2020 Chevrolet Impala vs. 2020 Kia Optima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Impala 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 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Impala and Optima have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Impala has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Optima’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

Both the Impala 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Impala is safer than the Kia Optima:

Impala

Optima

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Stress

184 lbs.

218 lbs.

Neck Compression

30 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

270/69 lbs.

114/300 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk

36.3%

50%

Neck Stress

132 lbs.

192 lbs.

Neck Compression

97 lbs.

101 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

57/21 lbs.

87/92 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Impala is safer than the Kia Optima:

Impala

Optima

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

150

319

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

66 G’s

Hip Force

855 lbs.

933 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

551 lbs.

585 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

The Impala’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Optima’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).

There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Impala’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

The Impala has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Optima doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

The Impala’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 127 more horsepower (305 vs. 178) and 69 lbs.-ft. more torque (264 vs. 195) than the Optima EX’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. The Impala’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 120 more horsepower (305 vs. 185) and 86 lbs.-ft. more torque (264 vs. 178) than the Optima’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Impala’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 60 more horsepower (305 vs. 245) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (264 vs. 260) than the Optima SX’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Impala is faster than the Optima EX 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.:

Impala

Optima

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.5 sec

19.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.2 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

92 MPH

Top Speed

149 MPH

134 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

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

Impala

Optima

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.2 inches

The Impala stops much shorter than the Optima:

Impala

Optima

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

For better traction, the Impala has larger standard tires than the Optima (235/50R18 vs. 205/65R16). The Impala Premier’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Optima (245/45R19 vs. 235/45R18).

The Impala LT’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 Impala Premier’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Optima S/SX’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Impala LT has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Optima LX. The Impala Premier’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Optima S/SX.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

The Impala’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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Impala’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the Optima (111.7 inches vs. 110.4 inches).

The Impala LT handles at .84 G’s, while the Optima pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Impala LT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Optima (26.6 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

The Impala has .1 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 4.2 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Optima.

Cargo Capacity

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The Impala has a much larger trunk than the Optima (18.8 vs. 15.9 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Impala’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Optima’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

A standard locking center console keeps your small valuables safer in the Impala. The Optima doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

The Impala has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Optima has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

The Impala’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Optima’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Impala’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, 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 open automatically.

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

The Impala Premier offers optional 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 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Impala 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 is only available on the Optima EX/SX.

Both the Impala and the Optima offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Impala has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Optima doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Impala offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Optima doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

Insurance will cost less for the Impala owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Impala will cost $575 less than the Optima over a five-year period.

The Impala will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Impala will retain 42.7% to 43.7% of its original price after five years, while the Optima only retains 39.17% to 40.49%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

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

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

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