Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2012 Ford Fusion VS 2012 Kia Optima Near Peoria, AZ

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2012 Ford Fusion

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2012 Kia Optima

Safety Comparison

The Fusion offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Optima doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Fusion SEL/Hybrid/Sport’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Optima doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Fusion SEL/Hybrid/Sport’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Optima doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Fusion (except S) offers optional SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Optima doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Fusion and the Optima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Kia Optima:



Front Seat


5 Stars

3 Stars

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

253 G’s

342 G’s

Hip Force

480 lbs.

691 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Fusion’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Optima runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 6 times as many Ford dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Fusion 4 cyl./Sport has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Optima doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 19th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Fusion Sport 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the Kia Optima turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.8 MPH

90.7 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Fusion Sport 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the Kia Optima 2.4 (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.8 MPH

88.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Optima HEV Auto (41 city/36 hwy vs. 36 city/40 hwy).

The Fusion has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Optima doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fusion stops much shorter than the Optima:



70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

148 feet

152 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Fusion has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Optima’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Fusion (except Sport)’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Optima doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Fusion SE handles at .81 G’s, while the Optima EX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Fusion Sport AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Optima EX (27.9 seconds @ .59 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fusion has .1 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 2.4 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Optima.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Fusion has a much larger trunk than the Optima (16.5 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Fusion’s trunk lid uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Optima’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Fusion Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The driver can also remotely turn on the heater or air conditioner. The Optima doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Fusion has a lever hand brake in the console, easy to use while keeping both feet free and not impeding entry and exit. The Optima’s foot pedal parking brake is not handy to use as a hill holding device with a manual transmission.

The power windows standard on both the Fusion and the Optima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Fusion is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Optima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

On a hot day the Fusion’s driver can lower all the windows using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote (Fusion SEL/Sport/Hybrid). The driver of the Optima can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the available exterior keypad (not available on Fusion S/SE). The Optima doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Fusion’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Optima’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Fusion SEL/Sport/Hybrid’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Fusion has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Optima LX Manual doesn’t offer rear vents.

Optional Sync AppLink for the Fusion allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, searching the internet, following twitter accounts and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Optima doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Fusion’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Optima’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

The Fusion Hybrid has a 115-volt a/c outlet in the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters, which can break or get misplaced. The Optima doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the Optima because typical repairs cost less on the Fusion than the Optima, including $39 less for an alternator, $52 less for front brake pads, $125 less for fuel injection, $16 less for front struts, $85 less for a timing belt/chain and $146 less for a power steering pump.

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