2020 Kia Optima vs. 2020 Toyota Avalon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

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 2019/10/14

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 Avalon doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Optima and the Avalon 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras 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 Kia Optima is safer than the Toyota Avalon:

Optima

Avalon

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

35%

Neck Stress

218 lbs.

220 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

114/300 lbs.

499/567 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

282

302

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.8 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

87/92 lbs.

447/453 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 Toyota Avalon:

Optima

Avalon

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

111

163

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.8 inches

Hip Force

306 lbs.

318 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

196

267

Spine Acceleration

37 G’s

38 G’s

Hip Force

585 lbs.

719 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 2019/10/14

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 Avalon’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

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

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

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Optima has a standard 800-amp battery (760 SX). The Avalon’s 582-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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

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 2019/10/14

On the EPA test cycle the Optima gets better fuel mileage than the Avalon:

MPG

Optima

FWD

EX 1.6 Turbo 4-cyl.

27 city/37 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

FE 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/35 hwy

Avalon

FWD

XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/32 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/31 hwy

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

The Optima has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Avalon XLE’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Optima has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Avalon XSE/Limited/TRD/Touring’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Transmission

© 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 offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Avalon doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

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 2019/10/14

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

Optima

Avalon

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

11 inches

The Optima stops shorter than the Avalon:

Optima

Avalon

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

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 2019/10/14

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

The Optima SX handles at .83 G’s, while the Avalon Touring pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Optima’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Avalon XLE’s (35.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The Optima’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the Avalon Limited/Touring’s (35.8 feet vs. 38.7 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 Kia Optima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 350 pounds less than the Toyota Avalon.

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

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 2019/10/14

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Optima a Large car, while the Avalon is rated a Mid-size.

The Optima has 2.4 inches more front headroom, 3.4 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more rear headroom and 1.2 inches more rear hip room than the Avalon.

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 2019/10/14

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Optima S/EX/SX’s trunk can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Avalon doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

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 2019/10/14

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 Avalon doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 Avalon’s passenger power window switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Avalon Limited/Touring’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.

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

Insurance will cost less for the Optima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Optima with a number “1” insurance rate while the Avalon is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Optima is less expensive to operate than the Avalon because typical repairs cost much less on the Optima than the Avalon, including $153 less for a water pump, $70 less for a muffler, $36 less for front brake pads, $317 less for a starter, $168 less for fuel injection, $152 less for a fuel pump, $194 less for front struts and $949 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 $4612 to $7074 less than for the Toyota Avalon.

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 and the Toyota Avalon, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Kia Optima outsold the Toyota Avalon by over three to one during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos