Kia Stinger vs. Audi A5

By

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 - June 1, 2018

The Kia Stinger is the South Korean automaker's first full-fledged attempt at a sports sedan. Kia may have alluded to the vehicle with numerous concepts, but seeing a sporty competitor to German brands wearing a Kia badge is still surprising. Even more surprising, though, is that the Stinger actually has the chops to take down German brands at their own game. And, it all comes at an affordable price.

The Audi A5, especially in its Sportback guise, is one of the Stinger's closest rivals, as it also blends a sporty character with the versatility of a hatchback. Did Kia really crack the code with the Stinger and make a sedan that can compete with the A5 Sportback? Read below to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Stinger & A5 »

What the A5 Sportback Gets Right

The A5 Sportback is the more fuel-efficient model between the two. With its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the vehicle is rated by the EPA to get 24 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway, and 27 combined. The best the Stinger can do when it comes to fuel economy is 22/29/25 mpg (city/highway/combined).

The other areas where the Audi pulls ahead of the Kia can't be seen on paper, but boil down to feel. The A5 Sportback features better build quality and materials than the Stinger. While the Stinger is a major step for Kia, the A5 Sportback follows Audi's tradition of offering a classy interior that's filled with high-end touches.

The A5 Sportback is the more tech-forward of the two, as well. The vehicle can be fitted with the automaker's virtual cockpit system that features a fully-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster. It's fully customizable, allowing the driver to choose what appears directly in front of them, including navigation, infotainment, or a traditional two-gauge layout.

What the Stinger Gets Right

The most obvious thing that the Stinger has going for it is its price. The 2018 Stinger starts at $32,800, including destination. The 2018 A5 Sportback's starting price of $43,575 dwarfs that. You could get into the sportier mid-level Stinger GT trim that costs $39,250 and still have $4,325 before being able to afford an entry-level A5 Sportback. Clearly, the Kia takes the win over the Audi when it comes to price.

The Stinger also takes the surprising win over the A5 Sportback when it comes to performance. The base engine for the Stinger is a 255-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. The A5 Sportback's base turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is rated to make 252 hp. Sure three hp may not sound like a lot, but that's the only engine that's available on the A5 Sportback. The Stinger can also be fitted with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 that cranks out 365 hp. That's 113 hp more than the Audi's engine. With the more powerful engine, the Stinger can get to 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds, while the A5 Sportback takes 5.7 seconds to make the same sprint.

Sure, the Stinger may be sportier and more athletic than the A5 Sportback, but it's also the more practical option, as well. The Stinger offers drivers with 23.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the rear seats, which opens up to a total of 40.9 cubic feet with the seats folded down. The A5 Sportback trails behind with a cargo capacity of 21.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats. In total, the Audi can only hold 35 cubic feet of cargo.

What's in a Badge?

The Stinger is the better vehicle in nearly every measurable way over the A5 Sportback, but consumers looking into the Audi probably won't find themselves walking into a Kia dealership to look at a Stinger anytime soon. The A5 Sportback has something the Stinger doesn't – an Audi badge. Brand recognition and loyalty go a long way with Audi buyers. Going from an Audi to a Mercedes-Benz or BMW is more plausible than making the jump to a Kia, even if it's a really, really good Kia.

Our Verdict: Kia Stinger

The Stinger is the victor of the two cars. It's more affordable, has more cargo space, and is the more enjoyable option to drive. While the vehicle may not have the same fit and finish as the A5 Sportback, it's a real sports sedan that doesn't cost a ridiculous amount of money. If you're okay with a car that has a Kia badge, the Stinger, especially in one of its GT trims, won't disappoint.

Take a closer look at the Kia Stinger »

Take a closer look at the Audi A5 »

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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