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 Ford Fusion

Starting Price: $23,735| Price Yours

Above Average: Nine different variants means that there’s a Ford Fusion that meets your needs—whether its affordable and efficient or luxurious and fast.

Below Average: Since there are so many versions the price can swing from $24,000 all the way up to $40,000 yet the Fusion still looks the same on the outside.

Consensus: Though Ford has said that it its dialing back its sedan line, the 2019 Ford Fusion still drives like a taut European or Asian sedan. 

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 Ford Fusion gets lots of new add-ons. The Ford Co-Pilot360 Protect is as standard with an optional upgrade to the Co-Pilot360 Assist that gets voice-activated nav, Sirius XM Traffic and Travel Link. The Fusion SE (and above) has the 1.5-liter engine, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and Sync 3 with an 8-inch touch screen as standard. The Hybrid Fusion Energi gets an improved battery that is good for 25 miles of all-electric driving and the Hybrid and Titanium models have adaptive cruise control with stop and go assist for 2019.

The cabin is roomy enough to fit four adults comfortably (five if you want to squeeze someone into the middle seat in the back). It’s got a modern look and feel, and in the Titanium trim, you might even mistake it for a Lincoln MKZ.

From the outside it looks like the sedan that Aston Martin never built. The Fusion Sport gets one of our favorite and most menacing looks with its blacked-out grille and dark wheels. You can still get the Fusion S in front-wheel drive though for our money we’d go for the Fusion SE with its more efficient and more powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged engine.


Both the Kia Optima and the Ford Fusion drive like well-rounded European or Asian sedans.

Kia Optima Advantages

Good looking, tons of standard safety equipment and both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come as standard.

Ford Fusion Advantages

A ton of different trim levels to meet your different needs.

Final Recommendation

We liked the Kia Optima for its value-packed offerings and its sporty driving dynamics over the Fusion. The Ford Fusion suffers because it spans such a large array of prices and trim levels, yet looks no different regardless of what you pay for it.

See what you'll pay for a Kia Optima or Ford Fusion 

  2019 Kia Optima 2019 Ford Fusion
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.4-liter I4 2.5-liter I4
Horsepower 185 @ 6000 RPM 175 @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 178 @ 4000 RPM 175 @ 4,000 RPM
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd Automatic, 6-Spd
Fuel Economy 27 mpg (24 city/33 hwy) 25 mpg (21 city, 31 hwy)
Also Available 1.6-liter I4, turbo 1.6-liter I4, 1.0-liter turbo I4,  2.0-liter Hybrid  1.5-liter turbocharged i4, 2.0-liter turbocharged i4, hybrid,  plug-in hybrid, 27-liter twin-turbo V6 
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 112.2 inches
Overall Length 191.1 inches 191.7 inches
Width 73.2 inches 83.5 inches
Height 57.7 inches 58.1 inches
Turning Diameter 35.8 feet 37.6 feet
Headroom, Front 39.8 inches 39.2 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.8 inches 37.8 inches
Legroom, Front 45.5 inches 44.3 inches
Legroom, Rear 35.6 inches 38.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.1 inches 57.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 56.4 inches 56.9 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 104.8 cu. ft. 102.8 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 15.9 cu. ft.  118.8 cu. ft.
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