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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Kia Stinger doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The S4’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.
Both the S4 and Stinger have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S4 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Stinger’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The S4 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 S4. But it costs extra on the Stinger.
Both the S4 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The S4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Stinger’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).
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.
The S4’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 94 more horsepower (349 vs. 255) and 109 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 260) than the Stinger GT-Line’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the S4 gets better fuel mileage than the Stinger GT AWD (20 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/25 hwy).
For better stopping power the S4’s brake rotors are larger than those standard on the Stinger:
The S4’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 GT-Line 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 S4 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.
For better traction, the S4 has larger standard tires than the Stinger (245/40R18 vs. 225/45R18). The S4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Stinger (255/35R19 vs. 225/40R19).
The S4’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 GT-Line’s standard 45 series tires. The S4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Stinger GT’s 40 series front tires.
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S4 easier. The S4’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Stinger’s liftover is 27.5 inches.
With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S4 offers cargo security. The Stinger’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 32% lower rating, Kia is ranked 20th.
The S4’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Stinger’s parking brake has to released manually.
The S4’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 S4 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 S4’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 S4 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.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S4 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Stinger doesn’t offer headlight washers.
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the S4 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Stinger doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
The S4 has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Stinger.
The S4 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.
The S4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S4 will retain 47.19% to 47.48% of its original price after five years, while the Stinger only retains 36.32% to 37.7%.
The Audi A4/S4 outsold the Kia Stinger by almost two to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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