2017 Kia Optima vs Hyundai Sonata

2017 Kia Optima vs Hyundai Sonata

A number of midsize sedans are extremely good, sell in big numbers, and have been around for a pretty long time. The 2017 Kia Optima and the Hyundai Sonata might not have been at the top of the list a few years ago, but they're among the best now. Let's see how they compare to each other.

2017 Kia Optima vs Hyundai Sonata


Pick any midsize sedan you can think of and the Kia Sedona will give it a very serious run for its money in style. Last year's redesign focused mostly on the front fascia, and the result is a stunning looking car.

The Sonata was redesigned a year earlier than the Kia, when it took on a somewhat more traditional look than it had previously. The chrome-trimmed excesses of the past are now consigned to history, and the Sonata is now sober and businesslike--which may or may not be attractive to sedan buyers.


The three engines available for the Optima are all four-cylinder units, with EX and LX models getting a 2.4-liter with 185 horsepower--that's more than adequate for most buyers. You can also opt for a 1.6-liter turbo, which is the thriftiest unit but still develops a healthy 178 horsepower. Probably the most desirable engine is the 2.0-liter turbo, which then gets you a spunky 245 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque.

If you weren't already aware of how closely related these two cars are, you will be when you find out that their powertrains are identical. The Hyundai, according to testing, costs a bit less to run each year so it ekes out a win here.


It's not just the Kia exteriors that have got better over the last decade. In fact, the interiors have probably improved even more than the exteriors. There's a decent amount of room in the Optima for a midsize, the design and the quality of the materials is excellent, and the almost silence inside is achieved by acoustic treatment that delivers a real luxury car experience.

There's a little more head room in the back of the Sonata than six-footers will enjoy in the Kia Optima, and passenger space overall is pretty good. You'll find family friendly bins, cubbies, and cup holders everywhere you look in the Hyundai. Even with all of this going for the Sonata, the upscale feel of the Kia gives the Optima the win.

Features and Equipment

Despite their undoubted quality, base versions of the Kia Optima can be a little sparsely equipped compared to some rivals. All the basics are there as standard though, including a rearview camera, satellite radio, a six-way powered seat, a height-adjustable passenger's seat, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, and alloy wheels. Standard equipment also includes leather throughout and automatic dual zone temperature control, with the option of a navigation system.

The Sonata SE comes standard with a rearview camera, power features, 16-inch alloy wheels and automatic headlights. However, there's also an audio/connectivity package standard that includes AM/FM/XM/HD/CD audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth with audio streaming and a USB port. While the connectivity is nice, the Kia outshines with interior options that are simply not available on the Hyundai.

Learn More about the Kia Optima

2017 Kia Optima vs Hyundai Sonata

It's no surprise there's a lot these two have in common, but there are also some key differences. The Hyundai offers better connectivity equipment at entry level and may give you a mile or two extra per gallon in efficiency, but for most buyers it will be impossible to overlook how much more attractive the 2017 Kia Optima is compared to the slightly more mundane Hyundai Sonata. The interior doesn't feel anything like a run-of-the-mill sedan and standard features, even on the base model, are seriously impressive. The Optima is clearly the right choice.

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6,088 miles, Regular Unleaded I-4 2.4 L/144, MPG City: 25 MPG Hwy: 36***, 4DR, Sangria Exterior, Beige Interior, 6-Speed Automatic w/OD
Stock #K200780A
Exterior ColorSangria
Interior ColorBeige
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