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With new vehicle prices at an all-time high due to supply chain shortages, more consumers than ever are looking to the used marketplace to find a deal on their aging daily driver. Luckily, a ton of cash can be saved by looking at low-mileage examples of vehicles just over five years old.

In this category of vehicles, we have the 2016 Kia Optima and the 2016 Mazda6, both award-winning cars when they were new, but how do they stack up against each other today as used vehicle options for consumers looking to save some cash? Here is everything you need to know about the 2016 Kia Optima and the 2016 Mazda6 and which midsize sedan is the best model for the money.

2016 Kia Optima: Specs, features, and price

The Kia Optima name is one you will not see in Kia’s new vehicle showrooms because the Optima name has been retired. As of the 2021 model year, the Kia Optima has been renamed the K5 for the North American market, which is less of a rename, and more of a global branding move by Kia, as the Optima has always been known as the K5 in the brand’s home country of South Korea. The 2016 Kia Optima is a front-wheel drive, four-door sedan capable of seating five passengers. The 2016 Optima comes in five different trim levels, including the LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo, and SXL Turbo. While every trim level for the 2016 Optima comes with an automatic transmission, there are four different engine configurations to choose from, ranging from a 1.6L turbo four-cylinder engine producing 178 horsepower up to a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder making 245 hp.

The Kia Optima made a name for itself in safety, with the 2016 model taking home the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus for the 2016 model year. Regarding features, the 2016 Kia Optima has plenty of options that keep this car feeling new, including an available navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and available wireless phone charging. According to U.S. News, the 2016 Kia Optima currently has an average retail price of $14,846.

2016 Mazda6: Specs, features, and price

A light-gray 2016 Mazda6 midsize sedan parked on an asphalt lot near dry grass hills
2016 Mazda6 midsize sedan | MAZDA NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS

The Mazda Mazda6, more commonly just referred to as the Mazda6, is Mazda’s midsize offering which initially took the place of the Mazda 626 in the early 2000s. The 2016 Mazda6 is a part of the third generation of the Mazda6, which lasted through the 2021 model year before the Mazda6 was ultimately discontinued to make room for Mazda’s new crossover SUV offerings.

The 2016 Mazda6 has an extremely impressive interior for its class, with responsive handling to complement its sports car-like appearance. The Mazda6 comes in three trim levels: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. Regardless of which trim level you choose, you only have one engine option available, a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that produces around 184 hp. Still, you do get to choose between an automatic or manual transmission. Regarding interior features, this 2016 Mazda6 is the first to have the MazdaConnect infotainment system with smartphone integration. As far as safety goes, the Mazda6 is available with emergency braking, blind spot warning, and even adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. The Mazda6 carries a current average retail price of $15,005.

Kia Optima vs. Mazda6

When it comes to putting the 2016 Kia Optima and 2016 Mazda6 head to head, there is no clear winner. U.S. News ranked these two midsize sedans evenly, giving them the same ranking and score. The Kia Optima does have more engine options available but is only offered with an automatic transmission. The Mazda6 only has one engine option but is available with both an automatic and a manual transmission. The Mazda6 also has slightly better fuel economy at 26 city mpg and 38 highway mpg, compared to the Optima’s 24 city mpg and 35 highway mpg, but in the long run, the Mazda6 is slightly more expensive on average when purchased used.

The 2016 Kia Optima and 2016 Mazda6 are excellent used midsize cars, and with them ranking neck and neck according to U.S. News, you can’t go wrong purchasing either one.

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