Kia K5 vs. Kia Stinger

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 10, 2020

Kia is in the middle of updating a few of its sedans. There’s the improved Kia Stinger, which is the brand’s attempt at a compact luxury vehicle, that’s getting an updated exterior design, a new engine, and some new features for the 2022 model year. Then, there’s the all-new Kia K5, the model that’s set to replace the Optima as the brand’s midsize sedan.

With an all-new sedan that’s been added to the lineup and an updated sedan that’s in the works, it can be confusing to pick between the two. While there’s an obvious size difference, there are a few other things that may have you choosing one model over the other.

Interested in learning about how the all-new K5 stacks up against the Stinger? Check out the comparison below.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Kia K5 & Kia Stinger »

What the K5 Gets Right

As a midsize sedan, the Kia K5 is the more affordable option. Pricing starts at $24,455 including destination, while the Stinger is priced at $34,125. That’s a massive $9,670 difference. If you’re on a budget, the K5 is the clear winner here. Even the range-topping K5 GT trim is cheaper than the Stinger’s base trim by a $2,670 margin.

In addition to saving you money in the initial purchase, the K5 will also help you save at the gas pump. The K5 is EPA rated at 32 miles per gallon combined, while the best the Stinger can do is 25 mpg combined. A major difference between the two is that the K5 uses regular gasoline, with premium fuel required for the Stinger.

Despite having a more affordable price tag, the K5 comes with more standard safety features. Automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, and automatic high beams are standard on the K5. Only blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist are standard on the Stinger.

What the Stinger Gets Right

The Kia Stinger is the clear winner when it comes to performance. The base engine in the Stinger is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 255 horsepower. The K5 comes with an 180-hp, 1.6-liter turbo-four, giving the Stinger a 75-hp edge.

The K5 is available with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s rated at 290 hp, while the Stinger’s optional twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 produces 365 hp.

Further giving the Stinger an edge over the K5 is its drivetrain. The Stinger is available with rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The Stinger’s RWD layout makes it more enjoyable to drive than the K5. Front-wheel drive is standard on the K5, while all-wheel drive is optional. High-performance Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential, launch control, and 19-inch wheels are all available with the Stinger.

When it comes to available features, the Stinger impresses as a budget luxury vehicle. The sedan is available with a 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Nappa leather upholstery, a head-up display, and a 16-way power driver’s seat. These are features you won’t find on the K5.

The Stinger has another trick up its sleeve with its hatchback body style that results in 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The K5 only holds 16 cubic feet of cargo in its trunk.

How Important Is Performance?

If you’re really looking for performance, the Kia Stinger is the best option. It’s offered with more high-performance components and powerful engines, which make it the obvious choices for consumers in search of a sporty ride.

Furthermore, it’s RWD layout makes it more enjoyable to drive around corners. The Stinger can also be fitted with more luxury features than the K5, which is why it’s so much more expensive.

Our Verdict: Kia K5

The all-new Kia K5 is the better option for the majority of consumers. It comes with a decent amount of performance, is far more affordable, is more efficient, and has more standard safety features than the Kia Stinger. It can also be fitted with more tech features like a 10.25-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone compatibility, and Kia’s highway driving assist system.

Take a closer look at the Kia K5 »

Take a closer look at the Kia Stinger »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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