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2015 Hyundai Sonata versus 2015 Kia Optima

2015 Hyundai Sonata versus 2015 Kia Optima

2015 Hyundai Sonata versus 2015 Kia Optima

Today's car showdown is between two siblings from the same parent company, 2015 Hyundai Sonata versus 2015 Kia Optima. Two very similar cars with almost identical mechanicals but very different approaches.

So which do we think is best?

Engines
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata uses a 2.4-liter four cylinder that produces 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque or a turbocharged 2.0-liter that produces 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. An Eco model also offers a 1.6-iter turbo four that produces 177 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. All use a six speed automatic transmission, except the Eco which offers seven speeds.

The 2015 Kia Optima has a 2.4-liter four cylinder that produces 200 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque or a turbocharged 2.0-liter that produces 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Both use the same six speed automatic transmission.

While the mechanicals are very similar, the outputs are not. While the Kia delivers more power, you don’t really notice on the road. The actual delivery of available power seems smoother and more seamless with the Sonata, so that gets our vote.

Styling
The design of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata is now a real work of art. If you took the badge off, you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a premium sedan. The design is composed, balanced and very well-conceived.

The styling of the 2015 Kia Optima is more sporty and less conservative. The raked front, bulging hood, sloped windshield, rising waist and taught rear are all sportier than the Sonata. Dual pipes and nice alloys complete the look.

Of the two, we actually prefer the understated elegance of the Sonata. It seems content to sit there and look good regardless of where “there” might be.
Interior

The interior of the Sonata has seen some material and finishing improvements to take it far ahead of the competition. There is plentiful passenger space, a good-sized trunk, comfortable seating, lots of storage and plenty of technology on display. The two-tone interior of higher trim levels is a particular highlight.

The Optima also has a nice interior that is much improved over previous model years. It too has lots of passenger space, lots of technology, head room and legroom aplenty, cargo room too. Again, like the Hyundai, there is a bounty of technology on offer here.

Like the exterior design, the interior of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata seems more mature and more established. In the midsize sedan market, maturity combined with quality wins every time. So does the Sonata.

Summary
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata versus 2015 Kia Optima battle was tough to call. Both cars offer quality, presence, excellent value and great driving characteristics. Yet the Sonata edged clear in some important areas. The Kia is a solid option for a midsize sedan, but we think the 2015 Hyundai Sonata edges it.

Categories: Kia

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