2020 Mercedes CLS vs. 2020 Kia K900

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the CLS and the K900 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The CLS’ 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the K900 runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the CLS first among midsize premium cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The K900 isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes CLS is faster than the Kia K900:

CLS

K900

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103.5 MPH

102.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the CLS 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the K900 (23 city/30 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the CLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The K900 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes CLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the K900.

The CLS has 4MATIC, a true all-wheel-drive system, which uses a four wheel traction control system to redirect engine power to the axle and wheel that still has traction to keep the CLS moving if even only one wheel still has traction. The K900 doesn’t offer a true all-wheel drive system; it could get stuck while one or more wheels still have traction.

Brakes and Stopping

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The CLS stops shorter than the K900:

CLS

K900

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The CLS’ standard 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 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 K900’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires. The CLS’ optional 245/35R20 front and 275/30R20 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the K900’s 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CLS offers optional 20-inch wheels. The K900’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CLS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The K900 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The CLS has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The CLS’ height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The K900 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The CLS’ 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 K900 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The CLS 450 4MATIC handles at .90 G’s, while the K900 pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the CLS’ turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the K900’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.2 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes CLS may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 550 pounds less than the Kia K900.

The CLS is 5.2 inches shorter than the K900, making the CLS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The CLS’ standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The K900 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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If the windows are left open on the CLS the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the K900 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The CLS offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the K900.

The CLS offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The K900 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The CLS’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The K900 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The CLS is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The K900 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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The CLS will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CLS will retain 34.84% to 35.09% of its original price after five years, while the K900 only retains 27.93%.

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 2020/07/06

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CLS second among midsize premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The K900 isn’t in the top three.

The Mercedes E-Class/CLS outsold the Kia K900 by almost 103 to one during 2019.

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