2019 Honda Accord vs. 2019 Kia Optima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Accord deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Accord’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Optima’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Accord Sport 2.0T/EX/EX-L/Touring has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Optima doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

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

Warranty

The Accord’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Optima runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 35 percent more Honda dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Accord’s warranty.

Engine

The Accord has more powerful engines than the Optima:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Accord 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

192 HP

192 lbs.-ft.

Accord 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

252 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

Optima EX 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

178 HP

195 lbs.-ft.

Optima 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

178 lbs.-ft.

Optima SX 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Honda Accord 1.5T is faster than the Kia Optima 2.4 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Accord

Optima

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

89 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Accord 2.0 is faster than the Optima SX (automatics tested):

 

Accord

Optima

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

7.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99.3 MPH

90.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Accord gets better fuel mileage than the Optima:

 

 

Accord

Optima

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

30 city/38 hwy

27 city/37 hwy

1.6T/Auto

 

Sport/Touring 1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

29 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

 

n/a

25 city/35 hwy

4 cyl./Auto LX

 

 

n/a

24 city/33 hwy

4 cyl./Auto S

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

23 city/34 hwy

21 city/30 hwy

2.0T/Auto

 

Sport/Touring 2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/32 hwy

20 city/30 hwy

V6/Auto

The Accord has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Optima doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Honda Accord higher (6 to 7 out of 10) than the Kia Optima (5 to 7). This means the Accord produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Optima every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Accord 2.0 turbo 4 cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Optima.

The Accord has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Optima doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Accord stops much shorter than the Optima:

 

Accord

Optima

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

109 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Accord has larger standard tires than the Optima (225/50R17 vs. 205/65R16).

The Accord’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Optima LX’s standard 65 series tires. The Accord Sport/Touring’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Optima S/SX’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Accord has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Optima LX. The Accord Sport/Touring’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Optima S/SX.

Suspension and Handling

The Accord offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Optima’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Accord’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Optima doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Accord Touring handles at .89 G’s, while the Optima pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Accord Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Optima (26.4 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Accord EX 1.5T/EX-L 1.5T uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Optima doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Accord uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Optima doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Accord has .2 inches more front shoulder room, 4.8 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Optima.

Cargo Capacity

The Accord has a larger trunk than the Optima (16.7 vs. 15.9 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Accord easier. The Accord’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Optima’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Accord offers cargo security. The Optima’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Accord. The Optima doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

The Accord 2.0L Turbo offers up to a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Optima has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Accord Sport 2.0T Auto/EX/EX-L/Touring has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Optima doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Accord Touring has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Optima doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Accord’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Optima’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. The Optima S/EX/SX’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Accord the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Optima can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Accord’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Optima’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Accord Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

Consumer Reports rated the Accord’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Optima’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Accord has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Optima.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Accord owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Accord will cost $830 less than the Optima over a five-year period.

The Accord will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Accord will retain 43.72% to 52.72% of its original price after five years, while the Optima only retains 36.86% to 42.42%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Accord is less expensive to operate than the Optima because it costs $360 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Accord than the Optima, including $6 less for front brake pads and $175 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Honda Accord and the Kia Optima, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Accord was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 22 of the last 24 years. The Optima has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Accord 2.0T Sport was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The Optima has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Accord as the 2018 North American Car of the Year. The Optima has never been chosen.

The Honda Accord outsold the Kia Optima by almost three to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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