2019 Kia Optima vs Honda AccordCompare Cars
Despite a decrease in sales numbers over the past few years, midsize sedans are still some of today’s hottest family vehicles. The latest Honda Accord has certainly caught the attention of many drivers. It’s spacious, powerful, and good on gas. Car shoppers should also strongly consider buying a new Kia Optima. Many critics praise the Optima for its great value. Let’s see which one of these best-selling sedans wins this head-to-head clash.
There are two different turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the Accord’s lineup. A 1.5-liter engine is found on most trims, which cranks out 192 ponies and 192 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, Honda rates the bigger 2.0-liter engine to generate a gutsy 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.
The base power source for the Optima is a non-turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It pushes out a fulfilling 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Designed to offer additional fuel savings, Kia’s smaller turbocharged engine pushes out nearly 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. A 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine sits atop the lineup. This engine pumps out 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.
When equipped with its base engine, the 2019 Kia Optima has plenty of pep for running everyday errands. When equipped with its smaller turbocharged engine, it becomes more entertaining to drive. Of course, driving enthusiasts will want the larger 2.0-liter engine.
While the Kia Optima offers a competitive level of performance, the 2019 Honda Accord is a bit stronger. Testers have clocked the Accord 2.0T with a scorching 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds. Meanwhile, various magazines list the Optima 2.0T with a 0-60 mph time of around 6.8 seconds.
In terms of fuel economy, the Honda Accord yet again outclasses the Kia Optima. Drivers can expect the Accord to average around 33 mpg. Fuel economy estimates for the Optima stand at a combined 27 mpg. However, efficiency jumps to a combined 31 mpg with the Optima’s smaller turbocharged engine. With both cars, stepping up to a more powerful engine results in decreased gas mileage.
The Accord’s transmissions work well. Even the standard automatic CVT reacts quickly. Models equipped with the upgraded engine feature a 10-speed automatic, which is very precise. You’ll also find the Optima’s available eight-speed automatic transmission to be very smooth and responsive. Kia’s standard Drive Mode Select system allows you to choose from four different driving modes. Activating the Sport mode programs the transmission to shift quickly.
In terms of handling in the snow, neither sedan has a clear advantage over the other. Both come equipped with front-wheel drive. An AWD system is not on the list of options.
The 2019 Honda Accord has a slightly higher reliability rating than the 2019 Kia Optima. However, it still trails competitors like the 2019 Toyota Camry. Kia does offer superior warranty coverage. Optima owners will enjoy a much longer powertrain warranty, which lasts for 100,000 miles. Honda’s powertrain warranty cuts off after 60,000 miles.
The 2019 Kia Optima offers a hassle-free driving experience. Even inexperienced teens will have no trouble guiding the Optima through traffic. Drivers will also have an easy time maneuvering the 2019 Honda Accord.
In the handling department, the Honda Accord edges the Kia Optima just by a hair. A sports-tuned suspension comes equipped on the Optima SX, which gives the sedan a very stable feel. To experience the best possible handling, drivers should test out the Honda Accord Touring. It comes standard with adaptive suspension dampers. While the suspension’s Normal mode is good for everyday commuting, activating the Sport setting transforms the Accord into a better athlete.
The 2019 Honda Accord offers exceptional ride comfort. This is especially true for the Touring trim. It’s a great car for traveling from one side of the country to the next. Most people also praise the Kia Optima for its ride comfort. However, getting the Optima with a sports-tuned suspension will result in a tad more bumpiness.
Both cars feature an electric steering system. This feature helps with parking. While the Optima has a 35.8-foot turning radius, the Accord has a 38.1-foot turning radius. Expect the Optima to be a bit easier to navigate in small areas.
When comparing these sedans, most people prefer the Kia Optima’s driving position. Because the driver’s seat is so highly adjustable, everyone can obtain a confident stance behind the wheel. Although the Accord also provides a good driving position, tall folks may feel their knee bumping against the interior trim.
While both cars provide good outward visibility, the Honda Accord offers a more expansive view of the road. There are fewer blind spots inside the Accord. A high trunk reduces the driver’s rear visibility in the Optima.
Families will be concerned about which car has the most passenger room. There’s an extra 3.2 inches of legroom in the front of the Kia Optima. This fact may win over some taller drivers. On the other hand, the Honda Accord provides significantly more legroom in the rear. Although the Accord has a huge trunk, most families will have no issues with the Optima’s trunk space.
