2020 Dodge Charger vs. 2020 Kia Cadenza

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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

The Charger 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 Charger 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 Charger’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 Charger and the Cadenza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Charger’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 Dodge dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Charger’s warranty.

Reliability

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

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Dodge vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Dodge 1 place higher in reliability than Kia.

Engine

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The Charger’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 Charger’s optional 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 Charger R/T’s standard 5.7 V8 produces 80 more horsepower (370 vs. 290) and 142 lbs.-ft. more torque (395 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6. The Charger Scat Pack’s standard 6.4 V8 produces 195 more horsepower (485 vs. 290) and 222 lbs.-ft. more torque (475 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Charger Scat Pack 6.4 V8 is faster than the Kia Cadenza:

Charger

Cadenza

Zero to 60 MPH

4.2 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

12.6 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

113.8 MPH

95.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Charger 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 Charger R/T’s fuel efficiency. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Charger 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.

Transmission

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The Charger Scat Pack’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Cadenza doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Charger Daytona/Widebody’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cadenza:

Charger Daytona/Widebody

Cadenza

Front Rotors

15.4 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

11.8 inches

The Charger GT/R/T/SXT 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 Charger stops much shorter than the Cadenza:

Charger

Cadenza

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Charger Scat Pack Widebody’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cadenza (305/35R20 vs. 245/45R18).

The Charger Scat Pack Widebody’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cadenza Limited’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Charger R/T has standard 20-inch wheels. The Cadenza’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Charger offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Cadenza’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Charger’s wheelbase is 7.8 inches longer than on the Cadenza (120.2 inches vs. 112.4 inches).

The Charger Scat Pack handles at .92 G’s, while the Cadenza Limited pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Charger Scat Pack executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the Cadenza Limited (25.3 seconds @ .8 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The Charger has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cadenza.

Cargo Capacity

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The Charger has a larger trunk than the Cadenza (16.5 vs. 16 cubic feet).

The Charger’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 Charger has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Cadenza has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Charger 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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The Charger’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Cadenza does not have an oil pressure gauge.

On a hot day the Charger’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 Charger 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.

The Charger’s optional rear and 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 Charger owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Charger with a number “1” insurance rate while the Cadenza is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

The Charger will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Charger will retain 45.05% to 56.91% 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 Charger 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 Charger than the Cadenza, including $1 less for a starter and $64 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Dodge Charger will be $2693 to $5489 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 Dodge Charger and the Kia Cadenza, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Charger second among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Cadenza isn’t in the top three.

The Dodge Charger outsold the Kia Cadenza by over 59 to one during 2019.

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