This is Kia’s replacement for the dreadfully dreary old square-edged saloon it used to peddle onto unsuspecting pensioners and minicab drivers. It was the epitome of old Kia. This is modern Kia . Kia employs high-quality soft touch materials on the upper half of the dashboard while the lower parts consist of cheaper hard plastics, but this is fairly normal for other mid-size cars too.. Kia Optima Transmission Problems See our lemon odds and nada odds page to see vehicles with no repairs or vehicles with more than three repairs. To see how frequently Kia Optima problems occur, check out our car reliability stats .. The Kia Optima is the automaker's popular mid-size sedan that squares off in an ultra-competitive class. With the Optima, Kia competes against best sellers like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry . Video Test Drives on the 2006 Kia Optima Test Drive.. Unlike the KIA Sportage that delivers its maximum torque of 280Mn from the same engine at 1,250rpm, the Optima doesn’t offer its 340Nm until 2,000rpm. Because it’s also a lot higher geared in 6 th , at 40mph per 1,000rpm, 6 th is out of bounds below 45mph..