2020 Kia Stinger vs. 2020 Acura ILX

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 2020/01/20

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

The Stinger GT2 has a standard Surround View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ILX only offers a rear monitor.

The Stinger GT1/GT2’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The ILX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Stinger and the ILX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 crash mitigating brakes and lane departure warning systems.

The Kia Stinger weighs 463 to 928 pounds more than the Acura ILX. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Stinger its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ILX was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Stinger 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Acura covers the ILX. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the ILX ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

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

Reliability

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Stinger third among compact premium cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The ILX isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, 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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 45 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 19 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

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The Stinger GT-Line’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 54 more horsepower (255 vs. 201) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Stinger GT’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 164 more horsepower (365 vs. 201) and 196 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Stinger is faster than the Acura ILX:

Stinger GT-Line

Stinger GT

ILX

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

4.4 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.2 sec

10.6 sec

17.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

12.9 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

111 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/01/20

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Stinger’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The ILX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Stinger has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the ILX (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The Stinger GT/GT1/GT2’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s at 2250 in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The ILX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Stinger’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ILX:

Stinger GT-Line

Stinger GT

ILX

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

13.4 inches

11.1 inches

The Stinger GT’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the ILX are solid, not vented.

The Stinger stops much shorter than the ILX:

Stinger

ILX

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Stinger has larger standard tires than the ILX (225/45R18 vs. 215/45R17).

The Stinger GT’s 255/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ILX A-SPEC’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Stinger GT-Line has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the ILX. The Stinger GT’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the ILX A-SPEC.

The Stinger 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 ILX, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The Stinger 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 ILX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stinger’s wheelbase is 9.3 inches longer than on the ILX (114.4 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Stinger is 3.4 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the ILX.

The Stinger’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the ILX’s (63% to 37%). This gives the Stinger more stable handling and braking.

The Stinger GT2 handles at .93 G’s, while the ILX A-SPEC pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Stinger a Mid-size car, while the ILX is rated a Compact.

The Stinger has 4.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ILX (93.8 vs. 89.3).

The Stinger has .3 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 5.2 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 2.4 inches more rear legroom, 4.4 inches more rear hip room and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the ILX.

Cargo Capacity

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The Stinger has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the ILX (23.3 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Stinger easier. The Stinger’s trunk lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the ILX’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Stinger’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the ILX’s useful trunk space.

The Stinger’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The ILX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Stinger GT2’s power trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Stinger’s power trunk can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The ILX doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The Stinger uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The ILX uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the Stinger is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the ILX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The Stinger GT1/GT2’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The ILX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Stinger GT2 has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The ILX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Stinger and the ILX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Stinger is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The ILX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Stinger GT1/GT2’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The ILX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Stinger’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the ILX’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Stinger GT1/GT2 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ILX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Stinger GT2 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The ILX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Stinger GT1/GT2 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The ILX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Stinger and the ILX have standard heated front seats. The Stinger GT2 also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ILX.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Stinger GT1/GT2 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The ILX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Stinger’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The ILX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Stinger and the ILX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Stinger has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The ILX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Stinger has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The ILX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 2020/01/20

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Stinger third among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The ILX isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Kia Stinger outsold the Acura ILX by 495 units during the 2019 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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