2020 Kia Stinger vs. 2020 Subaru WRX

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 2020/02/17

The Stinger GT2 has a standard Surround View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The WRX only offers a rear monitor.

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 WRX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Stinger and the WRX 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 all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes and lane departure warning systems.

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 WRX’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Stinger 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Subaru covers the WRX. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the WRX ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

There are over 22 percent more Kia dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it 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 WRX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Kia Stinger’s reliability 24 points higher than the WRX and the Kia Stinger is rated 30 points higher than the WRX.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Stinger third among compact premium cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The WRX 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

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The Stinger GT’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 55 more horsepower (365 vs. 310) and 86 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 290) than the WRX STI’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Stinger GT is faster than the Subaru WRX (automatics tested):

Stinger

WRX

Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

5.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.6 sec

14.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111 MPH

99 MPH

Top Speed

167 MPH

150 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 2020/02/17

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

MPG

Stinger

RWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

3.3 turbo V6

17 city/25 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

3.3 turbo V6

17 city/25 hwy

WRX

AWD

Manual

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

16 city/22 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

18 city/24 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Stinger’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The WRX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Kia Stinger higher (3 out of 10) than the Subaru WRX (1). This means the Stinger produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the WRX every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Kia Stinger comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the WRX.

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 WRX 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 WRX:

Stinger GT-Line

Stinger GT

WRX

WRX STI

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

12.4 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

13.4 inches

11.3 inches

12.8 inches

The Stinger stops shorter than the WRX:

Stinger

WRX

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

112 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Stinger GT-Line has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the WRX.

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stinger’s wheelbase is 10.1 inches longer than on the WRX (114.4 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Stinger is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the WRX.

The Stinger’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the WRX’s (58.4% to 41.6%). This gives the Stinger more stable handling and braking.

The Stinger GT2 handles at .93 G’s, while the WRX STI Limited pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Stinger GT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the WRX (24.8 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 25.7 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

Chassis

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

Stinger

WRX

At idle

39 dB

54 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

75 dB

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 WRX is rated a Compact.

The Stinger has 3.4 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear legroom, 3 inches more rear hip room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the WRX.

Cargo Capacity

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The Stinger has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the WRX (23.3 vs. 12 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 WRX doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics

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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 WRX 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 WRX 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 WRX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

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 WRX’s power lock switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Stinger GT1/GT2’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The WRX’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Stinger has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The WRX has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/STI/Limited.

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 WRX’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Stinger GT1/GT2 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The WRX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Stinger has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the WRX Premium/Limited/STI. 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 WRX.

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 WRX 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 WRX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Stinger has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the WRX STI.

Both the Stinger and the WRX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Stinger has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The WRX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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. The WRX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Stinger is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The WRX doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 2020/02/17

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 WRX isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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