Thanks to its bargain base prices, which start several thousand dollars less than the Camry and Accord (which are admittedly plusher and more refined), the 2009 Kia Optima appeals to shoppers who want their money to go the furthest in a new mid-size sedan.
Versus a smaller sedan or more luxurious used car, the Optima offers an enviable new-car warranty from Kia.
Other direct competition might include the Dodge Avenger, which flaunts a distinctly American design inside and out.
The Avenger falls behind due to its coarse powertrain and chintzy interior materials.
The Fusion also has standout styling but is much more fun to drive than the Optima, even as a base four-cylinder model.
The new Malibu, though it costs only slightly more, feels in a class above, with a swoopy interior design, high-grade materials, and a very refined driving experience.
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|2009 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings||2009 Chevrolet MalibuBrowse Used Listings||2009 Ford FusionBrowse Used Listings||2009 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings||2008 Dodge AvengerBrowse Used Listings|
|20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas 4-Cyl||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|4-Door Sedan I4 Manual LX||4-Door Sedan LS w/1LS||4-Door Sedan I4 S FWD||4-Door Sedan I4 Manual GLS||4-Door Sedan SE FWD *Ltd Avail*|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4dr Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4dr Sdn|
|Manual w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||Automatic|