2020 Kia Optima vs. 2019 Audi A4

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 2019/10/15

The Optima’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 A4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Optima and the A4 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Kia Optima is safer than the Audi A4:

Optima

A4

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

26%

Neck Stress

218 lbs.

232 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

114/300 lbs.

431/395 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

1 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

87/92 lbs.

324/341 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 Kia Optima is safer than the Audi A4:

Optima

A4

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

111

172

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

178 G’s

219 G’s

Hip Force

306 lbs.

308 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

196

333

Spine Acceleration

37 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

585 lbs.

666 lbs.

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

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 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A4 is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

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 2019/10/15

The Optima comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The A4’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Optima 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the A4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Kia dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Optima’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 2019/10/15

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Optima has a standard 150-amp alternator. The A4’s standard 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Optima has a standard 800-amp battery (760 SX). The A4’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Optima third among midsize cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The A4 isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 2 places higher in reliability than Audi.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2019/10/15

On the EPA test cycle the Optima EX gets better fuel mileage than the A4 40 TFSI SMG (27 city/37 hwy vs. 27 city/34 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Optima uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A4 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Optima has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 (18.5 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

© 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 2019/10/15

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Kia Optima higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Audi A4 (3 to 5). This means the Optima produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A4 every 15,000 miles.

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 2019/10/15

The Optima stops shorter than the A4:

Optima

A4

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Optima is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A4.

For better maneuverability, the Optima’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the A4’s (35.8 feet vs. 38.1 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 2019/10/15

The Kia Optima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 200 pounds less than the Audi A4.

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 2019/10/15

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Optima a Large car, while the A4 is rated a Compact.

The Optima has 12.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 (104.8 vs. 92).

The Optima has .9 inches more front headroom, 4.2 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4.

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2019/10/15

The Optima has a much larger trunk than the A4 (15.9 vs. 13 cubic feet).

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 2019/10/15

The Optima offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The A4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Optima’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 A4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Optima’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 A4’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Consumer Reports rated the Optima’s headlight performance “Fair,” a higher rating than the A4’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

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’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the A4’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

The A4’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Optima SX’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

When the Optima EX/SX 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 A4’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Optima EX/SX has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The A4 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 2019/10/15

Insurance will cost less for the Optima owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Optima will cost $1130 less than the A4 over a five-year period.

The Optima will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Optima will retain 39.17% to 40.49% of its original price after five years, while the A4 only retains 37.24% to 38.04%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Optima is less expensive to operate than the A4 because it costs $109 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Optima than the A4, including $469 less for a water pump, $362 less for a muffler, $60 less for front brake pads, $617 less for a starter, $98 less for fuel injection, $278 less for a fuel pump, $656 less for front struts and $127 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Optima will be $14224 to $20285 less than for the Audi A4.

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 2019/10/15

The Kia Optima outsold the Audi A4/S4 by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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