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2020 Honda Accord vs 2020 Kia Optima – Rochester, NY

  • 2020 Honda Accord

    A red 2020 Honda Accord is angled left.

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    2020 Kia Optima

    A black 2020 Kia Optima S is angled right.

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    252Max Horsepower (hp)245
    273Max Torque (lb-ft)260
    30/38 MPG2Fuel Economy (city/highway)27/37 MPG3

    Many people today are in the market for a midsize sedan. However, it can be challenging to navigate through the many options on the market. Which sedan is the best? Which sedan offers the best combination of power, fuel efficiency, features, and great looks? There are so many things to think about when searching for a new vehicle. The best way to figure out the best sedan to buy, though, is to make a comparison. So, today, we will be comparing the 2020 Honda Accord vs 2020 Kia Optima in a battle for supremacy. And even though these may seem like very similar vehicles, there is certainly one that stands above the other.

    To start things off, it is essential to get an idea of why these two vehicles are comparable to each other. First, they both rest in the same class. With seating for five people, the Accord and the Optima are both midsize sedans that can work well for singles, couples, and even small families. However, there is a slight difference in the amount of cargo space each car has to offer. The Honda Accord is designed with a decently sized trunk that offers 16.7 cu.ft. of storage space. Meanwhile, ever so slightly smaller, the Kia Optima only has 15.9 cu.ft. of room in the trunk. While it may not seem like too big of a difference, it can make or break a trip depending on the size of your luggage. And this is not the only thing that makes the Accord the better option; there is so much more to unpack.

  • Performance

    A silver 2020 Honda Accord is shown from the front driving away from a city after winning the 2020 Honda Accord vs 2020 Kia Optima comparison.

    Much of the focus in the automotive industry recently has been on compact crossovers. However, there are still a lot of people out there who want a sedan to drop the kids off at school, commute to work, or run daily errands because they are the best when it comes to a perfect mix of power and fuel efficiency. Both of these vehicles are proof of this, but Honda shows it a little more.

    The Accord: Powerful and Efficient

    The standard 2020 Honda Accord is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder motor mated with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and FWD. Producing 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, this standard powertrain offers an average fuel economy set at 33 MPG combined (30 city/38 highway)2 when equipped with a CVT. When equipped with the 6-speed manual, the numbers change slightly with 30 MPG combined (26 city/35 highway).2

    If you are looking for a sportier ride, then you can opt for the Touring trim level. This model is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque - this powertrain is optional on the Sport and EX-L trims as well. Its estimated fuel economy with the manual transmission is set at 27 MPG combined (23 city/34 highway).2 And with the CVT, the numbers drop slightly with 26 MPG combined (22 city/32 highway).2 Overall, the combination of horsepower, torque, and fuel efficiency is practically unbeatable.

    The Optima: Close, But No Cigar

    If you pop the hood of the 2020 Kia Optima, you will find one of three various engines. The standard is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder motor matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission and FWD. Pumping out 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, this model gets 27 MPG combined (24 city/32 highway).3

    Stepping up to the mid-level EX model will get you the turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and FWD. Making 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, the average fuel economy is set at 31 MPG combined (27 city/37 highway).3 Finally, on the premium SX trim, you will find the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rumbling under the hood. This motor is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission and FWD. Producing 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, it gets 24 MPG combined (21 city/30 highway).3

    The Takeaway

    The Honda Accord is not only more powerful, but it also has superior fuel economy, making it the better vehicle in this category.

  • Interior

    The interior dashboard and steering wheel are shown inside a 2020 Honda Accord near Rochester, NY.

    Features on Features in the Accord

    Available in five trims, the 2020 Honda Accord LX is the base model. It comes with some pretty nice features, including dual-zone climate control, push-button start technology, a rearview camera, and an infotainment interface displayed on a 7-inch LCD monitor. This system works with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and text messaging. Furthermore, all of the new Accord models come with the Honda Sensing suite of safety features. This includes adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane-keeping assist.

    The second trim level is known as the Sport. It gets paddle shifters mounted on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable/heated front seats, an 8-speaker sound system, and a larger 8-inch touchscreen monitor. The mid-level EX model comes with keyless ignition/entry, remote start technology, and a sunroof. The power-adjustable/heated seats are the only things that carry over from the Sport model, though. It also gets the new Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock technology, blindspot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

    And for more luxurious features, the EX-L trim is a great option. This model features leather seating, driver memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 10-speaker stereo system. There is even an option to add navigation. Finally, the top-of-the-line Touring version comes with the navigation system plus other features like a wireless charging pad, heated back seats, ventilated front seats, and a 4G LTE wifi hotspot. Ambient lighting has also been installed as well as a head-up display.

    Inside the Optima

    Also offered in five trims, the 2020 Kia Optima starts with the LX base model. This vehicle features a rearview camera, a 6-speaker sound system, and an infotainment interface displayed on a 9-inch touchscreen. Standard safety systems include rear cross-traffic alert, blindspot monitoring, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and driver attention monitoring.

    Moving up to the S will add keyless ignition/entry, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, faux leather upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. You can opt for the Panoramic Sunroof package on this trim, which adds black accents and a sunroof. The mid-level EX model comes with its own powertrain, satellite radio, HD radio, a wireless charging pad, and heated/leather seats. It also gets wood accents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and adaptive cruise control.

    Kicking off the luxury levels is the Premium model. This beauty comes with driver memory settings, ventilated front seats, ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system, and a Harman Kardon stereo with ten speakers. Lastly, the top-tier SX trim is like a combination of the EX and the Premium trims. It comes with a sporty steering wheel with a flat bottom, paddle shifters, metal trim, and a tire repair kit.

    The Takeaway

    Overall, both of these vehicles have a lot to offer in terms of interior features. However, the Accord generally has more features, such as the 4G LTE wifi hotspot, which means it is the better sedan.

  • Exterior

    A blue 2020 Honda Accord is shown from the side with a river and city in the distance.

    The Accord's Outer Shell

    Riding on 17-inch alloy wheels, the 2020 Honda Accord LX features LED low-beam/automatic headlights, automatic high beams, and LED daytime running lights. The Sport trim rolls on 19-inch alloy wheels and features a rear spoiler, LED fog lamps, and chrome exhaust finishers. Stepping up the mid-level EX, you will get a one-touch moonroof added into the mix. Keep in mind that the EX builds off of the LX, not the Sport. Then there is the EX-L, which doesn’t come with any significant exterior changed. Finally, the premium Touring model features automatic LED headlights, front/rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, and reverse/tilt-down side mirrors.

    The Optima's Exterior

    On the 2020 Kia Optima LS, you will find 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, automatic high beams, and heated side mirrors. Next, the S gets larger 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust tips, and fog lamps. The mid-level EX and Premium models don’t receive any significant exterior changes. Lastly, the top-of-the-line SX comes with LED headlight, a rear spoiler, LED fog lamps, red barker calipers, and a sport-tuned suspension.

    The Takeaway

    While both of these vehicles have excellent exterior features, the Accord offers more options and starts with better features. That said, the Accord comes out on top.

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