2019 Kia Optima vs. the Competition


The midsized sedan segment has certainly not lost its steam in 2019. As one of the most affordable and versatile vehicle segments, it continues to draw buyers who just aren’t interested in the crossover craze. One of the best deals out there is the ‘19 Kia Optima, as it exemplifies what it means to be a midsized four-door today and does it at a great price point. Competing with it, though, are many rivals: the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, and Hyundai Sonata, each of which is fighting for a top spot on car shoppers’ lists. Despite the fierce competition, the Optima is making a name for itself and leading the way in what it offers to drivers.


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Pricing and Warranty

With a starting MSRP of $22,990, the Optima features one of the most attractive price tags in the segment. Although the Sonata and Fusion start slightly lower, at $22,500 and $22,840, respectively, they don’t come with as much standard equipment (more on that below). The Accord ($23,720), Altima ($24,000), and Camry ($24,095) all have higher base pricing than the Optima.

On top of that, the Optima is matched only by its fellow Korean sedan, the Hyundai Sonata, in warranty coverage for both powertrain and bumper-to-bumper. While the majority of the pack provides 5 years/60,000 miles for the powertrain and 3 years/36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper, the Optima and Sonata boast a class-leading 10 years/100,000 miles and 5 years/60,000 miles for each respective warranty.

Accommodations and Standard Features

The 2019 Kia Optima also features the most spacious interior among the cars compared here. With total passenger space listed at 121 cubic feet, the Optima easily outdoes the Accord (106 cu. ft.), Altima (101.8 cu. ft.) and Camry (100 cu. ft.). The front-row leg room in the Optima is also noteworthy, at 45.5 inches compared to the next-closest Altima’s 44.1 inches. The Optima also shines with its infotainment system, which has one of the largest screens in its class at 8 inches for the base trim. The Altima’s is the same size, while the Accord, Camry, and Sonata’s base infotainment screens are 7 inches. The Fusion falls significantly behind with its 4.2-inch display. Rounding out the list of nice features on the base Optima are heated mirrors and two-way power lumbar support for the driver’s seat, each of which is unavailable for the other models’ base trims.


Safety Ratings and Features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) granted the Optima five stars, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) made it a Top Safety Pick+ along with the Camry. The Accord and Altima were both named to the IIHS’s standard Top Safety Pick list, which is still exceptional but nonetheless falls slightly behind. The Optima’s standard safety tech is also distinct in that it’s the only car in its segment to include an attention monitoring system. It also comes complete with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist with departure alert, and forward collision warning. The Sonata lacks these features on its base model, and while the Altima also lacks most of the features it does include forward collision warning.