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2022 Stinger vs. C43 Wagon or S5 Sportback

koala

Newish Member
Hi all,

First post here! I'm considering replacing my 2016 Golf R with some sort of wagon/liftback and I'm wondering if anyone here has ever compared the Stinger against a Mercedes C43 wagon or Audi S5 sportback? The new 2022 Stinger has had some really nice changes that have convinced me it should be on my list.

We have a Sedona for in-town family duty, and it's been a rock-solid cheap and reliable family vehicle. But, the reality is the Sedona is a horrendous highway cruiser. Loud AF, slow, frustrating cruise control. The idea is to ditch my Golf R, which is simply too small and impractical to use as a family highway car and get something a bit bigger that can serve the purpose.

The upsides to the Stinger, for me, are that it is $30k cheaper than anything else on my list and that it (should) be cheap and reliable. To be fair, doing my own maintenance work is a hobby, so the "expensive service" on the German cars isn't really that relevant. Even my Porsche 911 is pretty cheap to maintain when I'm doing most of the work myself.

Has anyone cross-shopped the Stinger vs. C43 / S5?
 

stoopid

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The upsides to the Stinger, for me, are that it is $30k cheaper than anything else on my list and that it (should) be cheap and reliable. To be fair, doing my own maintenance work is a hobby, so the "expensive service" on the German cars isn't really that relevant. Even my Porsche 911 is pretty cheap to maintain when I'm doing most of the work myself.
That's what it will come down to: price.

If you don't need a fancier badge there's no reason to ignore the value proposition the Stinger offers.
 

RedCal

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Welcome to the hive! - I looked at a couple of MB's before going Stinger, but they ended up being WAY more $$ for less options, (or similar) and less power as well... IIRC the C43 was a tad bit slower than then Stinger (less HP, and heavier - I could be wrong on this) and Audi - not a chance they all look the same and not in a good way (dull) and only if I was on a 3 year year lease cycle
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koala

Newish Member
The C43 wagon is about 400 lbs lighter than the Stinger from what I could find. I know the *new* C-class is gaining an ungodly 600 lbs, but they're also ruining the AMG versions with a hybrid 4 cylinder, so that car is dead to me. If I do one, it's the outgoing model with the inline 6.
 

SKStinger

Stinger Enthusiast
Audi fan here so I compared the S5 Sportback but not the Benz. Just not a fan of Mercedes styling or the free creaks and rattles they come with.

What i liked better about the Audi was the dealership experience. Both for purchase and service. Kia really sucks. Don't let the warranty sway you either as the dealer experience is crappy enough that you may avoid going there. Doing your own maintenance is a definite plus as that's what I have been doing.

If you can get past the badge and the dealership experience, comparing car to car, i prefer the Stinger's styling and size as the Audi is smaller in the back seats. The value for the money is also exceptional for the Stinger as you need to spend almost $30,000 more to get the same options on the S5 as you pointed out.

The Audi's interior is nicer as is the fit and finish but the Stinger has all the options so that helps in that argument. I also found the S5 boring to drive as the Stinger feels more engaging.

I came from a 2009 A5 coupe. What ended up swaying me was that I couldn't get past paying $30,000 more for a very similar car. There just isn't $30,000 of value there and you'll never get that money back. The Stinger is also unique and you don't see them everywhere. I love it's edgy looks and the bizarre glances you get as people try to figure out who makes it.
 
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Geebucks

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Are you me? Also in Calgary, also have a Sedona as the second vehicle, also cross-shopped the C43 and S5. For me, the initial price was just too much of a jump. It's more comparable in the states, but the $30ish thousand difference when new is too much. I was looking at used C43s vs a new Stinger, but the size is definitely different (more closely comparable to the G70) and to go for the wagon (which, awesome), there was no used inventory and as previously mentioned that new price is too steep.

The merc arguably looks nicer in person, but it's got the plague of all modern Mercedes', which is creaky interiors. Push on a panel, and it squeaks and creaks. It's like a movie set - looks brilliant but there's not much substance behind the façade. Not to say the Kia is without creaks, but you're paying a substantial amount less. And the '22 refresh looks real nice.

If you're buying OEM parts for your own maintenance, the Germans are going to be more expensive to maintain. But labour will be the same!

Speed-wise I believe the C43 and S5 are a hair faster on paper, but it'll be harder to tell from the butt dyno. But the C43 sounds much better, in my opinion. It's not subtle.