The Honda Accord’s infotainment system has improved. There are now more buttons, which help drivers to easily operate the system. Kia’s infotainment system is just as good. You can also get these cars with a nice-sounding premium audio system. Remember, only the Accord can be equipped with a head-up driving display.
Interior quality is above average for these sedans. While passengers will hear more wind noise inside of the Optima, it’s not bad.
Safety isn’t a big concern for these two family sedans. They both grabbed an overall five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. While the 2019 Honda Accord received Top Safety Pick credentials from the IIHS, the 2019 Kia Optima received an even better Top Safety Pick+ rating. Evaluators from the IIHS found the Optima’s available adaptive headlights to perform better. Honda does not offer the Accord with adaptive lighting.
Honda Sensing is standard on the new Accord. This safety package is designed to give drivers more assurance. It provides forward collision intervention, lane assistance, and smart cruise.
For 2019, the Optima now comes standard with these same accident-avoidance technologies. However, Kia goes a step further by also adding blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and parking sensors. These helpful features certainly add to the Optima’s great value. To enjoy a blind-spot monitor, Accord buyers must spend more money.
Both cars benefit from an excellent antilock braking system. When encountering a deer crossing the road or a slowing vehicle, drivers will be able to stop quickly.
Parents may appreciate the Accord’s smarter airbag system. When the system detects someone leaning against the door during a crash, it will reduce the force of the side airbags. Another big feature not available on the Optima is the Accord Touring’s head-up display. It helps keep the driver’s eyes above the dash.
Which Has the Best Value?
Virtually everyone in the automotive world considers the 2019 Kia Optima to be a fantastic value. It has a starting MSRP of just less than $23,000. Prices for the Accord begin at an estimated $23,720. Although the Accord may not be significantly more expensive, budget-minded car shoppers will appreciate the Optima’s savings.
Does the base 2019 Kia Optima LX force buyer’s to make any sacrifices? No, the new Optima actually gives buyers more for their money. Not only does the Optima come standard with a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, but it also receives Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A six-speaker stereo system with HD and satellite radio adds to the base Optima’s value. Standard blind-spot monitoring is yet another perk.
Standard equipment on the 2019 Honda Accord includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a four-speaker sound system, and a USB port. While the base Optima LX is a better deal, the base Accord LX does have one advantage. It comes standard with LED headlights as opposed to less expensive halogen headlights.
Kia gears the Optima SX 2.0T towards driving enthusiasts. It has a sticker price of $31,990. Aside from sportier exterior treatments, this trim also benefits from a flat-bottom steering wheel and aluminum pedals. Adaptive LED headlights come standard. A 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system brings more excitement.
Some people will be cross-shopping the Optima SX 2.0T with the Accord Sport 2.0T, which has a starting MSRP of around $30,710. It’s also a good option for drivers who desire more fun on the road.
Drivers who find the Optima SX 2.0T and the Accord Sport 2.0T to be a bit too costly, have some cheaper alternatives to choose from. Priced at right around $25,000, the Optima S also has a sporty theme. However, it packs less power under the hood. Buyers will find the Accord Sport to be roughly $1,200 more expensive. These trims are both well equipped.
Which Is Better?
Before crowning a winner, let’s first dive deeper into what each car has to offer. The 2019 Kia Optima wins in value. Buyers will enjoy its longer warranty and more rewarding list of standard features. Accord buyers will have to pay extra to get hot items like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, satellite radio, and blind-spot monitoring.
The 2019 Honda Accord hits the right mark in the performance category. Models equipped with Honda’s 2.0T engine are especially quick. Furthermore, drivers who enjoy shifting gears can get the Accord Sport with a manual transmission for no extra cost. While the 2019 Kia Optima may not be as quick and responsive as the Accord, it’s still a pleasure to drive.
Kia has refreshed the Optima's styling for 2019. It has a beautiful appearance. Some people may easily confuse the Optima with a far more expensive car. The Accord is also a looker. However, a few more exterior upgrades are offered on the Optima. Red brake calipers help the Optima SX to make a big statement. Black alloy wheels are available as well.
Both sedans prove to be solid family cars. Although the Accord may have a more spacious backseat, most families will be able to relax inside of the Optima. Remember, the Accord does have a higher resale value and a reputation for offering impressive long-term dependability.
This is a matchup of two of the best cars in the segment. It’s no surprise that some people will have a hard time picking one over the other. The 2019 Honda Accord is likely the better choice for drivers who crave a sportier ride. Class-leading backseat space also helps make the Accord a fine family hauler. On the other side, some buyers will ultimately be won over by the Optima’s strong value and sleek styling.