2009 Kia Optima vs. Its Competition

2009 Kia Optima

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.

2009 Kia Optima2009 Kia Optima
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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid2009 Chevrolet Malibu
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2009 Ford Fusion2009 Ford Fusion
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2009 Hyundai Sonata2009 Hyundai Sonata
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2008 Dodge Avenger SE2008 Dodge Avenger
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Quick Specs
The 2009 Kia Optima is a thoroughly competent, comfortable mid-size sedan that’s sorely lacking in personality and excitement—even with a modest spice-up for this year.
The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu is a top contender in its class in almost every way.
The 2009 Ford Fusion is a great choice for those who place their priorities on style and handling, but if interior space matters to you, look elsewhere.
TheCarConnection.com still rates the Honda Accord as the family-sedan champion, but the 2009 Hyundai Sonata lands solidly in the upstart tier that includes the Mazda6, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu.
The 2008 Dodge Avenger’s styling is refreshingly different in a same-as field of sedans, but otherwise it’s behind the curve.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas 4-CylGas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
MidsizeMidsizeMid-Size SedanLargeMid-size
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan I4 Manual LX4-Door Sedan LS w/1LS4-Door Sedan I4 S FWD4-Door Sedan I4 Manual GLS4-Door Sedan SE FWD *Ltd Avail*
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4dr Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4dr Sdn
Manual w/ODAutomatic w/ODManualManual w/ODAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2009 Kia Optima vs. 2009 Chevrolet Malibu2009 Kia Optima vs. 2009 Ford Fusion2009 Kia Optima vs. 2009 Hyundai Sonata2009 Kia Optima vs. 2008 Dodge Avenger