Comparison of 2017 Kia Optima vs. Ford Fusion

Comparing the features of two different vehicles can be a very subjective process. While a single characteristic or function can certainly be seen to provide value, it’s often a combination of several of a car’s features that creates an impression of elegance, luxury, power or reliability. When comparing cars from different manufacturers, the process can be even more complex.In this comparison of the 2017 models of the Kia Optima and the Ford Fusion, we present the general range of standard and optional features across all versions of each, but focus specifically on the standard baseline versions. As you’ll see, there are many similarities and several striking differences.

Kia Optima, 2017 Model

2017 Optima

Ford Fusion, 2017 Model

2017 Fusion

Here’s what you can expect to find when comparing the Optima LX and the Fusion S FWD:

Appearance

Exterior

Optima

The 2017 Kia Optima’s external appearance is strikingly elegant. With ten external color options in lustrous pearl and metallic finishes, as well as satin chrome or gloss black sill molding, the Optima projects an image of style and refined luxury.

With its sleek lines and subtle but eye-catching accents, it fully deserved J.D. Power’s 2016 award as the “Highest Ranked Vehicle Appeal among Midsize Cars” and if anything, the 2017 model has upped its game.

Fusion

The design lines of Ford’s 2017 Fusion are very similar to those of their 2016 model, with any differences in body contour or trim being so subtle as to be virtually unnoticeable. Ford offers a total of nine different paint colors, three of which are metallic, with options of different finishes on grill and door handles. Not an unattractive car, with a slightly sporty look, but its outward appearance fails to impart any impression of luxury.

Interior

Optima

Kia didn’t stop halfway in their design of the Optima’s interior. You’ll find it well equipped with top quality luxury features and impeccable workmanship, comparing favorably to many high-end vehicles. The gas-only Optima boasts more trunk space than its Fusion competition and the hybrid model forfeits only 2.5 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk, by placing its battery pack under the rear seat. Comfortable and spacious, the Optima doesn’t disappoint, with a quiet ride that seriously rivals other mid-size sedans and plenty of options to please your senses. They’ve even gone the extra mile with their Panoramic Sunroof.

Fusion

Ford stepped up their game with the interior details of the Fusion. From the innovative rotary “shifter” to the acoustically-insulated windshield, this interior may seem more like a plane cockpit than a car’s compartment. A long list of available options make an already comfortable ride better, including plush leather seats (electric multi-profile driver’s seat and 10-way power and heated front seats, for instance). Not to be completely outdone by Kia, the Fusion also offers a moonroof.

Trim

Optima

The Optima offers a number of attractive finishes, from the carpet and dashboard to the upholstery, all designed to blend with the exterior finish to impart an impression of elegance. Whether outfitted with the stain chrome, black gloss or wood grain trim, when combined with cloth or leather seats, the Optima’s interior becomes a tasteful extension of the owner’s personality. Alloy wheels in premium finish or gray-finish top off the trim.

Fusion

The Fusion’s choices of external trim options are limited, with same color door handles (with or without bright inserts) and a combination of high or low gloss black finish, magnetic painted or high gloss black upper and asymmetrical lower on the grill sections. Internal options are slightly more numerous when considering the upholstery materials.

Convenience

Optima

The 2017 Optima offers some of the most advanced technologies available today – features that were unthought of a generation ago. Blue tooth connectivity, touch-screen technology, GPS, satellite radio, assisted parking, tire-pressure monitoring, Lidar hazard detection, rear-camera, stop/start cruise control, even autonomous emergency braking – all these and more are available on various Optima models, with many being standard features.

Fusion

The 2017 Fusion has a selection of standard and optional features to compare with those of the Optima, making it another mid-size sedan with comfort and convenience at the forefront. Various Options Packages are available, similar to those of the Optima, as well as a variety of standard features on different models.

Restraint & Safety

Optima

Kia wasn’t stingy with the safety features of the Optima. Air bags protect the driver and passengers on all sides, in the event of a collision. The restraint system features 3-point seatbelts front and rear, with available pre-tensioning capability in the event of a collision. Front and rear crumple zones and side-impact door beams provide additional protection for those in the vehicle.

But avoiding collisions is the best protection, so the Optima is standardly equipped with 4-Wheel ABS and Brake Assist, as well as Electronic Stability Control and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Kia’s Rear Parking Aid and Back-up Camera are also optionally available to help avoid fender-benders when parking.

Fusion

Ford added a fair amount of safety items to the Fusion with their 2017 model. They also offer air bags in the front and rear seats, including on the side and for the head, as well as 3-point front and rear seatbelts with pre-tensioners. The Fusion also standardly sports Individual Tire Pressure Monitoring, AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control, 4-wheel ABS, rear view camera and their SOS Post Crash Alert System™.

