2019 Kia Optima vs. 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Comparison
2019 Kia Optima
Starting Price: $23,820 | Price Yours
Above Average: Great overall value, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, tons of advanced safety features and a warranty that blows many competitors out of the water.
Below Average: No all-wheel drive option.
Consensus: The 2019 Kia Optima is a good-looking midsize sedan that gets good fuel economy, great tech, and very good value. It is one of Kia’s best-selling models.
2019 Chevrolet Malibu
Starting Price: $22,965| Price Yours
Above Average: Spacious interior, fuel-efficient, sporty and good-looking the Chevy Malibu definitely deserves a second look.
Below Average: No V6 powerplant, soft resale value.
Consensus: A wealth of features and various models makes the 2019 Chevy Malibu a worthy opponent—even against some of its foreign rivals.
The 2019 Kia Optima gets a handsome new exterior as well as a suite of upgraded Advanced Driver Assistant Systems (ADAS) as standard including things like forward collision avoidance assistance, driver attention warning, and lane keeping assist. While most people may not consider the Optima a sport sedan, our editors think it comes awfully close. The transmission is smooth and responsive, and the Optima offers four different driving modes that make it enjoyable to drive in a variety of conditions. The interior of the Optima has a ton of high-quality materials and includes a Harman Kardon sound system. For 2019 Kia updated it’s UVO infotainment system making it more user friendly, too.
For 2019 the Chevrolet Malibu gets a new RS model, a few styling changes, an 8-inch driver information center, and all the vehicles with the 1.5-liter engine have a CVT transmission as standard. While we didn’t get to experience that version, we did get to spend some seat time in the 2.0-liter turbocharged version with a 9-speed automatic transmission. We found the Malibu in this configuration to be quick off the line and the steering felt weighted enough to give good feedback out on twisting roads. The car was comfortable and, dare we say, even nimble when it came to quick lane changes and tight corners. Inside the Malibu gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, comfortable seats and a good-looking, easy to use infotainment system.
Both the Kia Optima and the Chevy Malibu offer comfortable good-looking interiors.
Kia Optima Advantages
Smart styling, tons of standard safety equipment and both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come as standard.
Chevrolet Malibu Advantages
A variety of different powerplants and interior and exterior styling makes the Chevy Malibu stand out.
We liked the Kia Optima for its value-packed offerings and its sporty driving dynamics over the Malibu. The Malibu suffers particularly on the resale front. For our money we’d go with the Kia.
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|2019 Kia Optima||2019 Chevrolet Malibu|
|Engine||2.4-liter I4||1.5-liter turbo I4|
|Horsepower||185 hp @ 6,000 rpm||163 hp @ 5,700 rpm|
|Torque||178 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm||184 lb-ft @ 2,500-3,000 rpm|
|Transmission||Automatic, 6-spd||Continuously Variable|
|Fuel Economy||29 mpg (25 city/36 hwy)||32 mpg (29 city/36 hwy)|
|Also Available||2.0-liter turbo I4,1.6-liter turbo I4, hybrid, 7-spd automatic||2.0-liter turbo, hybrid, 9-spd automatic|
|Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||3 years /36,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||110.4 inches||111.4 inches|
|Overall Length||191.1 inches||193.8 inches|
|Width||73.2 inches||73.0 inches|
|Height||57.7 inches||57.6 inches|
|Turning Diameter||35.8 feet||37.0 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.8 inches||40.1 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||37.8 inches||37.5 inches|
|Legroom, Front||45.5 inches||45.3 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||35.6 inches||38.1 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||58.1 inches||58.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||56.4 inches||57.1 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||104.8 cu. ft.||102.9 cu. ft.|
|EPA Cargo Volume||15.9 cu. ft.||11.6 cu. ft.|