2020 Kia Stinger vs. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

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 2020/01/27

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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Stinger GT1/GT2’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a lane departure warning 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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Stinger and the Jetta GLI have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rear cross-path warning and available crash mitigating brakes.

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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI’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 Volkswagen covers the Jetta GLI. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Jetta GLI ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 18 percent more Kia dealers than there are Volkswagen 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 Jetta GLI’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 Jetta GLI 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 18 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The Stinger GT-Line’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 27 more horsepower (255 vs. 228) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the Jetta GLI’s 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 Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Stinger GT is faster than the Volkswagen Jetta GLI (automatics tested):

Stinger

Jetta GLI

Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.6 sec

13.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111 MPH

101 MPH

Top Speed

167 MPH

126 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 2020/01/27

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.) Volkswagen only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Jetta GLI Auto.

The Stinger has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Jetta GLI (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Jetta GLI.

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 Jetta GLI.

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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI:

Stinger GT

Jetta GLI

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.4 inches

11.8 inches

The Stinger stops shorter than the Jetta GLI:

Stinger

Jetta GLI

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/01/27

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 Jetta GLI’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Stinger GT has standard 19-inch wheels. The Jetta GLI’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stinger’s wheelbase is 8.8 inches longer than on the Jetta GLI (114.4 inches vs. 105.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Stinger is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 3.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Jetta GLI.

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 Jetta GLI is rated a Compact.

The Stinger has 1.5 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Jetta GLI.

Cargo Capacity

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The Stinger has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Jetta GLI (23.3 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Stinger easier. The Stinger’s trunk lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the Jetta GLI’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

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. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Jetta GLI’s useful trunk space.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Stinger. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

© 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 2020/01/27

The Stinger uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Jetta GLI uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

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

Ergonomics

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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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Stinger GT1/GT2 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI’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 Jetta GLI has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Stinger and the Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI.

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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Stinger and the Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Stinger GT1/GT2 has a standard Advanced Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Stinger’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Jetta GLI’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 Jetta GLI Autobahn 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 2020/01/27

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 Jetta GLI isn’t in the top three.

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

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