2020 Kia Stinger vs. 2020 Lexus ES Series

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 2020/08/05

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 ES Series doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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

Both the Stinger and the ES Series 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and driver alert monitors.

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 ES Series’ 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 Lexus covers the ES Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the ES Series ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Kia dealers as there are Lexus 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 2020/08/05

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 ES Series’ 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 ES Series isn’t in the top three.

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 Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Engine

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The Stinger GT-Line’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 40 more horsepower (255 vs. 215) than the ES 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The Stinger GT’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 63 more horsepower (365 vs. 302) and 109 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 267) than the ES 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Stinger GT-Line 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the ES 300h 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid:

Stinger

ES Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.2 MPH

90.6 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 2020/08/05

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.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the ES Series Hybrid.

The Stinger has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the ES Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (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 ES Series 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 ES Series:

Stinger GT-Line

Stinger GT

ES Series

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

12 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 ES Series are solid, not vented.

The Stinger stops much shorter than the ES Series:

Stinger

ES Series

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

140 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Stinger has larger standard tires than the ES Series (225/45R18 vs. 215/55R17).

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 ES Series’ standard 55 series tires. The Stinger GT’s 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the ES Series’ optional 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 ES Series.

Suspension and Handling

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The Stinger has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The ES Series’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stinger’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the ES Series (114.4 inches vs. 113 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Stinger is 0 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the ES Series.

The Stinger’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the ES Series’ (59% to 41%). This gives the Stinger more stable handling and braking.

The Stinger GT2 handles at .91 G’s, while the ES 300h pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Stinger GT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.6 seconds quicker than the ES 300h (24.8 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Stinger’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the ES Series’ (36.7 feet vs. 38 feet). The Stinger AWD’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the ES Series w/18-19” wheels’ (38.4 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Stinger is 5.7 inches shorter than the ES Series, making the Stinger easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Stinger has .8 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES Series.

Cargo Capacity

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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. The ES Series’ useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

The Stinger’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The ES Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Stinger is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the ES Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

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 2020/08/05

The Stinger has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the ES Series. 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 ES Series.

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 ES Series.

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 2020/08/05

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 ES Series isn’t in the top three.

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