2020 Lincoln MKZ vs. 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/08

The rear seatbelts optional on the MKZ inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The MKZ offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the MKZ and the Optima 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available front parking sensors.

Warranty

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The MKZ’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Optima Hybrid runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 9 percent more Lincoln dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the MKZ’s warranty.

Reliability

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The MKZ has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

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 MKZ’s reliability 20 points higher than the Optima Hybrid.

Engine

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The MKZ has more powerful engines than the Optima Hybrid:

Horsepower

Torque

MKZ Hybrid 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder

188 HP

n/a

MKZ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

350 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

MKZ AWD 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

Optima Hybrid 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder

192 HP

271 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The MKZ has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The MKZ Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the MKZ 2.0T/3.0T’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Optima Hybrid:

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Optima Hybrid

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the MKZ has larger tires than the Optima Hybrid (245/45R18 vs. 215/55R17).

The MKZ’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Optima Hybrid’s standard 55 series tires. The MKZ’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Optima Hybrid’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MKZ has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Optima Hybrid. The MKZ offers optional 19-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

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The MKZ has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Optima Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The MKZ’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the MKZ’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Optima Hybrid (112.2 inches vs. 110.4 inches).

Cargo Capacity

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To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the MKZ’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Optima Hybrid’s useful trunk space.

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

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the MKZ. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the MKZ offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Towing

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The MKZ has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Optima Hybrid has no towing capacity.

The MKZ 3.0 Turbo/Hybrid (except 2.0 Turbo) can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the MKZ can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Optima Hybrid can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 40% lower rating, Kia is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

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The MKZ has a standard 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 climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The MKZ’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Optima Hybrid.

The MKZ’s front and rear power windows all 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 Optima Hybrid’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the MKZ the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Optima Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The MKZ’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Optima Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the MKZ Reserve to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The MKZ has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Optima Hybrid has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the MKZ and the Optima Hybrid have standard heated front seats. The MKZ Reserve also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Optima Hybrid.

The MKZ Reserve offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Optima Hybrid.

The MKZ offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The MKZ Reserve’s Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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The MKZ will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the MKZ will retain 35.08% to 36.76% of its original price after five years, while the Optima Hybrid only retains 34.85%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/08

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

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