2019 Toyota Mirai vs. 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mirai’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Toyota Mirai are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Mirai has standard Parking Assist Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Mirai’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Mirai has standard Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or 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 Mirai 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Mirai’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.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Mirai for 3 years and 35000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

There are over 59 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mirai’s warranty.

Reliability

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

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Toyota Mirai as a “Zero Emissions Vehicle” (ZEV). The Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid is only certified to “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV) standards.

Cargo Capacity

The Mirai has a much larger trunk than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid (12.8 vs. 9.9 cubic feet).

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

With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Mirai offers cargo security. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid’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 Mirai. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

The Mirai’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.

On a hot day the Mirai’s driver can lower all the windows 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.

The Mirai’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Mirai 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 Plug-In Hybrid has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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

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