One last point, is the dealer experience will undoubtedly be better for the Germans. Just a fact - the average car moving out of those dealerships is like 3-4x the price point of the average car from Kia. But if you can find a good shop for warranty work (and I've got recommendations!) then your time spent in the dealer is a very small fraction of your ownership experience.

Just my 2c. I am a Stinger owner only on paper - just ordered and eagerly awaiting delivery.
 

koala

Newish Member
Jeez, we sound like twins Geebucks! lol. Congrats on your forthcoming Stinger.

I'm not super concerned about straight-line speed. I know the Stinger will be comparable to my lightly-modified Golf R.. might actually be slower than my Golf and that's fine, too. My 2013 911 has an NA 3.8 and it's plenty fast enough for me... even when the newer 911's are now running high 10's/low 11's stock... couldn't be bothered to "upgrade"

It does seem like the Stinger is the "rational" choice. Looking forward to test driving one. We were supposed to this morning, but then we got that crazy wind storm rolling through Calgary!
 

Kamauxx

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I owned a GT1 from January 2018-October 2019. I bought a B9.5 S5 in September.

What I typically read here is that the S5 is twice as much $ as the Stinger. What I've personally experienced is that my S5 (Premium Plus) was about $2k more than a AWD GT2 (and that's with $2200 Black Optics package, $1,000 Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound, and $1,100 tire and windshield coverage). In my experience, the Germans are more willing to give heavy discounts, even heavier than Kia's lease buyout incentives. If someone spends $30k more to get a S5 than a Stinger they did something really wrong. S5 starts at $52,500 (Premium) and $56K (Premium Plus). Stinger GT2 AWD is $54,500.

My S5 has features the GT2 is missing and the GT2 has features my S5 is missing. The S5 is faster, there's no doubt about that. Launch the two cars back to back and you'll see the difference. The S5 is much more nimble in curves. I loved the looks of the Stinger but think the B9.5 S5s look a lot better, particularly with the black optics package. And the interior in the S5 is nicer. The fit & finish is better. I had a squeaky sunroof in the Stinger. I have a squeaky sunroof in the S5 (difference there is I fully expect the Audi mechanics to be able to fix it when I go in for my 10k mile maintenance, something that Kia was completely unwilling/unable to do). The stock exhaust note of the S5 is WAYYYY better than the Stingers, so much so that I didn't even mod it except for unclipping the valves so they stay open in all drive modes. The audio in the S5 is better and I think that has everything to do with the Stinger's underwhelming subs under the seats. The Bang & Olufsen sound system has much more range and a lot more base (Sub is located in the hatch).

I've owned over 30 cars in the 22 years since I bought my first. The Stinger stayed with me longer than any other car I've ever owned. I enjoyed it tremendously. It was quick enough, had decent tech, and decent features. Of all the cars I've owned none generated as much interest as the Stinger. The amount of attention the car generated was actually annoying at times. Being stopped, flagged down, waved to, etc became a normal experience with the car. It was pretty rare--especially when I first got it--so the general public saw it like an exotic. I enjoyed the Stinger and would never tell anyone not to buy one.

Any specific questions about the differences let me know.

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Geebucks

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I owned a GT1 from January 2018-October 2019. I bought a B9.5 S5 in September.

What I typically read here is that the S5 is twice as much $ as the Stinger. What I've personally experienced is that my S5 (Premium Plus) was about $2k more than a AWD GT2 (and that's with $2200 Black Optics package, $1,000 Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound, and $1,100 tire and windshield coverage). In my experience, the Germans are more willing to give heavy discounts, even heavier than Kia's lease buyout incentives. If someone spends $30k more to get a S5 than a Stinger they did something really wrong. S5 starts at $52,500 (Premium) and $56K (Premium Plus). Stinger GT2 AWD is $54,500.

My S5 has features the GT2 is missing and the GT2 has features my S5 is missing. The S5 is faster, there's no doubt about that. Launch the two cars back to back and you'll see the difference. The S5 is much more nimble in curves. I loved the looks of the Stinger but think the B9.5 S5s look a lot better, particularly with the black optics package. And the interior in the S5 is nicer. The fit & finish is better. I had a squeaky sunroof in the Stinger. I have a squeaky sunroof in the S5 (difference there is I fully expect the Audi mechanics to be able to fix it when I go in for my 10k mile maintenance, something that Kia was completely unwilling/unable to do). The stock exhaust note of the S5 is WAYYYY better than the Stingers, so much so that I didn't even mod it except for unclipping the valves so they stay open in all drive modes. The audio in the S5 is better and I think that has everything to do with the Stinger's underwhelming subs under the seats. The Bang & Olufsen sound system has much more range and a lot more base (Sub is located in the hatch).

