2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Kia Stinger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The TLX V6’s optional 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.

Both the TLX and the Stinger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

Engine

The TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 35 more horsepower (290 vs. 255) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 260) than the Stinger 2.0L’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura TLX V6 is faster than the Stinger 2.0L:

TLX

Stinger

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

95.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

TLX

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

A-Spec 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/31 hwy

A-Spec 3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/30 hwy

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 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

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The Stinger doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The TLX has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Stinger (17.2 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The TLX 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 Stinger doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Acura TLX V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Stinger.

The TLX 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

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The TLX 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 TLX stops shorter than the Stinger:

TLX

Stinger

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the TLX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Stinger (245/40R19 vs. 225/40R19).

The TLX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Stinger doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the TLX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Stinger uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The TLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Stinger doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the Stinger GT2:

TLX

Stinger

At idle

39 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

74 dB

84 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The TLX has 1.1 inches more front shoulder room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Stinger.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the TLX offers cargo security. The Stinger’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 41% lower rating, Kia is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

The TLX 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 climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Stinger doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The TLX’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 TLX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or 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 TLX’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 Stinger’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $685 less than the Stinger over a five-year period.

The TLX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the TLX will retain 48.4% to 50.83% of its original price after five years, while the Stinger only retains 40% to 43.12%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura TLX will be $2945 to $12965 less than for the Kia Stinger.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura TLX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Kia Stinger isn't recommended.

The Acura TLX outsold the Kia Stinger by 81% during 2018.

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

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