Car Comparison

2016 Kia Optima vs. 2016 Toyota Camry: Which Is Better?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
$15,490
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Camry LE
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
$16,750
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Camry XLE
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
$19,990
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Camry LE
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
$15,950
RELATED READING
See all Toyota Camry articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro December 2015

If you're looking for a competent new midsize sedan, you probably have the 2016 Kia Optima and the 2016 Toyota Camry on your shopping list. If you don't, you should, as both the Camry and the Optima offer impressive engine choices, lots of standard and optional features, strong fuel economy and comfortable, roomy interiors. But which one is better? And which one should you get? In order to find out, we've created a close comparison of both models, but first let's see what's new with the Optima and the Camry for the 2016 model year.

2016 Kia Optima

The Optima is fully redesigned for 2016. In addition to a new interior and exterior design, the latest Optima offers several new features and a new Eco turbocharged powertrain for drivers who don't want to upgrade to the pricy Optima Hybrid.

2016 Toyota Camry

After extensive changes last year, the Camry is largely unchanged for 2016.

Reliability

According to reliability ratings from industry experts at J.D. Power, the Camry offers better-than-average reliability. The Optima, meanwhile, earned a below-average reliability rating -- though it's worth noting that the below-average score applies to last year's Optima. While mechanically similar, the 2016 Optima isn't identical, so its score could still improve.

As for warranty coverage, the Optima beats out the Camry by a mile. While the Camry offers 3 years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain protection, the Optima's warranty includes 5 years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and an amazing 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage.

The result: This category is a toss-up. While the Camry easily defeats the outgoing Optima in terms of reliability, we can't yet be sure about the new model. And the Kia's warranty is far better than the Toyota's.

Fuel Economy

Both the Camry and the Optima offer several engine choices. Base-level Optima models use a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, which returns up to 24 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the base-level Camry offers a 178-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that touts 25 mpg city/35 mpg hwy.

If you want to optimize your efficiency, you'll want a hybrid version of either model. Although the 2016 Optima Hybrid isn't out yet, it will be soon, and it should improve on last year's fuel economy numbers of 36 mpg city/40 mpg hwy. The latest Camry Hybrid, meanwhile, boasts up to 43 mpg city/39 mpg hwy.

When it comes to fuel economy, the latest Optima also has another trick up its sleeve: a new fuel-efficient Eco model designed for shoppers who don't want to pay the premium for an Optima Hybrid. The Eco uses a 178-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, and it touts up to 28 mpg city/39 mpg hwy -- better than any other gas-powered version of the Optima or the Camry.

So which one do you pick? For overall fuel economy, the Camry Hybrid is the top choice, but if you're looking to save money at the pump and on the car itself, the Optima Eco provides a compelling alternative to an expensive hybrid.

Safety

Although the new Optima hasn't yet been crash-tested by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the latest Camry earned a perfect 5-star overall rating. The outgoing Optima also earned a 5-star score that we suspect will carry over to the new model. It's the same story in testing carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: The new Optima is not yet rated, but the Camry scored the firm's highest possible designation of Top Safety Pick+.

As for safety, both cars come standard with everything you might expect, including side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and a backup camera. Both models also offer virtually every modern safety gadget as optional equipment, including automatic forward-collision braking, a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert. The Optima also offers an available 360-degree parking camera, which gives it a slight edge over the Camry. Otherwise, these two models are virtually identical when it comes to safety.

Technology

Because they're so new, both the 2016 Toyota Camry and the 2016 Kia Optima are among the most technologically advanced midsize sedans on the market. Both models offer an amazing array of modern features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, 10-speaker premium sound systems and the aforementioned excellent safety features.

With that said, both the Optima and the Camry offer a few advantages over one another. For example, only the Camry touts available wireless-device charging, while only the Optima offers a 360-degree parking camera; and only the Optima boasts an available panoramic sunroof, while only the Camry offers a hands-free trunk-opening system. If you want a specific feature, you'll have to check the Optima and Camry options lists to make sure both models offer it. Otherwise, these two cars are roughly neck and neck at the top of the technology game.

Value

When it comes to value, the Optima has an advantage over the Camry. One reason is the midsize Kia's base price -- $22,800 -- which is considerably less than the Camry's starting price of around $24,000 with shipping. That price difference continues through the trim levels, giving the Optima an advantage even when the two cars are fully equipped.

We also see the new Optima Eco as a value leader in the midsize-sedan segment. While it doesn't quite offer hybrid fuel economy, it does come relatively close, boasting 32 mpg in combined driving to the Camry Hybrid's 41 mpg combined. More importantly, pricing is far more affordable: A base-level Optima Eco starts at just $24,800 with shipping -- a $3,000 discount compared to the base-level Camry Hybrid.

Autotrader's Advice

Choosing between the Kia Optima and the Toyota Camry is difficult because both models are so highly competent. In the end, however, we'd pick the Optima by a hair. In addition to offering more appealing pricing and a longer warranty, we also like the available Eco model -- something the Camry lineup doesn't have. And while we appreciate recent changes to the Camry's driving experience and styling, we still think the Optima boasts a more engaging road feel and a sharper look.

Find a Kia Optima for sale

Find a Toyota Camry for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
$15,490
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Camry LE
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
$16,750
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Camry XLE
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
$19,990
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Camry LE
Used 2016 Toyota Camry
$15,950
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Kia Optima vs. 2016 Toyota Camry: Which Is Better? - Autotrader