2018 Kia Optima vs Ford Fusion

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When you are trying to choose between the 2018 Kia Optima and the Ford Fusion as your next midsize sedan, you really are choosing between the models at the top of the segment. So, since you do have to make the choice between them, here’s how they directly compare.

2018 Kia Optima vs Ford Fusion


There’s nothing about the way the Optima looks to suggest that it’s not a luxury model, apart from the branding. This is the car that redefined Kia back in 2011 as a serious player among the big boys of the industry, and moved it from being the creator of the cheap and cheerful. The stunning coupe-like lines remain after the redesign a couple of years ago, and although the front is now quite different, this is still one of the best-looking sedans of any type out there.

The Fusion has been around in pretty much its current form for a lot longer than you’d think looking at it. Like the Optima, it’s a sleek, fastback-like design that’s both graceful and sporty. It’s hard to believe this is a design that will ever age.

Interior Space and Comfort

You won’t find a shortage of space or comfort inside the 2018 Optima, although the bias for leg room leans more toward those sitting in the front. The total passenger volume is a healthy 104.8 cu.-ft. and there’s a surprisingly generous amount of front and rear head room for a car with such seductive and sleek exterior lines. The quality of the interior materials and trim rivals some luxury models, especially in the Kia’s upper trim levels.

Despite its longer wheelbase, there’s actually less passenger volume and less front leg room inside the Ford, although leg room is more generous for those sitting in the back. The quality of the Fusion’s cabin is very good with higher specification models, but lower trims are not on a par with the Kia so the Optima takes the honors for the better interiors overall.


Cars like the Optima are perfect for lots of time spent on the highway, so it’s good to know the safety credentials are up to scratch when you’re travelling at speed. With the Optima they’re more than up to the task, as they’re as good as it gets at this point in time. Both the IIHS and the NHTSA give the Kia top marks across the board.

The latest safety technology is offered throughout the Fusion range these days, and the Ford does pretty well in the two main crash-testing regimes. However, it doesn’t get the top marks the Optima boasts, so this is a good win for the Kia.


Although the Optima looks as though it can stir your soul, it’s no sport sedan. The focus is more about the quality of the ride and handling than outright performance. Having said that, the 2.0-liter turbo isn’t exactly a slouch as it does pack a reasonable punch with its 245 horsepower.

Plenty of engine options are available in the Fusion, and among them is an inline-four that matches the Optima’s 2.0-liter turbo for horsepower. But the Ford Fusion still offers a V-6, and a twin-turbo 325 horsepower V-6 at that. So, this round definitely goes to the Ford.

Learn More about the Kia Optima

Comparing these two is like comparing two world champion middleweight boxers who have never fought each other; everyone could offer an opinion one way or the other about who would dominate. The fact is you won’t be disappointed by either one, but on balance, the more individual look and the better interior of the Kia means we’d opt for the 2018 Kia Optima.