2020 Chrysler 300 vs. 2020 Kia Cadenza

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The 300 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 300 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Cadenza doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Compared to metal, the 300’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Kia Cadenza has a metal gas tank.

Both the 300 and the Cadenza 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The 300’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Cadenza runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Chrysler dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 300’s warranty.

Reliability

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The battery on the 300 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 300’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Cadenza’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 300’s reliability 12 points higher than the Cadenza.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 300 third among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Cadenza isn’t in the top three.

Engine

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The 300’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 2 more horsepower (292 vs. 290) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The 300S’ standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 10 more horsepower (300 vs. 290) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (264 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The 300’s optional 5.7 V8 produces 73 more horsepower (363 vs. 290) and 141 lbs.-ft. more torque (394 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chrysler 300 is faster than the Kia Cadenza:

300S

300 V8

Cadenza

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

5.5 sec

6.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.1 MPH

101.4 MPH

95.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 300 RWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Cadenza (19 city/30 hwy vs. 20 city/28 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the 300 V8’s fuel efficiency. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The 300 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 Cadenza doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 300 V8/AWD’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cadenza:

300 V8/AWD

Cadenza

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

The 300 V8/AWD’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cadenza are solid, not vented.

The 300 stops shorter than the Cadenza:

300

Cadenza

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 300 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Cadenza’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the 300 can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The Cadenza doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 300’s wheelbase is 7.6 inches longer than on the Cadenza (120 inches vs. 112.4 inches).

The 300S handles at .85 G’s, while the Cadenza Limited pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 300S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Cadenza Limited (26.7 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The 300 has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cadenza.

Cargo Capacity

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The 300 has a larger trunk than the Cadenza (16.3 vs. 16 cubic feet).

The 300’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Cadenza doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Towing

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The 300 has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Cadenza has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the 300 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cadenza. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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On a hot day the 300’s driver can lower the front windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Cadenza can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 300 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Cadenza doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 300 (except Touring/Touring L) offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Cadenza doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 300 (except Limited) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The 300’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Cadenza has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the 300 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 300 will cost $1120 less than the Cadenza over a five-year period.

The 300 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 300 will retain 34.71% to 38.68% of its original price after five years, while the Cadenza only retains 30.95% to 34.32%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 300 is less expensive to operate than the Cadenza because it costs $336 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the 300 than the Cadenza, including $2 less for a starter.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chrysler 300 will be $2268 to $4998 less than for the Kia Cadenza.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/01

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Chrysler 300 and the Kia Cadenza, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Chrysler 300 outsold the Kia Cadenza by almost 18 to one during 2019.

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