Edmunds: Volkswagen Arteon vs. Kia Stinger

Do some shopping for a new midsize sedan and you’ll find that almost all models offer high levels of comfort and the latest technology and safety. But what if you also want it to be stylish and engaging to drive while remaining practical? Consider the Volkswagen Arteon and the Kia Stinger.

The Volkswagen Arteon tends to fly under the radar of most buyers, but it stands out for its premium interior, athletic handling and comfort. It also has a hatchback-style trunk that’s easy to load and offers plenty of space. For 2022, the Arteon corrects one of its earlier shortcomings, as it gains a more powerful engine, boosting power by 12%.

The Kia Stinger is another sleek and sporty sedan with a hatchback. Like the Arteon, it has a premium interior, standout styling and plenty of power. The Stinger also received several upgrades for 2022, including revised styling, a larger center touchscreen and an improved base engine. Which of these superb but mostly unnoticed competitors is the best buy? Edmunds automotive experts find out.

POWER AND FUEL ECONOMY

The Arteon and the Stinger are propelled by powerful engines. The base Stinger GT-Line is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower. The top version of the GT2 has a powerful turbocharged V6 that develops 368 horsepower. The V6 has an EPA rating of 20 mpg combined with rear or all-wheel drive. The four-cylinder gets 25 mpg with rear-wheel drive or 24 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Each Arteon is equipped with a 300 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Along with front-wheel drive, which is only available on the base SE R-Line trim, it’s the most efficient powertrain here with an EPA-estimated 28 mpg. The top two trims come standard with all-wheel drive which translates to 25 mpg combined.

The Arteon has the potential for greater fuel efficiency, but the ability to upgrade to the Stinger’s available V6 is ultimately more compelling.

Winner: Kia Stinger

This photo provided by Kia shows the 2022 Kia Stinger, a sporty hatchback with an available 368-hp V6 turbo engine.Kia America via AP

DRIVING AND COMFORT

The Stinger and Arteon are true sports sedans that are fun to drive and safe when the road gets twisty. The Stinger’s steering is light and precise, making the car nimble and responsive. In Sport mode, the Arteon’s adaptive suspension, which improves handling and comfort, tightens up and helps keep the car well composed through corners. Both vehicles inspire confidence in the driver.

If straight-line speed is your thing, you’ll love the Stinger’s turbocharged V6. It’s by far the fastest, hitting 60 mph in 5.0 seconds when Edmunds tested it. It took the Arteon 6.0 seconds and the Stinger 6.2 seconds with the turbo-four engine.

Comfort takes a step back. Driving over large road imperfections can be a little shocking in the Arteon. Likewise, rough pavement can make the Stinger’s ride busy. Both cars have firm seats, but the Arteons are slightly more comfortable. As for cargo, both offer more cargo space than a typical sedan thanks to their hatch-style trunks, but you’ll be able to fit more stuff in the back of the Arteon.

Winner: Volkswagen Arteon

FEATURES AND VALUE

The Arteon’s starting price of $43,825 is relatively high. But it includes some attractive standard features such as an adaptive suspension system and a digital instrument panel. The top-of-the-line SEL Premium R-Line version tops the $50,000 mark and comes with heated and ventilated massaging front seats and a self-parking system.

With a starting price of $37,695, the Stinger is not only more affordable, but also offers comparable standard features minus the adaptive suspension, and you get a larger touchscreen. The top GT2 version of the Stinger is also over $50,000, but includes performance-oriented features you can’t get in the Arteon, like a powerful V6 engine, Brembo brakes and an upgraded rear differential for better traction. .

Both rivals come standard with a full suite of advanced driver aids. Most worked well during testing, but we noticed that the Stinger’s lane-centering system ping-ponged the sedan between lanes and the Arteon’s adaptive cruise control was slow to accelerate.

The Stinger offers a five-year/60,000-mile base warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. You also get five years of roadside assistance. With the Arteon, you get a shorter four-year/50,000-mile base and powertrain warranty and three years of roadside assistance. However, it also includes two years of free scheduled maintenance.

Winner: Kia Stinger

EDMUNDS SAYS:

The Kia Stinger and Volkswagen Arteon are compelling choices that offer plenty of performance, comfort and technology. It was a close race, but the Stinger’s lower starting price, more available horsepower and longer warranties make it the better buy.

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