A midsize sedan like the Subaru Legacy or Kia Optima is a great option for all kinds of errands. They both have the efficiency to tackle your commute, the space to comfortably fit your family, and safety features that you can trust.

So, which one is right for you? To help drivers in Ithaca decide, Maguire Subaru looks at what each one has to offer in this Subaru Legacy vs. Kia Optima comparison.

Subaru Legacy vs Kia Optima Fuel Economy

The Subaru Legacy delivers a smooth and capable ride with great gas mileage. Its most efficient powertrain is a 2.5L 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER® engine that gets up to 175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. This work with a Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Together, they help the Legacy get up to an EPA-estimated 25 MPG city and 34 MPG highway.

The Kia Optima also offers several powertrains. For the best fuel-economy, you can rely on a 1.6L I-4 turbocharged engine that gets up to 178 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Working alongside this option, you'll have a 7-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission. This delivers both an exciting drive and an EPA-estimated 27 MPG city and 37 MPG highway.

Subaru Legacy vs Kia Optima Passenger Room

The Subaru Legacy and Kia Optima each offer comfortable seating for up to five people. Their stylish cabins both offer cloth or leather seats, as well as a user-friendly infotainment system with a touchscreen display on the dashboard.

The Legacy features 104.6 cubic feet of passenger room, while the Kia Optima proves to be just as spacious with 104.8 cubic feet of passenger space. Whether you're running errands or going on a road trip, both interiors offer plenty of room for everyone on board to relax.


Subaru Legacy (front/rear)

Kia Optima (front/rear)


40.0 inches/37.0 inches

39.8 inches/37.8 inches


42.9 inches/38.1 inches

45.5 inches/35.6 inches

Shoulder Room

58.1 inches/57.3 inches

58.1 inches/56.4 inches


Both cars also feature 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatbacks for easy access to the trunk or extra storage space. The Subaru offers 15.0 cubic feet of space in the trunk, while the Kia Optima has 15.9 cubic feet of cargo room.

Subaru Legacy vs Kia Optima Safety

Both the Subaru Legacy and Kia Optima have been named a 2019 TOP SAFETY PICK+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). They've earned this award and deliver peace of mind with a solid design and lots of safety features.

The Legacy gives you a stable drive with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. While the Kia Optima is front-wheel drive, it features a Traction Control System and was built with a reinforced body cage.

Each vehicle has an advanced airbag system that covers the interior side curtain airbags. You can also trust them to help you avoid accidents with smart driver assistance features. Some of the features that can protect you inside both vehicles are:

  • Lane Departure with Lane Keep Assist
  • Electronic Cruise Control
  • Pre-Collision Braking System
  • Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

Test Drive a Midsize Sedan

Contact Maguire Subaru to learn more about this Subaru Legacy vs. Kia Optima comparison and take a test drive. Each one of these stylish midsize sedans offers drivers in Ithaca a safe, comfortable, and efficient ride.

Schedule Test Drive

Maguire Subaru of Ithaca

320 Elmira Road
Directions Ithaca, NY 14850

  • Call or Text Sales: (607)289-3768
  • Service: (607)273-8585
  • Parts: (607)273-8585


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