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2019 Kia Stinger vs. 2019 Dodge Charger: Which Is Better?

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author photo by Autotrader September 2019
  • The 2019 Kia Stinger and the 2019 Dodge Charger are surprisingly close competitors in performance-oriented sedans.

  • The Charger offers more horsepower for your money, but the Stinger is a more modern car overall.

  • All-wheel drive is available on every trim of the Stinger, but on the Charger it's only available with the base engine.

If you told us 10 years ago that we'd be comparing the muscular Dodge Charger to a Kia, you probably would've been laughed at. However, here we are with the Kia Stinger sports sedan being surprisingly competitive with the 4-door muscle car. There are still a few key differences between the two. For example, you can't get a Stinger with eight cylinders and you can't get a Charger with four cylinders. However, if you're looking for a family-friendly sedan that is also a blast to drive, then both of these cars should be on your shopping list.

Let's take a closer look at the differences and similarities between the Charger and the Stinger and see which is better.

Exterior

The Charger is a bigger car than the Stinger in every dimension. The Dodge is about eight inches longer, one inch wider and three inches taller than the Kia. That means the Charger is a bit more family-friendly with a bigger back seat, which we'll get more into shortly, but it also means the Kia is a bit more nimble and maneuverable partly because of its smaller footprint and lighter weight. See the 2019 Kia Stinger models for sale near you

As for styling, the Charger has an imposing muscle car presence while the Stinger has a bit more of a refined look to it. Both of them exude the performance that lies under the hood, but in different ways. The Charger is more brash and the Stinger is more classy and which one looks better depends on your tastes. See the 2019 Dodge Charger models for sale near you

Interior

Despite the Charger being the bigger car, the interior volumes of these two cars are surprisingly similar. The Stinger actually has more cargo space thanks to its liftback design, but the Charger has more back seat legroom by about four inches. Front seat passenger space is very similar and these both make good family cars able to comfortably seat up to four people. They both get a little cramped when you stuff three people in the back seat.

When it comes to interior design, the Stinger is much more refined and luxurious on the inside. The materials are nicer and the seats are more comfortable in the Kia making you feel like you're in a more expensive car. The Charger's interior design isn't bad, but it's a bit bland and dated compared to the Stinger.

Both cars benefit from an excellent, user-friendly infotainment system which comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Stinger is more generous with standard driver assistance technology which includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and lane-change assist. The Charger comes standard with rear parking sensors and not much else in terms of modern safety tech. Like all 2019 model year cars, they both come standard with a backup camera.

Mechanicals

The 2019 Stinger has two available engines and the Charger has four. Both come standard with rear-wheel drive and the Charger is available with all-wheel drive when equipped with the base V6 while the Stinger has AWD available on every trim.

2019 Kia Stinger Engines

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four; 255 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque; 22 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in combined driving (RWD), 21 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined (AWD)

  • 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6; 365 hp, 376 lb-ft of torque; 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined (RWD and AWD)

2019 Dodge Charger Engines

  • 3.6-liter V6; up to 300 hp, 264 lb-ft of torque; 19 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined (RWD), 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined (AWD)

  • 5.7-liter V8; 370 hp, 395 lb-ft of torque; 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined

  • 6.4-liter V8; 485 hp, 475 lb-ft of torque; 15 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined

  • 6.2-liter supercharged V8; 707 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque; 13 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined

Clearly, the Charger is superior in terms of raw power on the high-end thanks to its higher-performance V8 engines available. The twin-turbo V6 in the Stinger GT is comparable to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 in the Charger R/T, but there's no variant of the Stinger that can touch the Charger R/T Scat Pack or the Charger SRT Hellcat in terms of horsepower and torque.

That said, we love the fact that AWD is available on every trim of the Stinger. A Stinger GT with AWD would make a great all-season sports sedan for enthusiasts living in snowy climates. If you want a Charger with AWD, you must settle for the base V6, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it would be nice to see AWD available with at least one of the Charger's available V8 engines.

It's tempting to go for a higher-performance engine in both of these sedans, but the base engine in both of them isn't what we'd call a compromise. The base engines in both cars offer a satisfying blend of good performance and respectable fuel economy meaning no matter which model you chose between these cars, you're getting something that's more fun to drive than your average sedan.

Pricing

The base Kia Stinger with the 255 hp 4-cylinder engine starts at $32,990 and the most affordable AWD model is $35,190. Upgrading to the Stinger Premium with the base engine will add more features and start at $39,190 for RWD or $41,390 for AWD. If you want the twin-turbo V6, you'll need to upgrade to a GT model, which starts at $39,300 for RWD or $41,500 for AWD. From there, there are multiple trims adding more equipment to improve both performance and luxury going all the way up to the GT2 model, which starts at $50,200 for RWD or $52,400 for AWD.

The Charger used to have a notoriously long list of different trims available, but the lineup has been simplified a bit for 2019. The base Charger SXT with the 292 hp V6 starts at $29,470 and upgrading to AWD will cost $33,570. There's also the GT trim which upgrades the V6 to 300 hp and adds a cool appearance package starting at $31,745. The most affordable V8 model is the R/T, which starts at $36,245 and packs the 370 hp 5.7-liter V8. The next step up is the R/T Scat Pack with the 485 hp 6.4-liter V8, which starts at $40,245. Finally, there's the mighty SRT Hellcat with a stunning 707 hp coming from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 and it starts at $65,795.

Conclusion

If your top priority is getting the most horsepower for your money, then you'll love the value proposition in the 2019 Dodge Charger. However, if you want a more sophisticated sports sedan, then the more modern Kia Stinger may be more satisfying. The Stinger is a bit more of a luxury car and it offers more dynamic handling than the Charger, making it an excellent budget-friendly alternative to a sports sedan from a luxury brand. That said, it's tough to beat a V8-powered Charger when it comes to raucous burnouts and raw, straight-line performance. Find a Kia Stinger for sale or Find a Dodge Charger for sale

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New 2019 Kia Stinger GT2
New 2019 Kia Stinger
MSRP $53,880
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New 2019 Kia Stinger GT2
New 2019 Kia Stinger
MSRP $54,375
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New 2019 Kia Stinger GT2
New 2019 Kia Stinger
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New 2019 Kia Stinger GT2
New 2019 Kia Stinger
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Kia Stinger vs. 2019 Dodge Charger: Which Is Better? - Autotrader