2010 Kia Optima vs. Its Competition

2010 Kia Optima
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

Sheer value for the money is one of the leading reasons to opt for the 2010 Kia Optima.

In base form, it costs thousands less than comparably equipped Camry or Accord models.

But the Optima competes more readily with several vehicles that are either on the small side of mid-size or sold on value and affordability.

The all-new Suzuki Kizashi is a near-polar opposite of the Optima in driving feel, tuned to come across as very responsive with an emphasis on handling.

The Kizashi is slightly smaller, but like the Optima, the Kizashi comes very well equipped.

The Dodge Avenger flaunts a distinctly American design inside and out but fails to wow because of a coarse powertrain and chintzy interior (which has been slightly improved for 2010).

Ford’s Fusion is one of the better offerings in this class; it doesn’t provide the level of equipment featured in the Optima, but it’s fun to drive and well built, with an interior that doesn’t at all feel done on a tight budget.

Yet another model to consider is the Hyundai Sonata; from Kia’s sibling brand (the two are both from the same South Korean company) but unrelated mechanically, the Sonata feels more luxurious and comfort-oriented, and it boasts a stronger available V-6 that makes it a better pick if you’re opting for the larger engine.

2010 Kia Optima2010 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings2010 Dodge Avenger2010 Dodge AvengerBrowse Used Listings2010 Ford Fusion2010 Ford FusionBrowse Used Listings2010 Hyundai Sonata2010 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings2010 Suzuki Kizashi2010 Suzuki KizashiBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
6.6
The 2010 Kia Optima doesn’t have the excitement of its newest small cars, the Soul and Forte, but it does have strong appeal based in practical attributes like interior space, comfort, and value for the money.
7.0
The 2010 Dodge Avenger offers cool, chunky styling and innovative options; otherwise, it's several paces behind in the evolution of the mid-size sedan.
8.8
If you seek proof that Detroit in general, and Ford in particular, can build a comfortable, high-quality, fine-driving, and hyper-efficient sedan that is more than competitive, look to the 2010 Ford Fusion.
7.8
The refined and roomy 2010 Hyundai Sonata lands solidly in the middle of a crowded field of mid-size family sedans, with just a little more value for the money than most of the rest.
8.2
If you can get past the Suzuki badge itself, you'll be pleasantly surprised. The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi is sophisticated, well designed, and a lot more fun to drive than most other four-cylinder mid-size sedans.
MSRP From    
$17,995$20,230$19,695$18,700$18,999
Gas Mileage    
20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
MidsizeMid-SizeMid-Size SedanLargeCompact
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan I4 Manual LX4-Door Sedan SXT4-Door Sedan S FWD4-Door Sedan I4 Manual GLS4-Door Sedan Manual FWD S
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/A4
Body Style    
4dr Sedan4dr Sdn4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission    
Manual w/ODAutomaticManualManual w/ODManual