Toyota’s Camry is the best-selling sedan in the United States and one of the most recognizable vehicles in the word. It’s the rightful king of its segment, and so, everybody else is just trying to match the Camry’s high bars of quality, reliability, comfort, style and affordability. Over the last couple of years we witnessed the rise of head-strong competition, including Honda’s Accord, Ford’s Fusion, and Kia’s Optima. And today we’ll talk about the rivalry between Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 in details. Now, despite the fact that Toyota is quite literally the sole creator of the commercially huge market of mid-size sedans, the rivals are making it feel a bit nervous. That’s exactly why last year the company issued an extensive refreshment for the Camry, in only the 3rd model year since the 2012 complete redesign. You think that was a desperate move from the Japanese hoping to stay on top for a while longer? Nope – it was a well-calculated strategy that will pay off handsomely.
Staying On Top No Matter What
So, yeah, some serious actions have been taken, and, as you could imagine, Toyota Camry 2016 isn’t much different from the 2015 edition – that’s obvious. This year we only got a brand-new Special Edition (it’s pretty cool, check out my review) and a slightly perfected Entune Audio Plus (the infotainment system). Overall, today the Camry looks fresh, sleek, up-to-date and almost unnaturally edgy and bold. Almost – because it does actually look pretty cool, especially for a family-oriented affordable vehicle. The front end is where all the action is happening, with a large grille and LED lights. The taillights have a chrome bar running across that adds up to the sporty attitude. The sheet metal on the sides gives the new Camry a nice modern-day characteristic. The aforementioned Special Edition turns the good-old sedan into a really awesome sporty vehicle, with great attention to interior details, a mightier engine and stronger drivetrain. But that’s a whole another story.
Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 – Enter Kia
Alright, so where does the latest Optima stand in the battle between Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016? Well, first of all I gotta say that Kia’s sedan has been on the market for about 15 years – since 2001. However, it was never really considered a big-league player until 2011, when the company decided to invest huge amounts of money and talent in order to make it competitive. And they did – today the Optima regularly makes it to the Top-5 Mid-Size Sedans list. That’s a tremendous achievement, again, taking into consideration how crowded and well-shaped the market is right now. Furthermore, in 2016 the model went through a complete redesign, starting a new generation that’s gonna help shift the perception of Kia on the world-wide market. Surprisingly enough, you won’t find any bold changes in the exterior design, except it’s now a bit longer, wider and taller. Don’t worry, though – it’s still an eye-catcher and, in many regards, looks and feels a lot like the rivaling Camry.
You Can’t Take The King’s Crown
The real changes are underneath the skin, so to speak, as high-strength steel is finally introduced to the chassis construction, which results into greater handling, more comfort on the road and more stability on max speed. So, in terms of exterior looks and design I’m announcing a draw in the Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 battle. Even with the updated chassis, the Optima is still not a segment leader, simply because the Camry has been dominating it for decades now. However, in time we could all hail to a new king, but right now there’s not much that Kia (or any other manufacturer, for that matter) can do to beat the Japanese giant when it comes to mid-size sedans – not a new platform, not a mightier engine, and not even a roomier interior, which the Optima doesn’t really have.
Camry 2016 Interior And Technology
Ok, let’s move on to the interior wars – who’s got the most comfy seats and the roomier cabin? The 2016 Toyota Camry offers one of the coziest and most spacious interiors on the market of mid-size sedans. There’s tons of headroom and legroom in the cabin and in the back, so even the tallest folks will feel comfortable and enjoy the ride. Cargo capacity is pretty standard – you’ve got 15.4 cubic feet at your disposal. The center stack and the dashboard look pretty nice and – what’s even more important – are very user-friendly and easy to understand. The climate control knobs are super-intuitive and even a 2-year old can make sense out of them.
As for technology, the 2016 Toyota Camry gets the good-old Entune interface with a 6.1-inch touchscreen with the option to pick a 7-incher with the upper trims. And, as usual with the Japanese company, the standard-level trim, LE (you’ve got five to choose from, including SE, Special Edition, XSE and XLE) comes with 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, cloth upholstery, USB/Bluetooth/iPod connections, a 6-speaker sound-system, a rearview camera, and more. The higher trims offer leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, LED running lights, dual-zone (automatic) climate control, sporty suspension (with the Special Edition trim), a noise-reducing windshield, navigation, a 10-speaker sound-system, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and tons of other techy features and safety equipment. Yep, it offers a lot, but let’s move on to the second contestant of the Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 competition and see who’s got the upper hand.
Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 – The Newbie Prevails?
