Kia Optima Years To Avoid - 5 Worst Years

The Kia Optima is a mid-sized sedan that favors a comfortable ride over sporty acceleration. This reliable car is perfect for families and has plenty of room for passengers and luggage.

This reliable vehicle can go up to 200,000 miles if well looked after and serviced periodically. Under good conditions, it could even live on for an astonishing 300,000 miles. But the future would look brighter if you opted for one from the unlucky years instead.

⚡️Another article: Kia Sorento Years To Avoid

Kia Optima Years To Avoid List

A list of years when purchasing a Kia Optima is not recommended due to known issues.
A list of years when purchasing a Kia Optima is not recommended due to known issues.

While praised for manufacturing quality cars, some of the Optima year models made by Kia require caution. In particular, these years have had problems ranging from engine troubles to bad interiors.

Here is a list of such years to keep off:

  • 2011 Kia Optima: The faulty engines and electrical systems are the main concern in this model.
  • 2012 Kia Optima: Apart from being costly to maintain and repair, the 2012 Optima has also been known to have issues with steering, among other poor interior features.
  • 2013 Kia Optima: Just like the 2014 model, there are problems related to steering and engine malfunction in this case.
  • 2014 Kia Optima: Blown engines and electrical problems were just some of the challenges that faced the 2014 Kia Optima model year.
  • 2015 Kia Optima: Among the main areas of concern in the model were engine failures, fuel pump leaks, and steering hitches in the year.

The Worst Years of the Kia Optima

According to several websites, the worst model is the 2011 Kia Optima, which records fewer complaints than its 2013 counterpart. Still, it is associated with serious and costly issues involving engines.

💥See also: Kia Optima Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols

Why These Kia Optima Years Should Be Avoided?

Below are specific troubles associated with these Optima years:

2011 Kia Optima Common Problems

Overview of prevalent mechanical and electrical issues in the 2011 Kia Optima model.
Overview of prevalent mechanical and electrical issues in the 2011 Kia Optima model.

The 2011 Kia Optima is one of the least favorite years within that series. It has lots of problems that are very expensive to fix and create big inconveniences.

The main problem is engine failures, a common issue for many vehicles in this model year. This means significant expenses when it comes to repairing or replacing the engines.

Additionally, there are reports of electrical system failures where light fuses blow up. At times, owners have reported that their lights go off in darkness, posing safety risks. Consequently, this led to four recalls for the 2011 Kia Optima, an alarming statistic to its owners.

Moreover, the car’s fuel economy must be made better, thus resulting in increased operating expenses. Complaints regarding its steering performance also diminish it from being wanted to be perceived, hence creating a strong argument against buying such kind.

2012 Kia Optima Common Problems

Summary of frequent problems encountered by owners of the 2012 Kia Optima.
Summary of frequent problems encountered by owners of the 2012 Kia Optima.

The 2012 version of Kia Optima could not fix the issues from 2011. This edition has severe mechanical problems compounded by high ownership costs, making it an unfavorable choice for potential buyers.

Engine collapse is another common occurrence among consumers, and it is quite costly, requiring much maintenance to repair it. The average engine repair price, including labor and parts, varies between $2,500 – $4,000, and when you need an engine rebuilt, this goes up to approximately $4,600.

Furthermore, there have been complaints about steering even on new cars, which does not make sense. Major and minor interior accessories have also been shunned due to the high maintenance costs that come with them, discouraging prospective buyers.

2013 Kia Optima Common Problems

Insight into common defects and malfunctions in the 2013 Kia Optima.
Insight into common defects and malfunctions in the 2013 Kia Optima.

Following numerous cases of engine failures involving the 2013 model year as part of the Kia Optima series makes it a highly uncertain choice. Engine failure rates are alarming and sometimes occur at a lower mileage than ever for certain vehicles.

The problem is that drivers are experiencing engine knocking and power failure while driving. Over half of the Optima owners had to upgrade their engines at around $5,000.

In the 2013 model, steering problems have safety consequences and painting issues that occur prematurely. However, one of the least desirable models in this series is defined by the presence of oil sludge in the tank and other issues.

2014 Kia Optima Common Problems

Details of typical issues reported in the 2014 Kia Optima, including engine and transmission.
Details of typical issues reported in the 2014 Kia Optima, including engine and transmission.

The major flaws of the 2014 Kia Optima have been heavily publicized, leading to six recalls by NHTSA. On the other hand, the users of these vehicles have complained of a lack of a noise-cancellation system and uncomfortable ride quality, making vehicle maneuverability very frustrating.

Common issues include electrical system failures, including engine stalling out while driving. Additionally, steering problems and lack of smoothness when moving it further made its reputation unattractive.

2015 Kia Optima Common Problems

Compilation of regular complaints and faults found in the 2015 Kia Optima.
Compilation of regular complaints and faults found in the 2015 Kia Optima.

Surprisingly, the 2015 version of the Kia Optima has inherited some engine-related problems from its previous models. Engine failure, starting problems, and slow acceleration are some examples mentioned by users who own them.

This poses a serious risk to safety as it indicates that sometimes the wheel can get jammed up, leading to steering accidents. This came out after NHTSA conducted three recalls following an emergence, such as a fuel pump leak instance.

Don’t buy the 2015 Kia Optima if you’re looking for dependable transportation or a good car to drive daily.

What are the Most Reliable Years of Kia Optima?

On a brighter note, Kia Optima’s best years range from 2017 to 2019, where all these versions have enjoyed high ratings due to reliability and low complaints reported about them.

2017 Kia Optima

Overview of the 2017 Kia Optima, highlighting its features and performance.
Overview of the 2017 Kia Optima, highlighting its features and performance.

It comes with an overall rate score of approximately 8.4 out of 10. This vehicle is good as it has been in practical use, has a good style, and can be used by the entire family if they can afford it.

You can also select your own interior and exterior features using customization options. Even more interesting is that in contrast to previous models, Optima now has an engine you can rely on, thus saving you time and money on repairs.

2018 Kia Optima

Description of the 2018 Kia Optima, focusing on updates and improvements from previous years.
Description of the 2018 Kia Optima, focusing on updates and improvements from previous years.

The exterior and interior designs of the 2018 Optima are impressive, and there is enough space for passengers. It’s a vehicle with a safety score of 10 out of 10, hence secure driving at all times.

The 2018 Kia Optima reveals many improvements in its engine, interior, and driving experience that make it worth buying, among others.

💥See also: Kia Soul Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols

2019 Kia Optima

Insight into the design, technology, and efficiency of the 2019 Kia Optima model.
Insight into the design, technology, and efficiency of the 2019 Kia Optima model.

It received an outstanding rating of approximately 4.8 out of 5 in 2019. Kia Optima offers various techs, softness during the rides, and top-notch car rendition at an affordable rate.

Again, this model has solutions for dynamic safety enhancement while driving. It should be difficult to resist choosing this car as yours.

Finally

Like every other series, different years have different problems encountered by Kia Optima. However, there have been good years where excellent models were produced alongside problematic ones. The decision is, therefore, up to you as one decides which type of KIA OPTIMA to go for.

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