2017 Kia Optima vs Nissan Altima
Buyers are spoiled in the mid-size sedan segment right now with so many vehicles to choose from that are of great qualiity. The 2017 Kia Optima is widely regarded as one of the best of the bunch right now, but there are plenty of long-established contenders that are also worthy of consideration. So, let's take a look at how the Optima compares in a head-to-head with the Nissan Altima.
2017 Kia Optima vs Nissan Altima
Although the Kia Optima was redesigned fairly recently, the difference might not be obvious on the outside. It's hardly a surprise Kia chose to stay true to the look of the previous Optima though, as it was already one of the best-looking cars in its class and still has a sport sedan appeal.
Nissan revised the Altima's styling just last year, and it now carries the current Nissan signature look introduced with the more upscale Maxima and also seen on the Murano crossover. It's the front and rear fascias that have been tweaked most as the rest of the sheet metal remains the same. The Altima is quite handsome, but it's no match for the Optima in the style department.
The upscale feel of the Optima's interior is the result of the styling of its more luxury-focused siblings, the Cadenza and the K900. The cabin is refined, stylish, well put together, and almost silent in most cases. The quality and fit is excellent, even in base models.
The difference between the interior quality of entry level and higher specification trim levels of the Nissan Altima is huge. While there's plenty of room inside the Nissan, entry models are a little plain and some of the materials leave something to be desired. The top trim level is very nice though, coming close to luxury sedan levels of comfort and quality but for a lot less money. But deficiencies at the entry level give this round to the Optima.
The 2017 Kia Optima offers three engine options, although they do all tend to occupy the middle ground. The entry level unit is a naturally aspirated 2.4, while the other two are turbocharged powerplants of 1.6 and 2.0-liter displacements. SXL and SX variants are the most fun to drive with the 245 horsepower of that 2.0-liter turbo, but even the non-turbo 2.4 is no slouch with its lively 185 horsepower.
The Altima used to be pretty sporty, but Nissan has now taken the midsize sedan towards more of a plush and refined character. The engine most models will be found to have is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that's very similar to the Optima's base engine and more than adequate with its 182 horsepower. There is a powerful 270 horsepower V-6 available though, which although fast, isn't the most refined and the CVT transmission that's in all Altimas doesn't help. A V6 option sets the Altima apart in this case.
The Kia Optima offers multiple trims and all models come very well equipped as standard. Even the entry level Optima LX comes standard with the likes of a rearview camera, satellite radio, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, alloy wheels and plenty more. The top-of-the-line SXL does cost a fair amount of money, but it is better equipped than many genuine luxury models and therefore still outstanding value for money.
The very base model of the Altima is really aimed at fleets, so it's best to look at the Nissan from the S model upwards. The Altima S includes Bluetooth with audio streaming, a 5.0-inch LCD screen for the audio system, a rearview camera and a proximity key. However, coming with the same steel wheels and hubcaps as the base model doesn't help its cause and definitely hands another victory to the Optima.
Learn More about the Kia Optima
There's just $3 between the invoice prices of the entry level models of the 2017 Kia Optima and the Nissan Altima, but the gulf in class and value is considerably greater. In nearly every way, the Kia Optima offers a mid-size sedan that delivers more than you might expect.