2019 Ford Fusion vs 2019 Kia Optima – Cincinnati, OH

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  • 2019 Ford Fusion

    A blue 2019 Ford Fusion is facing left.

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    2019 Kia Optima

    A blue 2019 Kia Optima is facing right.

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    4Available Engines3

    The 2019 Ford Fusion vs 2019 Kia Optima have been navigating side-to-side, speeding through a tight market race to the finish line. Competition for the top contender is hot when it comes to finding the best five-passenger vehicle with a starting price point around 23k. Subtle differences, including which features are offered in the standard models, can help frame your ultimate opinion. Don't make blind assumptions based on vehicles from the past. Read through the latest specs and ratings to see which 2019 model is truly the better buy.

     The 2019 Ford Fusion didn't miss out on anything since Ford recently added its "Co-Pilot 360" as a standard package on all models. It is equipping drivers with the high tech benefits of automatic high beams and wipers, rear cross-traffic and blindspot warning systems, lane-keep assistance technology, and an automatic emergency braking system. Plug-in hybrid versions of the Fusion are available in higher trim levels. Since the Ford Fusions initial inception in 2006, it has won multiple accolades, including the 2013 Green Car of the Year and Motorweek Drivers' Choice Award for Best Family Sedan in 2017.

    Next on the track comes the 2019 Kia Optima. Now in its 4th generation, the Optima is also available as a plug-in hybrid variant. Originally built as a springboard off the Hyundai Sonata platform, the Optima began growing into its own identity around 2005. It has a longstanding history of solid safety ratings. Through several redesign updates over the generations, the Optima has retained its trademark "Kia Tiger Nose" design.

  • Trims

    A black 2019 Ford Fusion, which wins when comparing the 2019 Ford Fusion vs 2019 Kia Optima, is parked in front of concrete buildings.

    For the 2019 Ford Fusion, this is the S model 4-door Sedan with a 2.5L 4-cylinder 6-speed automatic transmission. For the 2019 Kia Optima, the LX model 4-door Sedan with a 2.4L 4-cylinder 6-speed automatic transmission. The starting MSRP is almost identical for each, the Fusion begins at $22,840, and the Optima being slightly higher at $22,990. Although similar in many ways, several of the key features offered in the basic Ford Fusion model are only available to be purchased with higher trim levels of the Kia Optima.

    The 2019 Kia Optima comes in four different trim levels. The LX, S, EX, and SX (and a hybrid form), make up the different varieties available to customers. The SX runs at a starting price of $31,990. Leather interior trim and a heating steering wheel provide added comfort and luxury for the increase in price. A voice-command navigation system, SiriusXM Traffic, and HD Radio are also included. Front-wheel drive is still the only option for the highest model.

    The 2019 Ford Fusion is available in five trim levels: the S, SE, SEL, Titanium, and V6 Sport, not including the hybrid variants. The highest model starts at $40,015 but includes all-wheel drive. In fact, drivers can upgrade to all-wheel drive starting at the SE model. This second trim level also offers ten exterior color choices and FordPass Connect 4G LTE WiFi. For a small difference in price, the first upgrade of Fusion seems like a reasonable deal.

  • Standard Features

    A red 2019 Ford Fusion is driving on a highway.

    Both the Kia Optima and Ford Fusion offer superior technology and safety features, but not necessarily within their standard packages. Basic cruise control is included as standard for both the Optima and Fusion. The option to upgrade to adaptive cruise control is offered in the standard Fusion model but reserved only for more expense variants of the Optima.

    Similarly, basic Fusion buyers get keyless ignition, while Optima buyers will need to upgrade to a higher trim to even consider this as an optional add-on. When it comes to the basic model, the Fusion provides a more inclusive package for your money. Additional standard features on the Fusion include a blind spot monitor, Ford's MyKey system (similar to Teen Driver), and pre-collision assist with automatic braking.

  • Comfort and Style


    The brown and black leather front interior of a 2019 Ford Fusion.

    Interior seating and cargo space are quite similar between the two models as well. With measurement variances coming within less than a half-inch of difference in trunk space, shoulder, and headroom. The one exception to this is the Ford Fusion's superior legroom. Compared to the Kia Optima, the Fusion offers about 3 inches of additional legroom for rear passengers. Both sedans offer seating capacity for five, but backseat passengers on a long road trip may find the Ford Fusion more comfortable and spacious than the Optima.

    Cloth upholstery is standard in both the Optima and Fusion, with upgrades available on higher trim models. Neither vehicle provides temperature controlled-seats or sunroofs in their basic models. Both the Optima and Fusion allow for the rear seats to be folded down, providing extra cargo room as needed.

    Exterior styling in the Kia Optima and Ford Fusion are comparable, other than some minor design differences. The Optima's sloping roofline is meant to look aerodynamic but ultimately reduces the visibility through the rear window

    There are more exterior colors to choose from in the Ford Fusion, with eight options in total. The Fusion comes in some pretty vibrant hues, including blue metallic and ruby red metallic. The Kia Optima offers six relatively neutral exterior paint colors, all very conservative and understated.

    Tire size is slightly different between the Kia Optima and the Ford Fusion. The Optima's tire specs are 205/65R16, while the Fusion's are 215/60R16. Wheels on the Optima are made of alloy material, while the Fusion's wheels come in steel. This difference is a matter of personal preference, as pros and cons could be noted with either. Alloy wheels, being lighter, put less stress on the vehicle's suspension system. Conversely, steel wheels are heavier but more durable. They are generally easier to repair and less likely to crack on impact.

  • Performance


    A white 2019 Ford Fusion is driving on a city street near Cinicnnati, OH.

    The Kia Optima' 2.4L 4-cylinder engine has a mildly stronger engine with 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque, while the Ford Fusion's engine produces 175 horsepower and torque. Both engines have front-wheel drive and a 6-speed transmission.

    For the Optima, the most powerful engine option is a 2.0L DOHC turbocharged I-4. It is also paired with a 6-speed transmission but comes standard on the SX trim. This engine gets 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the Fusion offers a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine on the V6 Sport trim. This engine puts the competition to shame, providing 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft torque.

    The 2019 Ford Fusion gives drivers and passengers a smoother and quieter ride, with more legroom space available for the comfort of passengers in the back. The Fusion can be customized to a driver's preferences by providing brighter exterior color choices as opposed to the Kia Optima's somewhat limited options.

    Although there are some appealing upgrades to the higher trim models of the Optima, it's going to cost you to have more options available. The standard package excludes things that many drivers are looking for. A wide array of safety features are possible in both vehicles, but more are included right off the bat through Ford's standard package. If you choose to upgrade, Ford offers a greater variety of options than the Optima's higher trim levels. Combined with the option for all-wheel-drive, the 2019 Ford Fusion takes the lead as a smarter choice for cold weather conditions and overall driver satisfaction.

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