2008 Kia Optima

  • 2008 Kia Optima EX Sedan

    EX Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.4L I4
    • MSRP
  • 2008 Kia Optima LX Sedan

    LX Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.4L I4
    • MSRP
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2008 Kia Optima Review

An affordable, roomy commuting vehicle, suitable for carpooling and family trips.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2008 Kia Optima is a solid choice in the selection of family sedans on the market. The Optima has many features. The Kia brand is also known for its reasonable prices and for receiving a high-quality vehicle for the amount of money spent. When it comes to safety, this vehicle scored very well in all the crash tests. The features that come standard should please most car lovers shopping for a decent sedan. The backseat has extra room for larger families. Most Optima drivers enjoy their daily commutes and other errands because of the smooth drive and the easy steering.

The Range

Body Styles: four-door sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Kia Optima LX and Kia Optima EX

What's New

The only new feature this year is a new auxiliary audio jack.


The exterior of the 2008 Kia Optima is not overloaded with extra features. Both the Optima LX and the Optima EX have a chrome grill that is attractive to oncoming traffic and other onlookers. The steel wheels are 16 inches with all-season tires. In addition to four all-season tires, the 2008 Optima come with an inside-mounted temporary spare tire and an additional steel spare wheel. The rear defogger keeps the rear view clear in humid and cold conditions.


The front bucket seats in the Optima LX are made from average quality cloth. There is plenty of room in the front and back with space in the back for three passengers. Extra features for the front seats are the eight-way power adjustable driver seat and leather seats. The driver seat also has manual adjustable lumbar support in both models. The back seat in the rear cabin is split-folding and comes with a center armrest with a storage area. Both models have power door locks and power mirrors that are heated. Both models only have one one-touch power window. The EX model has some extra convenience features for the owner to enjoy: a tilt steering wheel that is also telescopic, audio controls and cruise control on the steering wheel, and a universal remote transmitter. Both models have one 12-volt outlet in the front, a remote trunk release, and speed-proportional power steering. The vehicle has a filtration system to keep air fresh. Both models have the same audio system that includes an AM/FM radio, a single disc CD player, auxiliary MP3 input, and six speakers.

Performance & Handling

The 2.4- and 2.7-liter engines that come with the LX and EX models only produce 162 and 185 horsepower, respectively. The LX model comes standard with a five-speed automatic transmission that is optional on the EX. The 2.7-liter engine that produces 182 lb-ft of torque is optional on both models. With either engine option, the acceleration is slow. The 2.7-liter V-6 took a little over nine seconds to make it from zero to 60 mph. The higher the rpm goes, the quicker the V-6 engine runs out of power. The five-speed automatic transmission does not readily downshift when needed but can be shifted manually for better performance. This car does have a sporty feel; however, that comes from the communicative speed-proportional steering and tightly-tuned suspension.


The 2008 Kia Optima LX Sedan has both head airbags and dual side-mounted airbags in the front. In the rear of the cabin, only the head airbags are installed. The brake system has ventilated front brakes that prevent the discs from overheating, while the rear brakes are solid discs. A total of five headrests are installed with two for the driver and front passenger and three for up to three additional passengers in the rear. The passenger airbag system comes equipped with an occupant detection system that activates and deactivates the passenger airbags accordingly. The rear seat has a three-point seat belt for the safety of an additional third rear passenger. The emergency trunk release ensures than any small children can get out safely if they lock themselves inside. The tire pressure monitoring system warns the driver of low air pressure in case any of the tires develop a leak.

EPA Fuel Economy

Kia Optima: 21/31 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Affordable price
  • Manual shiftable automatic
  • Extra features in the EX
  • Leather seats in the EX
  • Suitable for commuting
  • Better than average fuel economy
  • Roomy interior
  • Quality interior materials

You Won't Like

  • Slow acceleration
  • Lack of power
  • Less luxury that other midsize sedans
  • Not many extra features in the EX

Sum Up

An affordable, roomy commuting vehicle, suitable for carpooling and family trips.

If You Like This Vehicle

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See the New 2016 Optima.

Front & Driver Side View

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