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Hyundai Sonata vs. Kia Optima

Compare repair costs, reliability, and owner reviews

Hyundai Sonata

$438
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Kia Optima

$411
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Overall Reliability Rating

4
1
2
Group 4
Group 4
Excellent
The Hyundai Sonata Reliability Rating is 4.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 8th out of 24 for midsize cars. The average annual repair cost is $438 which means it has excellent ownership costs. Repairs are less severe than average, and the frequency of these issues is average, so major repairs are not common for the Sonata.
4
1
2
Group 4
Group 4
Excellent
The Kia Optima Reliability Rating is 4.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 10th out of 24 for midsize cars. The average annual repair cost is $411 which means it has excellent ownership costs. The severity of repairs is average, and major issues are less frequent than average, so major repairs are not common for the Optima.
Cost
Average annual repairs total
$438
inexpensive
expensive
$411
inexpensive
expensive
Frequency
Average annual repair shop visits
0.36
not often
very often
0.35
not often
very often
Severity
Percentage of annual repairs that are urgent
9%
not urgent
urgent
11%
not urgent
urgent

Overall Car Ratings & Details

5
(15)
4
(29)
3
(17)
2
(5)
1
(0)
The Hyundai Sonata ranks highest in engine and ranks lowest in body.
“I dont know how people can label this as a safety car. Look at these posts from people talking about rust, corrosion 1 -> https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-c2201_ds401649?fieldErrors[%27body...”
“I dont know how people can label this as a safety car. Look at these posts from people talking ab...”
5
(7)
4
(21)
3
(15)
2
(4)
1
(2)
The Kia Optima ranks highest in exhaust and ranks lowest in electrical.
“I got stuck buying from Dons used cars. He is a buy here pay here dealer. It is a 2004 Kia Optima and i was in a rush as they just done detailing the vehicle. So after i got the car home ...”
“I got stuck buying from Dons used cars. He is a buy here pay here dealer. It is a 2004 Kia Op...”

Vehicle Comparison Rundown

The Hyundai Sonata and the Kia Optima are both midsize sedans made under the Hyundai-Kia roof. They both come with front-wheel drive. They are very similar in some areas, but aren’t exactly the same. The Sonata received a refresh for 2018, while the Optima was all-new for 2016.

The power choices for the Hyundai Sonata and the Kia Optima are identical. Both have a standard engine with 185 horsepower and an optional 245 horsepower turbocharged engine. And both give you two green choices: a hybrid version and a plug-in hybrid version. 

There are some areas where one or the other excels. The Optima has more rear headroom, while the Sonata has more trunk space. The refreshed Sonata receives steering and rear suspension improvements that the older Kia platform does not yet have, giving the Sonata better ride and handling. 

Still, the Sonata and the Optima have many key features in common. Both have 7-inch touchscreen infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both have standard rearview cameras, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring. And both have the industry-leading Hyundai-Kia five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, plus 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. 

Both the Hyundai Sonata and the Kia Optima are worthy midsize sedans. Drive both and see which you prefer.

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