Every dealer wants to tell you that their vehicles are better than the competition. Some have the information to back it up and some do not. Below, we are going to look at the statistics and facts to determine which vehicle is better—the Used Chevy Malibu or the Used Kia Optima.

These vehicles will be compared in the categories of performance and fuel economy, used car ranking comparison, and pricing and trim options.

Which car will be the winner? Find out below!

Performance and Fuel Economy

Probably the most important aspect of a car is how well it performs. When you buy a vehicle, you want to know that it has the power to get you where you need to go, and the reliability and fuel efficiency so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on your car. Let’s take a closer look at the performance and fuel economy of the Chevy Malibu and the Kia Optima.

The standard engine on the 2015 Chevy Malibu is a 196-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. There is also an available turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that gives you 259-horsepower. On the standard engine, the Malibu gets an estimated 25 city miles per gallon and 36 highway miles per gallon. The turbocharged engine gives you an estimated 22 city miles per gallon and 32 highway miles per gallon. The Chevy Malibu also has an auto stop-start feature that helps conserve fuel by turning off the engine when the car comes to a stop. This feature comes standard in the Malibu.

For the Kia Optima, the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and 192-horsepower engine comes standard. On higher trim levels, you have the option of the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that gives you 274-horsepower. The fuel economy for the Optima isn’t quite as impressive as the Malibu with an estimated 23 city miles per gallon and 34 highway miles per gallon. That estimate is for the standard engine, while the turbocharged engine is estimated 20 city miles per gallon and 31 highway miles per gallon.

On the base engine, the 2015 Chevy Malibu has more horsepower and better fuel economy than the 2015 Kia Optima. Both vehicles also have a turbocharged 2.0-liter option. With this second engine option, the Optima gives you slightly more horsepower, but, again, it gives you less fuel efficiency.

As far as driving and handling go, both vehicles are capable with plenty of power and good acceleration. There are some concerns about the accuracy of the steering on the Kia Optima. In terms of performance and efficiency, the Chevy Malibu appears to be the better choice.

Used Car Ranking Comparison

According to the U.S. News Best Cars, the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu comes in at number five for affordable midsize cars. The 2015 Kia Optima comes in at number eleven. The Chevy Malibu is significantly ahead of the Optima in this ranking, so let’s learn why.

The Kia Optima gives you a comfortable ride and a straightforward infotainment system, but it’s handling, fuel economy and rear seating room are below many of its competitors. The Malibu gives you the comfort and intuitive technology that the Optima has, and it also gives you good fuel efficiency. The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu also gives you great safety and reliability ratings overall.

Pricing and Trim Options

Price is another very important consideration when it comes to finding the best car for you. The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu price will depend on the trim level, but it will start around $13,500 for a base trim and extend to around $18,600. The 2015 Kia Optima base model starts at $13,600 and goes all the way up to about $23,100 for the Optima SXL Turbo. Just from a cursory glance, it is clear that the Optima climbs in price much more quickly and much higher than the Malibu.

Along with price, it is important to discuss trim level options. Different trims offer different features because of this, prices can sometimes be deceiving. Let’s look at how the trim levels of the Kia Optima and the Chevy Malibu compare.

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu gives you three trim options to choose from. The LS, LT and LTZ. The LS is the most basic trim level offering mostly standard features. The LT offers a lot of great technology options for those that want to stay connected while on the road. The LTZ is the higher end trim with features like leather upholstery and active safety features like forward collision alert and blind spot monitoring.

The 2015 Kia Optima has five different trim options including the LX, EX, SX, SX Turbo and SX-Limited Turbo. The LX is the most standard option, while the EX gives you more features like push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control and leather upholstery. The 2015 Kia Optima EX would probably come in between $16,000 and $18,000.

As far as pricing and trim levels go, the Chevy Malibu is probably the best for your money. The Malibu base model starts out slightly cheaper and doesn’t climb nearly as high as some of the high-end trims of the 2015 Kia Optima. With the Optima, you could spend up to $23,100, while the top price for the Malibu would only be around $18,600. The Malibu can give you the features you need without breaking the bank.

Which is Right for You?

Only you can decide which factors are the most important to you when buying a car. Maybe fuel economy is highest on your list, maybe you want the best user-friendly technology or maybe it is some other factor. Regardless, you have to make that final decision for yourself.

In this face-off, we considered the factors of performance and fuel economy, used car ranking comparison, and pricing and trim options. From these three categories, it is pretty clear that the Used Chevy Malibu beats the Used Kia Optima. If you are looking for an affordable used midsize car, the Chevy Malibu should be on your list.