On the inside the 2016 Optima welcomes with a handsome, roomy interior that doesn’t necessarily make wonders happen. But it’s all-around solid and offers one of the best driving experiences. Material quality is good, and while the whole cabin is filled with soft-touch surfaces. There is still some hard-and-true coverage in the center stack and the armrests. And if you go with the EX trim and higher. You’ll get top-dog leather upholstery that’s not usually common in low-budget mid-size sedans. The seats are quite comfortable. However, tall folks won’t feel as good on the back seats as in the Camry, because the roofline cuts heavily into the headroom. On the other hand, there’s tons of legroom and the seats are pretty wide not to feel cramped in. Cargo capacity measures 15.8 cubic feet, which is just a tiny bit more than what the Camry offers. The eight-inch touchscreen comes with big and “touchy” buttons and a very smart and friendly layout. For navigation you’ve got physical buttons. To my opinion, that’s quite a nice gesture.
The 2016 Kia Optima is available in 4 trim levels – LX, EX, SX and SXL. The standard-level LX offers pretty much the same package as the basic-level Camry, including 16-inch (alloy) wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth/USB connections (no iPod), a 6-speaker sound-system and a 5-inch central display. The higher trims, again, come with similar goodies. So let’s not discuss them all. Overall, I’d say the round of the Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 competition goes out to Japan because of the super-comfy and spacious interior; however, if you like high-quality materials and a bit more modern interior design, then you should go with Kia.
Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 – Powertrain Comparison
Even though strong engines and off-the-chart MPH numbers are not really what makes a certain mid-size sedan appealing to the wide audience, a proper powertrain might just be the key to the customer’s heart because of a smooth ride quality and, of course, solid fuel-efficiency. The standard-level Toyota Camry 2016 comes packed with a 2.5-lit 4-cyl engine that’s good for 175HP and 170 lb-ft of torque that’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and FWD (front-wheel drive). This configuration goes from 0 to 60MPH in 8.3 seconds – an average result for a car like that.
The higher trim levels – XSE and XLE – offer a 3.5-lit V6 unit that puts out 268 Horsepower, 248 pound-feet of torque and jumps from zero to sixty miles per hour in just 6.2 secs, which is a pretty impressive result. As for fuel-efficiency, the standard 4-cylinder returns 35 miles per gallon on the highway and 25MPG in the city (28MPG combined), while the mighty V6 returns 31MPG hwy/21MPG city (25MPG combined). So, that’s everything the Japanese offer in this round of the Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 fight.
Camry = Acceleration, Optima = Fuel-Efficiency
As for the opponent, Kia provides 3 engines to choose from. That’s already a big thumbs up. The entry-level trims – LX and EX – come packed with a 2.4-lit 4-cyl unit that pumps out 185 Horses and 178 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to FWD and a 6-speed automatic transmission same as the rivaling Camry. The LX 1.6 trim comes pre-equipped with a 1.6-lit 4-cylinder that makes 178HP, 195 lb-ft of torque and is paired to a 7-speed automatic clutcher. The higher trims, SX and SXL, are packed with the strongest engine – a 2.0-lit 4-cylinder that’s as strong as 245 Horses and boasts 260 lb-ft of torque (a 6-speed automatic is standard). With this powertrain the latest Optima flies from 0 to 60 miles in 6.7 seconds, which is a bit behind the King Camry.
The basic-level 2.4-liter returns 35 miles per gallon on the highway and 24MPG in the city (28 combined), while the 2.0-lit unit is good for 32MPG hwy/22MPG city (25 combined) – pretty close to the rival. However, it’s the 1.6-liter engine that makes the difference: 39MPG hwy/28MPG city (32MPG combined). So, where does that leave us? Well, it’s another draw in the Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 battle, believe it or not: Camry has better acceleration, while Optima is more economical. It comes down to personal preferences – nothing else.
Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016 – The Verdict
So, what’s the verdict on Toyota Camry 2016 Vs Kia Optima 2016? To be honest, I don’t really know what to recommend you folks. Even though I love the Camry for being so reliable, durable and classy, Kia’s latest offering is not what is used to be and wrestles with the king on the same level. With almost identical pricing (true, Camry is about 1, 1,5K pricer, but it offers more options and features), efficiency and driving comfort, the two sedans are equally great. And, as is often the case in these types of situations, the final choice depends on your personal tastes and needs. So, think it all through, take both vehicles for a test-drive and don’t forget to ask any questions you’ve got in the comments!
Check out this video: 2016 Kia Optima Vs 2016 Toyota Camry – DESIGN!