2020 Lexus ES Series vs. 2020 Kia Stinger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus ES Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Kia Stinger doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The ES Series has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Stinger doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The ES Series offers optional Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Stinger doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the ES Series and the Stinger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the ES Series its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Stinger is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2020.

Warranty

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The ES Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Stinger’s (6/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Reliability

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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 ES Series’ reliability 40 points higher than the Stinger.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Kia is ranked 9th.

Engine

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The ES 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 47 more horsepower (302 vs. 255) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 260) than the Stinger GT-Line’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the ES 350 is faster than the Stinger GT-Line 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder:

ES Series

Stinger

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.2 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

93 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

ES Series

FWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/44 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/32 hwy

F Sport 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/31 hwy

Stinger

RWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

3.3 turbo V6

17 city/25 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

3.3 turbo V6

17 city/25 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the ES Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Stinger doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lexus ES Series uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Stinger requires premium for maximum efficiency, 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 Lexus ES Series higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Kia Stinger (3). This means the ES Series produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Stinger every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The ES 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Stinger doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The ES Series has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Stinger doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The ES Series stops shorter than the Stinger:

ES Series

Stinger

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the ES Series’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Stinger (235/45R18 vs. 225/40R19).

Chassis

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The ES Series F Sport uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Stinger doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The ES Series has 6.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Stinger (99.9 vs. 93.8).

The ES Series has .8 inches more rear headroom and 2.8 inches more rear legroom than the Stinger.

Cargo Capacity

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With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the ES Series offers cargo security. The Stinger’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 56% lower rating, Kia is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

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The ES Series’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Stinger’s parking brake has to released manually.

The ES Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Stinger’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the ES Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Stinger can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the ES Series and manual rear side window sunshades are standard in the ES Series Ultra Luxury to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Stinger doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.

Economic Advantages

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The ES Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the ES Series will retain 48.23% to 49.19% of its original price after five years, while the Stinger only retains 36.32% to 37.7%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus ES Series will be $2700 to $19832 less than for the Kia Stinger.

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 2020/06/04

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus ES Series, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Kia Stinger isn't recommended.

The Lexus ES Series outsold the Kia Stinger by almost four to one during 2019.

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