2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2020 Kia K900

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 2020/02/18

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class 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 K900 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The K900 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class has standard NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The K900 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The K900 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S-Class has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The K900 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the S-Class and the K900 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

Engine

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The S 560’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 98 more horsepower (463 vs. 365) and 140 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 376) than the K900’s 3.3 turbo V6. The Maybach S 650’s standard 6.0 turbo V12 produces 256 more horsepower (621 vs. 365) and 362 lbs.-ft. more torque (738 vs. 376) than the K900’s 3.3 turbo V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the S 560 is faster than the Kia K900:

S-Class

K900

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.7 MPH

102.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the K900:

MPG

S-Class Sedan

RWD

450 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/28 hwy

AWD

450 3.0 turbo V6

18 city/28 hwy

K900

AWD

3.3 turbo V6

18 city/25 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S-Class 560’s fuel efficiency. The K900 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 4.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the K900 (24.6 vs. 20.3 gallons).

Transmission and Drivetrain

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

The S-Class 4MATIC has 4-ETS, 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 S-Class 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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For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the K900:

S 450/560

S 650

K900

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

15.4 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

13.4 inches

The S-Class’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the K900 are solid, not vented.

The S-Class stops shorter than the K900:

S-Class

K900

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The S-Class’ optional 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 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 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S-Class 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 S-Class 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 front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the K900, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Kia doesn’t offer an active suspension on the K900.

The S-Class has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The K900 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The S-Class’ 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the K900 (124.6 inches vs. 122.2 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 10.3 inches longer than on the K900 (132.5 inches vs. 122.2 inches).

The S 600 handles at .90 G’s, while the K900 pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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The S-Class has 2 cubic foot more passenger volume than the K900 (112 vs. 110).

The S-Class has .7 inches more front shoulder room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the K900.

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the K900 (18.7 vs. 15 cubic feet).

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 S-Class 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.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The K900 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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

The S-Class has a 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 S-Class’ 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 Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Kia K900 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

The S-Class 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 S-Class will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S-Class will retain 37.53% to 39.12% 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 2020/02/18

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Kia K900 by over 33 to one during the 2019 model year.

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