2020 Kia K900 vs. 2020 Mercedes CLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The K900 has standard Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CLS doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the K900. But it costs extra on the CLS.

Both the K900 and the CLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

The Kia K900 weighs 407 to 528 pounds more than the Mercedes CLS. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The K900 comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CLS’ 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the K900 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the CLS. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the CLS ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Kia dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the K900’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 12 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The K900’s 3.3 turbo V6 produces 3 more horsepower (365 vs. 362) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 369) than the CLS’ 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia K900 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The CLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Tires and Wheels

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The K900 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the CLS, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the K900’s wheelbase is 6.5 inches longer than on the CLS (122.2 inches vs. 115.7 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the K900 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CLS doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the K900 a Large car, while the CLS is rated a Compact.

The K900 has 17 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS (110 vs. 93).

The K900 has 4.2 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLS.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the K900’s available rear seats recline. The CLS’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The K900 has a much larger trunk than the CLS (15 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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A power rear sunshade and manual rear side window sunshades are standard in the K900 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The CLS doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Both the K900 and the CLS have standard heated front seats. The K900 also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the CLS.

The K900 has standard front air conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The CLS doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The K900 has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the CLS.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia K900 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console and one for the rear passengers. Wireless charging costs extra on the CLS.

Economic Advantages

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IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia K900 will be $1419 to $4730 less than for the Mercedes CLS.

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