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The Optima Hybrid has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Optima Hybrid EX offers an optional Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Ioniq Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
Both the Optima Hybrid and the Ioniq 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 and rearview cameras.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Optima Hybrid its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Ioniq Hybrid is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Optima Hybrid’s reliability 28 points higher than the Ioniq Hybrid.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked third.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 5 places higher in reliability than Hyundai.
The Optima Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 53 more horsepower (192 vs. 139) and 76 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 195) than the Ioniq Hybrid’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.
The Optima Hybrid has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ioniq Hybrid (15.9 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Optima Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Ioniq Hybrid:
The Optima Hybrid’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Ioniq Hybrid are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Optima Hybrid has larger tires than the Ioniq Hybrid (215/55R17 vs. 195/65R15).
The Optima Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ioniq Hybrid’s standard 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Optima Hybrid has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Ioniq Hybrid.
The Optima Hybrid has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Ioniq Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer rear gas-charged shocks.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Optima Hybrid’s wheelbase is 4.1 inches longer than on the Ioniq Hybrid (110.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Optima Hybrid is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Ioniq Hybrid.
The Optima Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.3% to 41.7%) than the Ioniq Hybrid’s (59.9% to 40.1%). This gives the Optima Hybrid more stable handling and braking.
The Optima Hybrid uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Optima Hybrid has 8.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Ioniq Hybrid (104.8 vs. 96.2).
The Optima Hybrid has .7 inches more front headroom, 3.3 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front hip room, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 3.1 inches more rear hip room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ioniq Hybrid.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Optima Hybrid’s trunk can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Optima Hybrid uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Ioniq Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The Optima Hybrid’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Ioniq Hybrid’s parking brake has to released manually.
The Optima Hybrid’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 Ioniq Hybrid’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Ioniq Hybrid Limited’s rear windows don’t close automatically.
The Optima Hybrid’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Ioniq Hybrid’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Optima Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Ioniq Hybrid’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Optima Hybrid detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
The Optima Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Ioniq Hybrid SEL/Limited.
When the Optima Hybrid with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Ioniq Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the Optima Hybrid keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Optima Hybrid’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Both the Optima Hybrid and the Ioniq Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Optima Hybrid has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Optima Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid isn't recommended.
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