Every model-year, Kia vehicles are getting more respect from the automotive press for their rapid improvement. Take the 2015 Kia Optima vs. 2015 Toyota Camry, for instance as a prime example of this trend. There is no doubt that the Camry has been a long-time favorite among midsize sedan buyers for its performance, handling and fuel-economy. There is a new sheriff in town and it has better performance numbers, equal fuel-economy and a lower manufacturer’s suggested retail price and its name is the new 2015 Kia Optima. The Kia Optima has caught up the Camry and may be ready to surpass it in many ways.
For the money, there may not be better deal than the 2015 Kia Optima. It has been praised by independent reviewers for having an impressive amount of standard features and optional equipment that would likely only appear on some of the higher trim levels of competitors like the Toyota Camry. Additionally, the Kia engineers have built a car with top crash test scores and a well appointed cabin with logical and easy-to-use layout that is as comfortable as it looks.
Performance of the Optima and Camry
The base engine choice for the 2015 Kia Optima is a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that will make up to 192 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. By contrast the base engine for the 2015 Toyota Camry is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that tops out at 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Even with the increased power available from the Kia sedan, the Environmental Protection Agency fuel-economy estimates are nearly identical. Using the standard front-wheel drive and six-speed automatic of the Kia Optima, fuel scores of 23 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway are easily replicated in independent testing. The Camry scores 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
A very impressive engine upgrade is available with the 2015 Optima. Some of the higher trims can be fitted with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine makes 274 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. This gives the Kia Optima another horsepower lead over the Camry’s larger 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that puts out 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Even with the increased horsepower, the Optima and Camry are nearly equal in fuel-economy using this set up as well.