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While new car prices remain high, used cars offer more affordable alternatives. Two excellent options are the 2016 Hyundai Sonata and the 2016 Kia Optima. These midsize sedans are similar in many ways because they’re under the Hyundai Motor Group umbrella. Here’s a comparison of the 2016 Hyundai Sonata and the 2016 Kia Optima.

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata has 2 advantages over the 2016 Kia Optima

2016 Hyundai Sonata 2016 Kia Optima comparison
2016 Hyundai Sonata (top) and 2016 Kia Optima | Raymond Boyd; Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

The two midsize sedans are similar in most areas. However, the 2016 Sonata’s two main advantages over the 2016 Optima involve the interior. The first advantage comes from the Sonata’s superior standard tech features. Although Kia redesigned the Optima for the 2016 model year, it starts with only a five-inch touchscreen.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Sonata has a seven-inch touchscreen. Both have an optional eight-inch touchscreen for an upcharge. Hyundai also gave the sedan Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Those features are common in new cars, but they were rarer several years ago, so the 2016 Optima didn’t come with those features. 

On top of that, the Sonata also received HD Radio and an onboard hands-free communications system, and the Optima doesn’t have either of those features.

The Hyundai sedan’s other advantage is its roomier interior. It’s a small margin, but the 2016 Sonata has a total passenger volume of 106.1 cubic feet compared to the 2016 Optima’s 104.8 cubic feet. Plus, the Hyundai has a larger trunk: 16.3 cubic feet versus 15.9 cubic feet.

2016 Hyundai Sonata used price range and specs

The average price for a used 2016 Sonata is about $16,000, significantly lower than the MSRP of a new midsize sedan. For example, a 2023 Hyundai Sonata starts at about $26,000, making the pre-owned 2016 model $10,000 cheaper. The 2016 Sonata is a reasonably capable sedan with three engine options.

The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 185 hp. But the car could be optioned with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 2.0-liter turbo-four. The 1.6-liter option produces 178 hp, while the 2.0-liter harnesses 245 hp. The car handles well, has a smooth ride, and gets decent fuel economy. Interestingly, the 1.6-liter turbo boasts the best fuel economy, with 28 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 33 mpg combined.

Both are excellent used cars

Despite the 2016 Hyundai Sonata’s two advantages over the 2016 Kia Optima, “both are fine used car options,” U.S. News says.

That shouldn’t be a huge surprise because the 2016 Optima received only slightly better U.S. News ratings overall than the Sonata. The 2016 Optima earned an overall 8.4 out of 10, while the Sonata received 8.3.

That’s partly because these two midsize sedans are similar under the hood. Indeed, the Optima starts with the same 2.4-liter engine as the Sonata. The Kia’s optional engines are also the same in dimensions and specs. That said, the two cars don’t have the same fuel economy, as the Optima has slightly lower gas mileage. 


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