2020 Nissan Leaf vs. 2020 Kia Optima Plug-In 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 2020/02/29

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Leaf are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Leaf has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Leaf (except S) offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Leaf and the Optima Plug-In 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available daytime running lights and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

© 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 2020/02/29

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

There are over 40 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Leaf’s warranty.

Engine

© 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 2020/02/29

The Leaf PLUS’ standard electric motor produces 12 more horsepower (214 vs. 202) than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/02/29

On the EPA test cycle the Leaf gets better fuel mileage than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid:

MPGe

Leaf

Electric Motor

123 city/99 hwy

S PLUS Electric Motor

118 city/97 hwy

SV/SL PLUS Electric Motor

114 city/94 hwy

Optima Plug-In Hybrid

Electric Motor

103 city/100 hwy

MPG

2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

39 city/44 hwy

The Leaf PLUS’ maximum EPA estimated driving range is 226 miles on a full charge. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid can only travel about 28 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Leaf higher (10 out of 10) than the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid (7). This means the Leaf produces up to 11.8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid every 15,000 miles.

Tires and Wheels

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The Leaf SV/SL’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s 55 series tires.

The Leaf has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/02/29

For better maneuverability, the Leaf S’ turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Nissan Leaf may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

The Leaf is 1 foot, 2.7 inches shorter than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid, making the Leaf easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The Leaf has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid (23.6 vs. 9.9 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Leaf’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s useful trunk space.

The Leaf’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Ergonomics

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The Leaf SV/SL 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 Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Leaf has a standard rear wiper. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Both the Leaf and the Optima Plug-In Hybrid offer available heated front seats. The Leaf SL also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/02/29

Insurance will cost less for the Leaf owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Leaf will cost $5645 to $6050 less than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Leaf will be $3848 to $9604 less than for the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

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