2020 Kia Optima Hybrid vs. 2020 Honda Insight

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Insight 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 Insight only offers a rear monitor.

To help make backing safer, the Optima Hybrid’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Insight doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Optima Hybrid and the Insight 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

The Kia Optima Hybrid weighs 418 to 509 pounds more than the Honda Insight. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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The Optima Hybrid comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Insight’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Optima Hybrid 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Insight. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Insight ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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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 15 points higher than the Insight.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 10 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

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The Optima Hybrid’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 41 more horsepower (192 vs. 151) than the Insight’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Optima Hybrid has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Insight (15.9 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Optima Hybrid

Insight

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

10.2 inches

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 Insight are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Optima Hybrid has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Insight.

Suspension and Handling

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The Optima Hybrid has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Insight’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Optima Hybrid has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Insight doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Optima Hybrid’s wheelbase is 4.1 inches longer than on the Insight (110.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Optima Hybrid is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Insight.

The Optima Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.3% to 41.7%) than the Insight’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the Optima Hybrid more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Optima Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Insight doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Optima Hybrid has 7.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Insight (104.8 vs. 97.6).

The Optima Hybrid has .5 inches more front headroom, 3.2 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 8.7 inches more rear hip room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Insight.

Cargo Capacity

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The Optima Hybrid EX’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Insight’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

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 Insight doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The Optima Hybrid uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Insight 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.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the Optima Hybrid, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Insight doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Optima Hybrid’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Insight doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Optima Hybrid and the Insight have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Optima Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Insight prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Optima Hybrid offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Insight doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 Insight’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 Insight 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 Insight doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Optima Hybrid 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 Insight Touring.

Both the Optima Hybrid and the Insight 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 Insight doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Optima Hybrid has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Insight doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 2019/10/18

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

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