2008 Kia Optima

Find Another Kia Optima
20 CITY / 29 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • Outside mirror garnish now painted black

  • Goodyear 16-inch tires replace Michelins

  • Redesigned Supervision meter cluster on LX, EX appearance package

  • Auxiliary audio input jack added; cassette player deleted
Kia first entered the midsize car market in 2001 when it launched the original Optima. At the time, the Optima, like its platform-mate, the Hyundai Sonata, was intended to be a less-expensive alternative to mainstream midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. The Optima received a major redesign in 2006. That resulted in a wider car with a longer wheelbase, a wider track and independent front and rear suspension. Both cabin size and trunk room increased on this 4-door, 5-passenger, front-wheel-drive sedan. The Optima is covered by a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Kia Optima is available in LX and EX trims for both 4-cylinder and V-6 engine models. All models feature air conditioning, heated outside power mirrors, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, front and rear cupholders, and split and folding rear seats. The 4-cylinder LX with automatic transmission includes cruise control, keyless entry, an alarm, and a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes manually. The V-6 LX has dual exhaust tips and alloy wheels.

EX models include such standard fare as fog lights, sunroof, 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and floormats. The V-6 EX Optima gets dual exhaust tips.

The standard 162-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine on the 2008 Kia Optima is shared with the Sonata, but the 2.7-liter V-6 engine, which puts out 185 hp and 182 lb.-ft. of torque, is not. A 5-speed manual transmission comes standard on the 4-cylinder LX models; all other Optimas get a 5-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic shifting. With the changes to the EPA's 2008 fuel-economy formula, the Optima with an automatic transmission now gets 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2008 Kia Optima earns 5-star ratings in both front and side-impact crash tests. Standard safety features on the Optima include front, side, and side curtain air bags. Electronic stability control comes as a package-available on all models except the 4-cylinder EX with manual-with anti-lock brakes, traction control, and brake assist.

The optional Infinity sound system on the 2008 Kia Optima features a 6-disc CD changer and is MP3-compatible. It comes with a subwoofer and external amplifier. It's sold as part of the Premium package that includes a power sunroof with tilt feature. An auxiliary audio input jack is now found on all Optima models.

J.D. Power Ratings

J.D. Power data for this year, make and model is not available at this time

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*Please note that JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards. Learn more about how J.D. Power Ratings are calculated.

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