2020 Kia Stinger vs. 2020 Acura TLX

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 2020/09/30

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

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 TLX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Stinger and the TLX 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Kia Stinger is safer than the TLX:

Stinger

TLX

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

250

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Stinger the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The TLX is not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty

© 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 2020/09/30

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 TLX’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 TLX. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the TLX 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

© 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 2020/09/30

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 TLX’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 TLX 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 49 more horsepower (255 vs. 206) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 182) than the TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Stinger GT’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 75 more horsepower (365 vs. 290) and 109 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 267) than the TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Stinger GT-Line 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Acura TLX 4 cyl.:

Stinger

TLX

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.2 sec

17.9 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.5 sec

3.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

93 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Stinger GT 3.3 turbo V6 is faster than the Acura TLX 3.5:

Stinger

TLX

Zero to 60 MPH

4.6 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106.9 MPH

98.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Stinger gets better fuel mileage than the TLX:

Stinger

TLX

2WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

22 city/29 hwy

20 city/31 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

n/a

20 city/30 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

21 city/29 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

Regardless of its engine, the Stinger’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Acura only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the TLX SH-AWD.

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 TLX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Stinger GT

TLX

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.4 inches

12.2 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 TLX are solid, not vented.

The Stinger stops much shorter than the TLX:

Stinger

TLX

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Stinger GT-Line’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the TLX’s standard 55 series tires. The Stinger GT’s 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the TLX 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 TLX.

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 TLX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stinger’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the TLX (114.4 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Stinger is 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the TLX.

The Stinger’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the TLX’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the Stinger more stable handling and braking.

The Stinger GT2 handles at .93 G’s, while the TLX V6 SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Stinger GT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the TLX (24.8 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .74 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Stinger’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the TLX V6’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.8 feet). The Stinger AWD’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the TLX SH-AWD’s (38.4 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Stinger AWD is quieter than the TLX:

Stinger

TLX

At idle

39 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/09/30

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

The Stinger has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 1.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear hip room than the TLX.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

© 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 2020/09/30

The engine in the Stinger is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the TLX. 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 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 TLX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Stinger and the TLX 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 TLX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 TLX’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

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 TLX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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. Wireless charging costs extra on the TLX.

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 2020/09/30

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 TLX isn’t in the top three.

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

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