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Posted on December 15, 2020
Canadian car buyers looking for an everyday SUV have no shortage of options to choose from. The range of performance sedans, however, is a little more limited. There are some excellent models on the market though, with one of the most exciting recent releases coming in the form of the 2021 Kia Stinger.
Is the Stinger a car that sets pulses racing in the sports sedan sector? To find out, we've compared it to an established competitor, the Acura TLX. Here's what we found.
Both cars are available with two engine sizes. At the base level, the Acura TLX is supplied with a 2.4L I4 engine which creates 206 horsepower and 182lb-ft of torque.
While these figures aren't to be sniffed at, they don't come close to the output of the standard Stinger, whose 2.0L 4-cylinder engine pushes out a significantly better 255 horsepower and 260lb-ft of torque.
A similar story is repeated when moving to the cars' higher tiers. The TLX's 3.5L V6 is a vast improvement on the standard option, making 290 horsepower and 267lb-ft, but once again it's outshone by the Stinger. With its 3.3L twin-turbo V6 cranking out 365 horsepower and 376lb-ft of torque, the high-end Stinger is a remarkably powerful car for its price bracket and target market.
Of course, raw output figures aren't everything, but they're a fairly essential starting point for a sports sedan, and here the Kia has an insurmountable lead.
Both cars are available as all-wheel drive, but only the Kia offers the option of rear-wheel drive, another plus point for those who value performance sedan authenticity. If you're not looking for AWD, the TLX is also available in a front-wheel-drive variant.
When it comes to transmission, both cars offer a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox, with the Kia version, in particular, showing lightning-fast shifting in all the right places. The Kia also benefits from paddle shifts mounted under the steering wheel, along with five selectable drive modes that tweak the gear ratios to provide optimum handling under different conditions.
Both cars are well equipped with safety tech, as you'd expect from their high-end market placements. However, differences between the equivalent trims can be significant, so check before buying.
For example, at the entry-level the TLX features lane-keeping assist and departure warnings, along with adaptive cruise control. However, it's missing the Stinger's standard inclusion of rear cross-traffic alerts and blind-spot monitoring.
The one important area where the Acura TLX holds a slight advantage over the Kia is in price. At the top end, the TLX has a suggested retail price of $49,290 compared to the Stinger's $51,995. However, don't be fooled by the difference. The Stinger is playing in a completely different performance league to the TLX, and the premium is a tiny one to pay for the privilege.
To experience the thrill of the 2021 Kia Stinger for yourself, contact us for a test drive from our Calgary dealership. We think you'll agree there's no better performance sedan in this price range.
Categories: Kia Stinger
Tags: 2021 Kia Stinger vs Acura TLX