2019 Mazda 6 vs. 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mazda 6 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, 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 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 Mazda 6 and the Optima 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, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

Warranty

The Mazda 6’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Optima Hybrid runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Engine

The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 58 more horsepower (250 vs. 192) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 271) than the Optima Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Mazda 6 (except Turbo)’s fuel efficiency. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Mazda 6 Touring/Signature’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Optima Hybrid:

 

Mazda6 Turbo

Optima

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mazda 6 has larger tires than the Optima Hybrid (225/55R17 vs. 205/65R16). The Mazda 6 Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Optima Hybrid (225/55R17 vs. 215/55R17).

The Mazda 6 Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Optima Hybrid’s standard 65 series tires. The Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Optima Hybrid’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mazda 6 Sport has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Optima Hybrid. The Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the Optima Hybrid.

The Mazda 6 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Optima Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Chassis

The Mazda 6 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Kia Optima Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

The Mazda 6 has a much larger trunk than the Optima Hybrid (14.7 vs. 13.4 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Mazda 6’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Optima Hybrid’s useful trunk space.

The Mazda 6’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Optima Hybrid Premium doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics

The Mazda 6 offers a 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 Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve and Signature have 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Mazda 6’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 Hybrid’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Mazda 6’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Optima Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Optima Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda 6 and the Kia Optima Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mazda 6 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 6 years. The Optima Hybrid has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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

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