Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Hyundai SONATA VS 2018 Kia Optima Near Greenville, NC

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2018 Hyundai SONATA

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2018 Hyundai SONATA

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2018 Kia Optima

Safety Comparison

The Sonata SEL/Sport/Limited has a standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Optima doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Sonata and the Optima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Kia Optima:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

164 lbs.

218 lbs.

Neck Compression

49 lbs.

55 lbs.




5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

145 lbs.

192 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

101 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

31/73 lbs.

87/92 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Kia Optima:





Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

785 lbs.

933 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

13 inches

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

37 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sonata its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 20 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Optima was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty Comparison

The Sonata’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the Optima’s (7/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Sonata gets better fuel mileage than the Optima:







4 cyl./Auto SEL/Sport/Limited

25 city/35 hwy

24 city/34 hwy




23 city/32 hwy

22 city/31 hwy


Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Sonata stops much shorter than the Optima:





70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Sonata Sport 2.0T handles at .81 G’s, while the Optima LX 1.6T pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Sonata has .6 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more rear headroom, .1 inches more rear hip room and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Optima.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Sonata has a larger trunk than the Optima (16.3 vs. 15.9 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Sonata offers cargo security. The Optima’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Sonata. The Optima doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Sonata’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Optima’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

Consumer Reports rated the Sonata’s headlight performance “Good” to “Very Good” (depending on model and options), a higher rating than the Optima’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Sonata has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Optima LX doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sonata is less expensive to operate than the Optima because typical repairs cost much less on the Sonata than the Optima, including $21 less for front brake pads, $7 less for fuel injection, $5 less for a fuel pump and $336 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

The Hyundai Sonata has won recognition from these important consumer publications:




Consumer Reports® Recommends


Top Pick

Car Book “Best Bet”



The Hyundai Sonata outsold the Kia Optima by 23% during 2017.

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