Son's Automotive Group Compares 2015 Kia Optima VS 2015 Toyota Camry Near Tucker, GA

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2015 Kia Optima

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2015 Kia Optima

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2015 Toyota Camry

Safety Comparison

Compared to metal, the Optima’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Camry has a metal gas tank.

Both the Optima and the Camry have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, and an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Optima as a “Top Pick” for 2014. The Camry has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The Optima comes with a full 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Camry’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Optima 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Camry. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Camry ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Optima has a standard 600-amp battery. The Camry’s 582-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Optima’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 14 more horsepower (192 vs. 178) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (181 vs. 170) than the Camry’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Optima SX Turbo/SXL Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 6 more horsepower (274 vs. 268) and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 248) than the Camry XSE/XLE’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Optima 2.4 4 cyl. is faster than the Toyota Camry 4 cyl.:



Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

8.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.4 sec

22.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.2 sec

8.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

114 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Optima has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Camry (18.5 vs. 17 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Optima SX’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Camry:


Optima SX


Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

11 inches

The Optima stops shorter than the Camry:



60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

144 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Optima SX handles at .80 G’s, while the Camry XLE pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Optima SX executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Camry XLE (27.4 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Optima’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Camry’s (35.8 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Optima EX is quieter than the Camry SE (36 vs. 38 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Optima has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 3.9 inches more front legroom and .2 inches more front hip room than the Camry.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the Optima (except LX), the optional memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Camry doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Optima (except LX)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Camry doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

Both the Optima and the Camry offer available heated front seats. The Optima EX/SX also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Camry.

The Optima EX/SX’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Camry doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Optima’s optional (except LX) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Camry doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Optima and the Camry offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Optima EX/SX has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Camry LE/SE doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Recommendations Comparison

The Kia Optima has won recognition from these important consumer publications:



Consumer Reports® Recommends



Kiplinger’s Awards



Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its May 2012 issue and they ranked the Kia Optima EX two places higher than the Toyota Camry SE.

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