2019 Audi S3 Sedan vs. 2019 Kia Stinger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The S3 Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Stinger doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S3 Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Kia Stinger has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The S3 Sedan has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Stinger doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S3 Sedan. But it costs extra on the Stinger.

Both the S3 Sedan and the Stinger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S3 Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 113 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Stinger has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The S3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Stinger’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Reliability

The Audi S3 Sedan’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Stinger’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

Engine

The S3 Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 33 more horsepower (288 vs. 255) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 260) than the Stinger 2.0L’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi S3 Sedan is faster than the Kia Stinger:

S3

Stinger 2.0L

Stinger GT

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

6.6 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

15 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102.4 MPH

95.2 MPH

104.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S3 Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Stinger:

MPG

S3 Sedan

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

Stinger

RWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

3.3 turbo V6

17 city/25 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

3.3 turbo V6

17 city/25 hwy

Transmission

The S3 Sedan offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Stinger doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the S3 Sedan’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Stinger:

S3

Stinger

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.6 inches

The S3 Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Stinger 2.0L are solid, not vented.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The S3 Sedan has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Stinger doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The S3 Sedan stops much shorter than the Stinger:

S3 Sedan

Stinger

80 to 0 MPH

206 feet

217 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S3 Sedan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Stinger (235/35R19 vs. 225/40R19).

The S3 Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Stinger 2.0L’s standard 45 series tires. The S3 Sedan’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Stinger GT’s 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

The S3 Sedan handles at .92 G’s, while the Stinger GT pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S3 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Stinger Premium (25.2 seconds @ .81 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S3 Sedan’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Stinger’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.7 feet). The S3 Sedan’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Stinger AWD’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The S3 Sedan is 1 foot, 2.4 inches shorter than the Stinger, making the S3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S3 Sedan easier. The S3 Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.3 inches, while the Stinger’s liftover is 27.5 inches.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 45% lower rating, Kia is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

The S3 Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Stinger’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the S3 Sedan the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Stinger can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The S3 Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Stinger’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S3 Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Stinger doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The S3 Sedan Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Stinger doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

The S3 Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S3 Sedan will retain 47.69% to 49.11% of its original price after five years, while the Stinger only retains 40% to 43.12%.

Recommendations

The Audi A3/S3 outsold the Kia Stinger by 9% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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