2014 Kia Optima vs. Its Competition

2014 Kia Optima
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The Kia Optima turned into a completely different kind of car with its last redesign in 2011.

In short, it graduated from being a bland yet high-value offering to one that's top-notch, sophisticated, and full-featured.

The changes to the Optima for 2014 aren't all that significant, but it doesn't need much in styling or interior appointments to take on the latest Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord--all of which were redesigned for 2013.

The Optima most directly faces the Accord, with its good compromise between ride and handling.

The all-new 2014 Mazda6 is also a strong rival in style, and it actually drives with more verve than the Optima, although the Mazda's infotainment systems are inferior to the Optima's.

The Ford Fusion is one of our favorite cars on the market, with great handling and a rakish appearance to match that of the Optima.

Meanwhile, the base Nissan Altima beats the Optima's highway mileage, with up to 38 mpg on the highway.

And as for the Hyundai Sonata, it's closely related to the Optima, but we like the Kia for its simpler, more elegant styling--that we think will age better.

2014 Kia Optima2014 Kia Optima
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2014 Ford Fusion2014 Ford Fusion
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2014 Hyundai Sonata2014 Hyundai Sonata
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2014 Mazda Mazda62014 Mazda MAZDA6
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2014 Nissan Altima 4-door Sedan I4 2.5 SL Angular Front Exterior View2014 Nissan Altima
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Quick Specs
The 2014 Kia Optima is a sensible and spacious four-door sedan, but it moonlights as something a little more stylish and adventuresome.
The 2014 Ford Fusion has stunning good looks, satisfying performance, and top-notch safety and fuel economy--all without skimping on the interior space and ride comfort that really means something to mid-size sedan shoppers.
The 2014 Hyundai Sonata remains one of the best buys among mid-size sedans--although with so many much-improved rival models, it's no longer such a standout.
The 2014 Mazda 6 is a beauty, with refined, perky powertrains and a driving experience that mostly delivers on what the exterior suggests.
Following improvements that hit all the right spots, the 2014 Nissan Altima is a solid choice for those who don't mind a CVT.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
20 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class    
Midsize CarsMidsize CarsLarge CarsMidsize CarsMidsize Cars
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan EX4-Door Sedan S FWD4-Door Sedan 2.4L Automatic GLS PZEV4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport4-Door Sedan I4 2.5
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
Automatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODManual w/ODCVT w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2014 Kia Optima vs. 2014 Ford Fusion2014 Kia Optima vs. 2014 Hyundai Sonata2014 Kia Optima vs. 2014 Mazda MAZDA62014 Kia Optima vs. 2014 Nissan Altima