2013 Kia Optima vs. Its Competition

2013 Kia Optima Hybrid 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

With its last redesign for 2011, the Kia Optima graduated from a high-value but unexciting choice to one that's top-notch, sophisticated, and full-featured.

The latest Optima takes on the Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord--all of which have been redesigned for 2013.

Versus the new versions of these cars, the Optima most directly faces the Accord, with its roomier interior and good compromise between ride comfort and handling.

The most recent Mazda6 wasn't a sales hit, but the new one could do better: its slightly offbeat styling is appealing, and so is its crisp steering and roomy back seat.

The 2013 Ford Fusion gets a more rakish appearance to match that of the Optima, while the Altima beats the Optima's highway mileage, with up to 38 mpg on the highway.

The Hyundai Sonata remains a close competitor as well, even if Kia doesn't want you to see it that way; between the two we've come to like the Optima a bit better for its somewhat better handling and simpler, more elegant styling.

2013 Kia Optima Hybrid 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View2013 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings2013 Ford Fusion2013 Ford FusionBrowse Used Listings2013 Honda Accord Sedan 4-door V6 Auto EX-L Angular Front Exterior View2013 Honda Accord SedanBrowse Used Listings2013 Hyundai Sonata 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited Angular Front Exterior View2013 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings2013 Mazda Mazda62013 Mazda MAZDA6Browse Used Listings2013 Nissan Altima 3.5SL2013 Nissan AltimaBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.4
The 2013 Kia Optima adds generous dashes of style and sophistication to what's otherwise a sensible, frugal, and spacious mid-size sedan.
9.0
The 2013 Ford Fusion's more than a rock-star body: it handles better than any other family sedan we've driven, and doesn't cheat on interior room to deliver it.
8.8
The 2013 Honda Accord is one of America's best, most sensible sedans, even if it hasn't changed radically.
8.6
With a standout design; perky performance; great gas mileage; and exceptional value for the money, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata is one of the best buys among mid-size sedans.
8.0
The 2013 Mazda6 is a little more enjoyable to drive than other mid-size sedans, and its roomy, comfortable interior is another advantage, but it's behind the curve in occupant safety and tech features.
8.2
Briskly updated in the right ways, the 2013 Nissan Altima sedan promises good looks and great gas mileage for those who don't mind a CVT.
MSRP From     
$21,350$21,900$21,680$20,895$20,725$21,760
Gas Mileage     
22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
Midsize CarsMid-Size SedanMidsize CarsLarge CarsMidsizeMidsize
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan LX4-Door Sedan S FWD4-Door I4 Manual LX4-Door Sedan 2.4L Automatic GLS *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport4-Door Sedan I4 2.5
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/A4N/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
SedanSedan4 Door SedanSedanSedanSedan
Transmission     
Automatic w/manual shiftAutomatic w/Manual ShiftManualAutomatic w/Manual ShiftManualContinuously Variable Ratio