Home Blog 2017 Kia Models 2017 Kia Optima vs. 2017 Toyota Camry

February 24, 2017 by Anne Kelley

2017 Kia Optima vs. 2017 Toyota Camry

If you’re looking for a new car this year, one of the most popular types of vehicle to choose from is the midsize sedan. We know there are many vehicles to choose from in the mid-size sedan category, and we believe that the 2017 Kia Optima stacks up nicely against these other choices. The Toyota Camry has been the most popular midsize sedan for many years, setting the standard for the category. We decided, in order to prove that the 2017 Kia Optima stacks up, the only way to do that is to provide a comparison. This will be a 4-round comparison.

2017 Optima vs. Camry


Round 1: Fuel Economy

One of the most common reasons to buy a midsize sedan over other popular vehicles like an SUV or crossover is fuel economy. With a smaller vehicle, you tend to get a better MPG ratio. There are 5 trim styles to choose from with the Kia Optima, while there are 4 “standard” trim styles for the Toyota Camry (along with the 3 hybrid versions).

Fuel Economy Comparison: 2017 Kia Optima vs. 2017 Toyota Camry

Vehicle City MPG Highway MPG Combined MPG
Kia Optima LX 25 36 29
Kia Optima LX Turbo 28 37 31
Kia Optima EX 24 34 28
Kia Optima SX Turbo 22 31 25
Kia Optima SXL Turbo 22 31 25
Toyota Camry LE 24 33 27
Toyota Camry XLE 24 33 27
Toyota Camry SE 24 33 27
Toyota Camry XSE 24 33 27

Setting aside the Camry Hybrid options, the Optima comes out with a slight edge in terms of actual fuel economy in the battle between these two midsize vehicles. The Optima LX Turbo has a significant edge over the rest of the vehicles in this comparison. When you get the SX Turbo and SXL Turbo trim styles for the Optima, the fuel economy is reduced a bit.

Ready to get into a Kia Optima? Browse All our Optima Inventory Now

Round 2: Price

A second obvious comparison point for the Camry vs. the Optima is the vehicle price. Midsize sedans can be much more affordable than crossovers, which are also very popular among new car buyers for many reasons. The reason the midsize sedan category has been a common favorite often comes down to the affordability factor.

In terms of starting base price, the Optima and Camry are almost identical, with the Kia starting slightly lower than the Toyota. As you add features and options, of course, the pricing changes. The Optima surpasses the Camry in price as you get into some of the more luxury midsize sedan features, but stays below the Camry when looking at the more economical models.

* Toyota also offers multiple Camry Hybrid options, which Kia does not have.

Round 3: Safety

In round 3, we are going to take a look at the safety features as an important criteria for vehicle selection. A look at these features shows a very comparable selection.

Both the Optima and the Camry earned a 5-Star Crash Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both mid-sized sedans feature a suite of airbags for maximum protection when in an accident. Child safety is emphasized in both vehicles with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) features and rear lock-out to keep the little ones from opening the doors/windows if needed.

The 2017 Kia Optima uses more than 50% Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), provided more structural support than ever before. With Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Antilock Braking System (ABS), and Brake Assist System (BAS) adds advanced braking for more precise control. Additionally, advanced systems, like Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) work automatically to give you enhanced control so that you can stay focused on the road.

Ready to get into a Kia Optima? Browse All our Optima Inventory Now

Round 4: Comfort

In our fourth round, we take a look at the comfort features for both mid-size sedans. Comfort is an extremely important consideration that includes everything from legroom and headroom to the sound system, and a variety of things in between.

The 2017 Optima features:

  • AM/FM/CD/MPC/SiriusXM audio system with 5”, 7”, or 8” touchscreen display. Audio system includes 6 speakers and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay
  • Bluetooth wireless technology hands-free connectivity
  • Rear parking display (available with rear park assist system)
  • Blind spot detection (BSD) system
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA)
  • Steering wheel controls: cruise control, audio, and hands-free phone
  • Dual USB ports + auxiliary jack in front console
  • Power door locks and windows with one-touch open
  • Push button start with smart key and immobilizer (not available on LX)
  • LX model includes remote keyless entry with trunk opener
  • 60/40 split folding rear seats with center armrest with cupholders for added cargo space options
  • 39.8” headroom in front, 37.8” in rear
  • 45.5” legroom in front, 35.6” in rear
  • 15.9 cubic feet of cargo room

The 2017 Camry features:

  • AM/FM/CD/MP3/WWA audio system with 6.1-in. touch-screen display. Audio system includes six speakers
  • USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control
  • Advanced voice recognition
  • Bluetooth wireless technology with hands-free phone capability
  • Siri® Eyes Free27 with integrated backup camera display
  • Remote keyless entry system
  • 60/40 split folding rear seats with center armrest with cupholders for added cargo space options
  • Power door locks and windows with one-touch open
  • 38.8” headroom in front, 38.1” in rear (without sunroof)
  • 41.6” legroom in front, 38.9” in rear
  • 15.9 cubic feet of cargo room

Ready to get into a Kia Optima? Browse All our Optima Inventory Now

2017 Kia Optima vs. 2017 Toyota Camry Conclusion

Comparing from the base model of each mid-size sedan, the Kia Optima compares favorably with the Toyota Camry. From a fuel economy perspective, the Optima has a slight edge. From the pricing standpoint, the 2 mid-size sedans are again almost identical in starting base price. Both cars are 5-star rated for safety performance by NHTSA. The interior features are again very comparable, so we give a slight edge to the Optima for the significantly larger amount of front legroom space available for the driver.

Posted in: 2017 Kia Models, Kia Optima
Tagged: , ,

Do you have a question or idea you would like to be featured in a blog post?
Fill out this simple form.

Are you a car enthusiast or novice and want to feature your car story on our blog?
Fill out this form to be featured on our blog.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments