2020 Kia Stinger vs. 2020 Audi A3 Sedan

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 2020/01/23

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Stinger GT2 has a standard Surround View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The A3 Sedan only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Stinger has standard 911 Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Stinger and the A3 Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and lane departure warning systems.

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 A3 Sedan is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

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 A3 Sedan’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Stinger 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3 Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the A3 Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Kia dealers as there are Audi 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 2020/01/23

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 A3 Sedan’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 A3 Sedan 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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 5 places higher in reliability than Audi.

Engine

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The Stinger GT-Line’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 71 more horsepower (255 vs. 184) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 221) than the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Stinger GT-Line’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 27 more horsepower (255 vs. 228) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Stinger GT’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 137 more horsepower (365 vs. 228) and 118 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 258) than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Stinger GT is faster than the A3 45 TFSI:

Stinger

A3

Zero to 30 MPH

1.8 sec

1.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

5.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.6 sec

14 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5 sec

6.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.5 sec

3.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.2 sec

4 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111 MPH

100 MPH

Top Speed

167 MPH

129 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 2020/01/23

The Stinger has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Stinger has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI Quattro’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Kia Stinger, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A3 Sedan.

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 A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan:

Stinger GT-Line

Stinger GT

A3 40 TFSI

A3 45 TFSI

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

13.4 inches

10.7 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 A3 Sedan are solid, not vented.

The Stinger stops much shorter than the A3 Sedan:

Stinger

A3

80 to 0 MPH

217 feet

219 feet

Road and Track

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

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 A3 Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stinger’s wheelbase is 10.6 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (114.4 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Stinger is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 4.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A3 Sedan.

The Stinger’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the A3 Sedan’s (58.1% to 41.9%). This gives the Stinger more stable handling and braking.

The Stinger GT2 handles at .91 G’s, while the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Stinger GT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro (24.8 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 25.9 seconds @ .76 average G’s).

Chassis

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The design of the Kia Stinger amounts to more than styling. The Stinger has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is lower than the A3 Sedan (.32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Stinger get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Stinger AWD is quieter than the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro:

Stinger

A3 Sedan

At idle

39 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

67 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 2020/01/23

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Stinger a Mid-size car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Stinger has 7.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (93.8 vs. 86).

The Stinger has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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The Stinger has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the A3 Sedan (23.3 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Stinger is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the A3 Sedan. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

The Stinger has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The A3 Sedan doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/01/23

The Stinger offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Stinger GT1/GT2, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

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 A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Stinger’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The A3 Sedan’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 A3 Sedan’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Stinger GT1/GT2 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The A3 Sedan’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Stinger and the A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan.

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 A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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. Only the A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige offers wireless 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 2020/01/23

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 A3 Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Kia Stinger outsold the Audi A3/S3/RS 3 by 43% during the 2019 model year.

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

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