2018 Kia Optima Hybrid vs. 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Optima Hybrid has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Optima Hybrid EX offers an optional Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Accord Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the Optima Hybrid’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Optima Hybrid and the Accord Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The Optima Hybrid comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Accord Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Optima Hybrid 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Accord Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Accord Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 5 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Optima Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Accord Hybrid:

 

Optima Hybrid

Accord Hybrid

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.5 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

11.1 inches

The Optima Hybrid’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Accord Hybrid are solid, not vented.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Optima Hybrid’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Accord Hybrid (110.4 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The Optima Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.3% to 41.7%) than the Accord Hybrid’s (59.5% to 40.5%). This gives the Optima Hybrid more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Optima Hybrid’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Accord Hybrid’s (35.8 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The Optima Hybrid is 3 inches shorter than the Accord Hybrid, making the Optima Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Optima Hybrid has .7 inches more front headroom, 3 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more rear headroom and 1.3 inches more rear hip room than the Accord Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

The Optima Hybrid EX’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Optima Hybrid’s available trunk can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The Optima Hybrid uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Accord Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Optima Hybrid’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Optima Hybrid and the Accord Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Optima Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Accord Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Optima Hybrid EX offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Optima Hybrid with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Accord Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Optima Hybrid EX keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Optima Hybrid EX’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the Kia Optima Hybrid as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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