2020 Kia Stinger vs. 2020 Mercedes CLA

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 2020/04/03

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 CLA doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Stinger and the CLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, around view monitors and driver alert monitors.

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 CLA has not been tested, yet.

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 CLA’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 CLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the CLA 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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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Stinger third among compact premium cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The CLA 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 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-Line’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 34 more horsepower (255 vs. 221) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Stinger GT’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 144 more horsepower (365 vs. 221) and 118 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 258) than the CLA’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 CLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Stinger has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the CLA (15.9 vs. 13.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 CLA.

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 CLA doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Stinger GT

CLA

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.4 inches

12.6 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 CLA are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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The Stinger GT’s 225/40R19 front and 255/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CLA’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stinger’s wheelbase is 7 inches longer than on the CLA (114.4 inches vs. 107.4 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 CLA.

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 CLA is rated a Compact.

The Stinger has 4.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLA (93.8 vs. 89).

The Stinger has .8 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLA.

Cargo Capacity

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The Stinger has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the CLA (23.3 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Stinger’s trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The CLA doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Stinger is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the CLA. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because 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 2020/04/03

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

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 CLA.

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 2020/04/03

The Kia Stinger outsold the Mercedes CLA by 523 units during the 2019 model year.

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