The 2001 Kia Optima is a four-door midsize sedan built by the Korean automaker. All models are built on a front-engine, front-drive layout. The first generation models, built from 2000 through 2005, 2001 being the first model year, were nearly identical to the Hyundai Sonata. There were only minor exterior detail differences between the two vehicles, mostly centered on the grille area and the Kia logo. The body style was very plain with little to differentiate it from most other sedans on the road at the time. Though U.S. sales figures for this first generation did not appear staggering, the Optima was and is one of Kia’s most successful models.
The 2001 Kia Optima is known primarily for the 10-year or 100,000-mile warranty it inherited, along with the rest of the Kia lineup, when it was bought out by Hyundai. Outside of this, early Kia models were fairly unknown.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 149-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 170-hp 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Kia Optima LX, Kia Optima LX, Kia Optima SE V-6, Kia Optima SE V-6
The 2001 Kia Optima offers a newly Hyundai-inspired 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
The 2001 Kia Optima is plain by most standards, with very little to distinguish it from a number of other sedans on the road. It's identical, in fact, to the more popular Hyundai Sonata in every way except for the grille area and the Kia logo. Some exterior features include standard power door mirrors, standard heated mirrors on the SE models and optional on the LX models, a power moonroof on the SE models only, standard rear window defroster, fog lights on the SE models only, and standard alloy wheels on the V-6 models only.
The 2001 Kia Optima is roomy for a midsize sedan, with seating for five. There are two bucket seats in the front and a rear-folding bench for additional cargo space. The trunk can hold up to 13 cubic feet. The LX gets air and power windows, locks, and doors standard. The SE gets a standard moonroof, cruise control, keyless entry, and power driver’s seat in addition to the options on the LX. The SE also has an upgraded sound system with a standard CD player.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Kia Optima get a 149-hp, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine, and drivers can choose to upgrade power to the 170-hp, 2.5-liter V-6, which is the same engine that’s in the Hyundai Sonata. Either can be paired with a four-speed automatic with overdrive or with overdrive and auto-manual or a five-speed manual transmission.
The 2001 Kia Optima's standard safety features include the required dual front-impact airbags and side front-impact airbags. The SE has traction control, and the V-6 models have optional ABS brakes.
EPA Fuel Economy
Kia Optima: 19/25 mpg city/highway
- 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty
- Smooth ride
You Won't Like
- Standard features
- Four-cylinder performance
A solid sedan with an amazing warranty that's priced below the competition.
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