2020 Toyota Prius Prime 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 2020/06/05

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Prius Prime Limited has standard Parking Support Brake 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 Prius Prime Limited has standard Intelligent Clearance Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

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

Warranty

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The Prius Prime’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.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius Prime for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

There are over 63 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Prius Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 Prius Prime’s reliability 35 points higher than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Kia is ranked 9th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity (145 city/121 hwy vs. 103 city/100 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid running its gasoline engine (55 city/53 hwy vs. 39 city/44 hwy).

Transmission

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The Prius Prime 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 Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s (33.4 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Toyota Prius Prime may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid.

The Prius Prime is 8.2 inches shorter than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid, making the Prius Prime easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The Prius Prime has a much larger trunk than the Optima Plug-In Hybrid (19.8 vs. 9.9 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Prius Prime’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 Prius Prime’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 Prius Prime Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Prius Prime’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 Plug-In 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 Prius Prime the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Optima Plug-In Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Prius Prime Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Prius Prime Limited’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Optima Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/06/05

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Prius Prime as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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