Owner Review: Super solid built! My 2011 Kia Optima 2.0 LX

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Basic information of my car:

2011 KIA Optima 2.0 LX

Reasons why I bought this car

Needed a car for university back in 2011.

Car Selection Process

I had a budget of: RM28000

Models that I’ve considered included : Toyota Vios, Mazda 3( to be honest i didn’t know anything about car models back then)

Gut Feeling (Absolutely no prior research or whatsoever)

It looked really nice in my opinion

User experience

  • I have already done 136000km.
  • My average fuel consumption is 8.6L/km

So funny thing was back in 2011, i needed a daily driver for university and on average 1 week i calculated i need to drive around 300-400km. Back then the other car my family had was a huge Mazda MPV and a random reliable/unreliable Hyundai sonata. At first when me and my parents went car shopping, Toyota cars in Brunei that time were all pricey( still is) in comparison to other cars. Then we went to have a look at the KIA Showroom. Initially mostly my parents did the looking around, i didn’t care much as long as i had a car to drive. During that time the showroom had an ongoing promotion and the KIA Optima that i eventually purchased was a showroom model, so it had little bit more discount.

Another reason i went with it was it had a 7 year warranty that time. When some of my contacts around found out i went with a KIA, they said i would regret it in a few years as Korean cars were known to be unreliable back then and said i should have bought a Toyota or Mazda. However i was happy with it as it was really bang for the buck then. Fast forward to 2022 now i can definitely say they are wrong. I had lots of fond memories in it over the past 10 plus years even though it did had a little bit of faulty. As of now, it is mostly driven by my parents as i had recently bought another car ( Proton X70). My friends keep saying why do i always opt for the more less common cars ( in my country) haha.

Pros of my car:

  • Fuel tank is large at 18.5 gallons or 70 liters.
  • The boot is hugee( around 441 liter), at least to me it was. Helpful with grocery shopping.
  • It looked very stylish with the facelift and was the most aesthetically pleasing car i could get within that budget.
  • As of 2022, i can say it has been really reliable to me. I have only replaced the driver side mirror once( under warranty). I have only two issues which i will mention later in the con
  • It is fun to drive around in and relaxing to drive on the highway.
  • Spacious and comfortable most of the time half the passengers that rode in it would fall asleep.
  • Relatively cheap to service for its size.
  • The brakes and accelerator are very responsive.
  • It has paddle shifters for when i want to manually change the gears.
  • Good Safety features for its time (6 airbags)
  • At least for my usage, it was quite fuel efficient. 

Cons of my car:

  • It is quite long so sometimes parking can be a hassle.
  • strong smell from outside can sometimes get into the cabin( sent it to different workshops to check and they couldn’t find fault weirdly..)
  • There is like some weird ngeok ngeok ( yes this is the best i can spell it) sound coming from my rear left side went move very slowly over uneven surfaces which again same as the above faulty, i have sent multiple workshops and tried few solutions, it always comes back. I have since given up on it, even the mechanics said nothing seems to be out of place or worn out. At some point i accepted my car is just weird.
  • It is quite low, so i have to slow down a lot(more so than other cars) at speed bumps to avoid hitting it and also sometimes this will be bit troublesome for elderly passengers.


Total Score: 4

Performance: 5

Quality & Features: 4

Space: 5

Ride Comfort: 5

Fuel Economy: 4

Price & Cost: 5

Summary :

When i bought it, my knowledge of cars were equivalent to a rock and i just relied on my gut feeling.

All in all, i am very happy with it. It is going strong and i hope it will go strong for another decade at least. Some people may be saying i am praising it too much but then again, this is what I have experienced with my unit. I know that other people who bought it have experience other issues but i guess i am just lucky or they are unlucky.


My car was actually rear ended by a smaller hatchback car once at a traffic stop, like my car was going 20km/hr and maybe the other was just around 30km/hr ish? The dude signalled me to the road side which i did but then he ended up hit and run. I caught up to him and over took him, flipping him off in the process but then i laughed when i saw the front of his car, at the car plate area was actually dented in and his plate numbers had some figures fell off.

When i finally stopped to check my car, i assumed the worst but to my surprise, it had literally no scratches or dents.. i tried my hardest to find the smallest paint chip over the next few days but nothing… Again i have accepted my car is weird at times and learn to live with it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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Source: Owner Review: Super solid built! My 2011 Kia Optima 2.0 LX

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