Any specific questions about the differences let me know.
Canada, man. The S5 as you've specced it (trims are a bit different up here) comes in at ~$72 before freight/tax. The stinger GT2 equivalent (GT Elite up here) is $53. The $30k difference is in reference to the C43. For whatever reason Kia has gifted Canadians with a substantially cheaper Stinger compared to the competition in Canada.

Also, not to assume Koala's financial situation but if he's financing it, he'll get the 1% loyalty discount which makes it 1.9% for 84 vs. 4.98% for the Audi. Cash removes that element.
 

koala

Newish Member
Good points. I think the pricing delta in the US is not as wide as here in Canada.

There is only about $3,500 CAD between MSRP and invoice/holdback on the GT Elite Stinger. I haven't yet looked up invoice pricing on an S5, but in my experience, it is difficult to get an Audi at invoice or below here in Canada.
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koala

Newish Member
Also, not to assume Koala's financial situation but if he's financing it, he'll get the 1% loyalty discount which makes it 1.9% for 84 vs. 4.98% for the Audi. Cash removes that element.

With money so cheap right now, no one in their right mind should be paying cash for a car. the 1.9% for 84 is really pretty fantastic.
 

Geebucks

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Good points. I think the pricing delta in the US is not as wide as here in Canada.

There is only about $3,500 CAD between MSRP and invoice/holdback on the GT Elite Stinger. I haven't yet looked up invoice pricing on an S5, but in my experience, it is difficult to get an Audi at invoice or below here in Canada.
From what I've seen, it varies wildly with the model. My dad bought a last-gen RS5, and was told to pound sand when he looked to negotiate. There was simply more demand than supply in that case. Their Q5 was different, and they got a discount there.

Even though the refresh just landed in Canada, I was able to get 3% over invoice easily. (~$2k off).
 

Kamauxx

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Canada, man. The S5 as you've specced it (trims are a bit different up here) comes in at ~$72 before freight/tax. The stinger GT2 equivalent (GT Elite up here) is $53. The $30k difference is in reference to the C43. For whatever reason Kia has gifted Canadians with a substantially cheaper Stinger compared to the competition in Canada.

Also, not to assume Koala's financial situation but if he's financing it, he'll get the 1% loyalty discount which makes it 1.9% for 84 vs. 4.98% for the Audi. Cash removes that element.
You're right. I forgot about the cheaper priced Stingers in Canada. My figures are strictly for the U.S. market.
 

westcoastGT

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...........................just placed an order for a new Audi , Stinger is/was great but time to move on
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koala

Newish Member
Update! The dealer loaned me a 2022 Stinger GT for the weekend. Overall, it's a great car, but there are a few detractors that might rule it out. I found the road noise pretty significant, and I say in comparison to my Golf R, which has identical tires, so I know it's not a tire difference.

The transmission is "meh" - even in sport mode or when using the paddles. Some small interior annoyances - couldn't fit my wife's iPhone in the wireless charging cubby. Not enough USB ports in the front or the rear. Kids booster seats make the rear seat belts impossible to latch without adult assistance - I'd have to get skinnier booster seats (I tried the fancy one I have for my Porsche 911 and it solved the issue - just not sure I want to spend $800 on new booster seats).

On the upside - plenty of power. The suspension was surprisingly well-sorted in both the soft and firm modes. In fact, I'd say considering this is a 4,000 lb car, they did one hell of a job on sorting out the suspension tuning. The updated interior with the more "rectangular" nav screen is really a big improvement over the previous model years. The switches/buttons are all well thought out and placed. One odd button tho - to skip forward one music track, you have to press *down* on the steering wheel toggle. Never come across a vehicle where this is the case.

I'm driving two contenders today (Volvo V60 Polestar hybrid + Audi S5 Sportback). I think, at the end of the day, it's going to come down to whether or not these other vehicles are appreciably better, especially with the large price gap. Will report back!
 

Waynerm002

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Can't go wrong on the Stinger when it comes to the price difference to the Germans vs options. I would prefer a GT2 though, I know in the 2019 it was a bit quieter than the GT version and the suspension tune was better than the 2018. I'm curious to feel the difference on the 2022. Never drove the S5, only the A5 but knowing Audi, it should perform well. The Stinger is just a unique car and with not a lot on the road, it makes it even nicer to own.

I did trade mine in on an e-tron though. I like the interior, it has more room, is quieter and has more tech. I still love the Stinger, It is one of the best things from KIA to date. Still one of my favorite cars.
 
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