2020 Kia K900 vs. 2020 Mercedes S-Class

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 2020/01/24

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 S-Class 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 S-Class.

Both the K900 and the S-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

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 S-Class’ 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 S-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the S-Class 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 S 450’s standard 3.0 turbo V6.

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 S-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the K900 has larger rear tires than the S-Class (275/40R19 vs. 245/50R18).

The K900’s 245/45R19 front and 275/40R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S-Class’ standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the K900 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S-Class.

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 S-Class, 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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The K900 handles at .87 G’s, while the S 560 pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The K900 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the S 560 (25.7 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 26.5 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the K900’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the S 450/560’s (39.2 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

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The K900 is 5.3 inches shorter than the S-Class, making the K900 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Kia K900 amounts to more than styling. The K900 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the S-Class (.27 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the K900 get better fuel mileage.

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 S-Class doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The K900 has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 4.3 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more rear headroom and 2.5 inches more rear legroom than the S-Class.

Ergonomics

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To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the K900 has standard extendable sun visors. The S-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 S-Class.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/01/24

Insurance will cost less for the K900 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the K900 will cost $2350 to $9710 less than the S-Class over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia K900 will be $17577 to $143066 less than for the Mercedes S-Class.

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