2020 Kia Optima Hybrid vs. 2020 Lexus ES Series

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 ES Series doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Optima Hybrid and the ES Series 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.

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 ES Series’ 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Optima Hybrid 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Lexus covers the ES Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the ES Series ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Kia dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Optima Hybrid’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 2019/10/14

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 Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Engine

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The Optima Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 267) than the ES 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Optima Hybrid has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the ES Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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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 ES Series are solid, not vented.

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 ES Series’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better maneuverability, the Optima Hybrid’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the ES Series’ (35.8 feet vs. 38 feet). The Optima Hybrid’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the ES Series w/18-19” wheels’ (35.8 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis

© 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 2019/10/14

The Optima Hybrid is 4.8 inches shorter than the ES Series, making the Optima Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Kia Optima Hybrid amounts to more than styling. The Optima Hybrid has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .24 Cd. That is lower than the ES Series (.26 to .29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Optima Hybrid get better fuel mileage.

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 ES Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Optima Hybrid has 4.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ES Series (104.8 vs. 99.9).

The Optima Hybrid has 2.3 inches more front headroom, 3.1 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear hip room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES Series.

Cargo Capacity

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

Ergonomics

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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. Wireless charging costs extra on the ES Series.

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 2019/10/14

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Optima Hybrid will be $5569 to $9812 less than for the Lexus ES Series.

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 2019/10/14

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Optima Hybrid and the Lexus ES Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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