2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid vs. 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid 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 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and the Optima Plug-In Hybrid 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.


The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Optima Plug-In Hybrid 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 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s warranty.


The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 10 more horsepower (212 vs. 202) than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid:







Running on electricity

117 city/102 hwy

103 city/104 hwy



Running its gasoline engine

44 city/40 hwy

38 city/43 hwy


The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 47 miles, 62% further than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s 29-mile range.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid higher (8 out of 10) than the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid (7). This means the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid produces up to 5.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid every 15,000 miles.


The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 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 Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Optima Plug-In Hybrid:




Front Rotors

12.3 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has larger tires than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid (235/45R18 vs. 215/55R17).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

Passenger Space

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid (15.5 vs. 9.9 cubic feet).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer folding rear seats.


The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 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 Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s front and rear power windows all 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 Plug-In Hybrid’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 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 Plug-In Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

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