Seating

Optima

The Optima LX comes with standard cloth bucket seats with CleanTex protection and optional leather trim and heated front seats. The driver’s seat is 6-way manually adjustable with power lumbar, with an optional upgrade to 12-way power adjustable with 4-way power lumbar.

Fusion

The Fusion S comes standard with 6-way manually adjustable driver’s seat and 4-way manual passenger’s seat, while other model’s options include 10-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar and 6-way power passenger seat, including power recline. Heated and cooled front seats, leather trim with suede-cloth inserts and driver’s seat memory are available on some models, as well.

Mechanical

Engine

Optima

The Optima LX standardly comes with a 1.6L (178HP) Turbo engine, but other versions can be ordered with the 2.0L (185HP) or 2.4L (245HP) engine. All are 4-cylinder, Gasoline Direction Injection engines, with Continuously Variable Valve Timing to optimize performance and exhaust emissions.

Fusion

The Fusion S comes standardly equipped with the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, with Variable Cam Timing, which improves both emissions and performance. Other Fusion versions can be acquired with the 1.5L (181HP), 2.0L (245HP), both 4-cylinder engines, or the 2.7L (325HP) V6 engine.

Transmission

Optima

The front wheel drive Optima LX has a 7-speed Dual-Clutch Automatic transmission, which provides enhanced responsiveness and efficiency.

Fusion

The Fusion S, also front wheel drive, is driven by a 6-speed automatic transmission.

 Warranty

Optima

The Optima’s Basic warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles, with a separate Corrosion warranty providing coverage for 5 years or 100,000 miles. The drivetrain is covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles and Roadside Assistance is included for 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Fusion

The Fusion carries Basic warranty protection for 3 years or 36,000 miles, with Corrosion protection for 5 years, unlimited mileage. The drivetrain is warranted for 5 years or 60.000 miles and Roadside Assistance covers 5 years or 60.000 miles.

Here are some categorized tables with more detail, to help you compare at a glance the standard and optional features of the 2017 Kia Optima LX and Ford Fusion S:

2017 Convenience Features Kia Optima Ford Fusion
Intermittent Wipers Std Std
Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers Std Std
Power Driver Mirror Std Std
Driver Vanity Mirror Std Std
Passenger Vanity Mirror Std Std
Pass-through Rear Seat Std Std
Cruise Control Std Std
Trip Computer Std Std
Power Steering Std Std
Auto-off Headlights Std Std
Remote Trunk Release Std N/A
Mirror Memory Optional N/A
Heated Mirrors Optional N/A
Power Driver Seat Optional N/A
Rear Parking Aid Optional N/A
Univ. Garage Door Opener Optional N/A
Remote Engine Start Optional Optional
Power Windows Optional Std
Wheel Locks Optional N/A
Keyless Start N/A Std
Comfort Features
A/C Std Std
Bucket Seats Std Optional
Driver Lumbar Optional Optional
Wireless Cell Hookup Optional Std
Leather Seats N/A Optional
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel N/A Optional
Onboard Hands-free Communication N/A Std
Safety Features
Driver Air Bag Std Std
Passenger Air Bag Std Std
Side Air Bag Std Std
Rear Head Air Bag Std Std
4-Wheel ABS Std Std
Electronic Stability Control Std Std
Brake Assist Std Std
Alarm Std Std
Rear Defrost Std Std
Child Safety Locks Std Std
Traction Control Std Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std Std
Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors Std N/A
Rear Parking Aid Optional N/A
Wireless Cell Hookup Optional Std
Back-up Camera Optional Std
Onboard Hands-Free Communications N/A Std
Daytime Running Lights N/A Optional
Vehicle Anti-Theft System N/A Std
Invoice MSRP
Optima (all versions) $21,453 to $33,481 $22,200 to $36,090
Fusion (all versions) $21,592 to $36,620 $22,610 to $38,750

 

Basic Corrosion Drivetrain Roadside
Optima  5 Yrs/60k miles  5 Yrs/100k miles  10 Yrs/100k miles  5 Yrs/60k miles
Fusion  3 Yrs/36k miles  5 Yrs/unlim. miles  5 Yrs/60k miles  5 Yrs/60k miles

We encourage you to visit the Lawrence Kia dealership and let one of our sales representatives answer any questions you may have – test-drive the Optima and experience the quality for yourself. Don’t hesitate to do the same with the Fusion… we’re confident you’ll agree the Optima is the clear winner.