2020 Toyota Prius vs. 2020 Kia Optima Hybrid

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 2019/10/16

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Prius LE/XLE/Limited has standard Parking Support Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Prius 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 Prius 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, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius 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 Hybrid.

There are over 59 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Prius’ 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’ reliability 22 points higher than the Optima 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 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Prius FWD CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Optima Hybrid (58 city/53 hwy vs. 40 city/45 hwy).

Transmission

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The Prius 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.

Tires and Wheels

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The Prius XLE/Limited’s 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 55 series tires.

The Prius LE FWD has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Optima Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Prius’ turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Optima Hybrid’s (33.5 feet vs. 35.8 feet). The Prius Limited/XLE FWD’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the Optima Hybrid’s (35.4 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Toyota Prius may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 500 pounds less than the Kia Optima Hybrid.

The Prius is 11.1 inches shorter than the Optima Hybrid, making the Prius easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Prius’ hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. The Optima Hybrid’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

The Prius’ 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.

Ergonomics

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The Prius (except L/LE) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Optima Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Prius’ 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 Prius 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Optima Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

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

The Prius LE/XLE/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 Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Prius owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Prius will cost $915 to $2225 less than the Optima Hybrid over a five-year period.

The Prius will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Prius will retain 44.07% to 45.12% of its original price after five years, while the Optima Hybrid only retains 34.85%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Prius will be $1867 to $9405 less than for the Kia Optima Hybrid.

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 2019/10/16

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

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