2020 Mercedes CLA vs. 2019 Kia Cadenza

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/12

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes CLA 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 Cadenza doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The CLA offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Cadenza doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Mercedes CLA has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Cadenza doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The CLA’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 Cadenza doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the CLA and the Cadenza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The CLA’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Cadenza runs out after 100,000 miles.

Engine

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The CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the CLA 250 FWD Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Cadenza (25 city/35 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the CLA’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 Cadenza doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/12

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes CLA higher (5 out of 10) than the Kia Cadenza (3). This means the CLA produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cadenza every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The CLA offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Cadenza doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/12

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

CLA

Cadenza

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the CLA can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Cadenza doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The CLA offers an optional 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 Cadenza’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The CLA’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Cadenza doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the CLA’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Cadenza’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.2 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes CLA may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 450 pounds less than the Kia Cadenza.

The CLA is 11.1 inches shorter than the Cadenza, making the CLA easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The CLA’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Cadenza doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 45% lower rating, Kia is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

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The CLA has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cadenza doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Cadenza Technology/Limited, the CLA has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The CLA’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Cadenza’s parking brake has to released manually.

The CLA’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Cadenza’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the CLA offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Cadenza doesn’t offer cornering lights. The CLA also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The CLA offers optional 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 Cadenza has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The CLA’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Cadenza doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/12

The Mercedes CLA outsold the Kia Cadenza by over 8 to one during the 2019 model year.

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