2020 Kia Stinger vs. 2020 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Stinger and the C-Class Sedan 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, 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 C-Class 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 Mercedes covers the C-Class 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 C-Class Sedan 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 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 C-Class 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 C-Class Sedan 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 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 Stinger GT’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 110 more horsepower (365 vs. 255) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 273) than the C-Class Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Stinger uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The C-Class Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan:

Stinger GT

C-Class

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.4 inches

11.8 inches

The Stinger stops shorter than the C-Class Sedan:

Stinger

C-Class

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

108 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 C-Class Sedan’s 50 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 C-Class Sedan.

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 C-Class Sedan, 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. Some tire options on the C-Class Sedan don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

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 C-Class Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stinger’s wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the C-Class Sedan (114.4 inches vs. 111.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Stinger is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Sedan.

The Stinger GT2 handles at .91 G’s, while the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Stinger GT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC (24.8 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

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 C-Class Sedan is rated a Compact.

The Stinger has 3.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (93.8 vs. 90).

The Stinger has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room and 1.2 inches more rear legroom than the C-Class Sedan.

The front step up height for the Stinger is 1 inches lower than the C-Class Sedan (15.5” vs. 16.5”). The Stinger’s rear step up height is 1.8 inches lower than the C-Class Sedan’s (15” vs. 16.8”).

Ergonomics

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The Stinger has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the C-Class Sedan. 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 C-Class Sedan.

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 C-Class Sedan.

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 2020/03/30

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Stinger will be $2963 to $5678 less than for the Mercedes C-Class Sedan.

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