,

2019 Chevrolet Malibu

Starting Price:  $22,965 | Price yours

Above Average:  Fuel economy, hybrid model, legroom, features

Below Average: Driver assist systems are optional, standard horsepower, trunk size

Consensus: A sophisticated family sedan with lots to like, but with advanced driver assist features that should be standard, not optional.

 

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2019 Kia Optima

Starting Price:  $23,820 | Price yours

Above Average:  Standard driver assist systems, feature set, engine options, standard warranty, luxurious SX trim

Below Average: Some interior parts on lower trims, 1.6-liter engine struggles at times, hybrid fuel economy lags behind rivals

Consensus: A family sedan with an appealing look, roomy interior and impressive feature set, plus one of the best standard warranties in the business.

 

The Chevrolet Malibu offers sleek styling, a roomy passenger compartment, sporty handling and an available hybrid model. The Kia Optima has these same attributes, only better, with a hybrid and plug-in hybrid model, more engine options, a more powerful base engine and a suite of standard driver assists that are all optional on the Malibu. Both cars offer sophisticated infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and both offer unique and upscale features like ventilated front seats and high-end audio systems. The Malibu does have more rear-seat legroom, but the Optima provides nearly 4 cubic feet more trunk space and has a tighter turning radius. The Optima also comes with a longer standard warranty, with 5 years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper and a 10-year/100,000-mile plan covering the powertrain.

Chevrolet Malibu Advantages

Rear-seat legroom, fuel economy

Kia Optima Advantages

Standard driver assists, trunk volume, warranty, resale

Similarities

Crash-test scores, infotainment, upscale options, interior room, optional high-output turbocharged engines, hybrid model

Final Recommendation

Although it may cost a bit more, we’d go with the Kia Optima. You’ll get a better warranty, more engine options, standard driver assists and a more upscale interior on the SX trim. The Optima also holds its value better than the Malibu and has a much larger trunk.

  2019 Chevrolet Malibu 2019 Kia Optima
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 1.5-liter turbo I4 2.4-liter I4
Horsepower 163 hp @ 5,700 rpm 185 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 184 lb-ft @ 2,500-3,000 rpm 178 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission Continuously Variable Automatic, 6-spd
Fuel Economy 32 mpg (29 city/36 hwy) 29 mpg (25 city, 36 hwy)
Also Available 2.0L turbo, hybrid 2.0L turbo I4,1.6L turbo I4, hybrid, 7-spd AT
Specs    
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 5 years or 60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 111.4 inches 110.4 inches
Overall Length 193.8 inches 191.1 inches
Width 73.0 inches 73.2 inches
Height 57.6 inches 57.7 inches
Turning Diameter 37.0 feet 35.8 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 39.8 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.5 inches 37.8 inches
Legroom, Front 45.3 inches 45.5 inches
Legroom, Rear 38.1 inches 35.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.5 inches 58.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 57.1 inches 56.4 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 102.9 cu. ft. 104.8 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 11. 6 cu. ft. 15.9 cu. ft.
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