Air conditioning, power windows and locks, heated mirrors and a six-speaker CD stereo are standard. EX models add an eight-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control, a premium audio system and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Leather seats are optional.

Under the Hood
The Optima's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine generates 162 horsepower. Also offered is a 185-hp, 2.7-liter V-6. Available transmi...
Vehicle Overview
Kia's Optima is a conservatively styled midsize sedan that's available with either four-cylinder or V-6 power. It can be equipped with some uncommon features for its class — like a manual sunshade for the rear window — and is offered in LX and step-up EX trim levels. It competes with other family sedans like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Changes are few for 2008: The Optima no longer comes with a cassette player but adds an auxiliary input jack for connecting MP3 players to the car's stereo. The Supervision gauges have been updated, and the side mirrors are now finished in black.


Exterior
Although the Optima's exterior styling doesn't break any new ground in the passenger car segment, it's well-proportioned overall. An Appearance Package features 17-inch wheels and a blacked-out grille and headlights. V-6-powered Optimas have dual exhaust pipes. Trunk volume measures 14.8 cubic feet.

Interior
Front bucket seats and a three-place, split-folding rear bench seat provide seating for up to five people. Air conditioning, power windows and locks, heated mirrors and a six-speaker CD stereo are standard. EX models add an eight-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control, a premium audio system and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Leather seats are optional.

Under the Hood
The Optima's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine generates 162 horsepower. Also offered is a 185-hp, 2.7-liter V-6. Available transmissions include a five-speed manual and a five-speed automatic that has a manual-shift mode.

Safety
All-disc brakes, side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard. Antilock brakes, traction control, an electronic stability system and brake assist are optional.


Latest 2008 Optima Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(1.0)

Don?t buy one

by Cowboys fan from Dover Delaware on July 24, 2018

They are junk mying throde a rod threw the block I thought I was buying a good car but now I got to find another mother for it Read full review

(5.0)

Nice vehicle

by Hay from Tulsa,ok on June 29, 2018

Pick up is good, looks good, radio is okay. This vehicle doesn't show its years! Air is still ice cold! I feel good in this car and it has excellent safety ratings. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2008 Kia Optima currently has 3 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2008 Kia Optima has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Optima received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker