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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2021 Kia Stinger is shown parked on a city street after winning the 2021 Kia Stinger vs 2021 Audi S4 comparison.

Going Head-To-Head: Kia vs Audi

If you are confused by the title, let me explain. The engineers at Kia have been working tirelessly to create more powerful vehicles to compete against the German-engineered titans like Audi and BMW. With the release of the athletic Kia Stinger, the company has managed to take its place among the more established luxury-sport brands. In this battle between the 2021 Kia Stinger vs 2021 Audi S4, the two brands will compete for the crown.

Price Range

There is a tremendous difference in price between the 2021 Kia Stinger and the 2021 Audi S4. Starting at $33,090, the Kia Stinger is available in four trims. The most expensive one is the GT2 at $50,300. On the other hand, the base trim of the 2021 Audi S4 starts at $49,900. It is only offered in only three trims, with the top-tier Prestige trim starting at $58,200. If the Kia Stinger proves to truly be a rival for the Audi S4, then this major price gap could change the auto industry completely.

Body Styles

Both the 2021 Kia Stinger and the 2021 Audi S4 are sporty sedans that seat up to five people. The Stinger is designed with a spacious liftback-style trunk that can offer 23.3 cubic feet of room. Meanwhile, the Audi S4 only offers 12 cubic feet of space in the trunk. This might not be a dealbreaker, but it is certainly something to think about. Who said that luxury sports sedans couldn’t be practical? Kia certainly didn’t say that, and they proved otherwise.

The black and silver interior is shown on a 2021 Kia Stinger.


When you read that this was going to be a comparison between the 2021 Kia Stinger vs 2021 Audi S4, your mind probably went to the engine first. How could a Kia possibly compete against an Audi in the performance realm? It just doesn’t seem feasible, right? Well, you might want to hold off on your judgment for now. Let’s take a peek under the hood of both models to see what’s going on.

First, the 2021 Kia Stinger is available with two powertrain options. Starting with the more practical 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, this engine pumps out 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Its main flex is its overall fuel economy, which is rated at 25 MPG combined (22 city/29 highway). However, it can also accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. Equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission and optional AWD, this petite ride is full of surprises.

The second powertrain is centered around a more robust 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. Generating 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, this beast can hit 60 mph in only 4.7 seconds. Featuring the same drivetrain and transmission, it gets about 20 MPG combined (17 city/25 highway). Those are some pretty impressive numbers, to say the least.

Now, let’s switch gears and see what the 2021 Audi S4 has to offer. A slightly smaller 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 is the only available engine. The S4 also uses an 8-speed automatic transmission paired with AWD, but there is no RWD option. Producing 349 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, it is not as powerful as the Kia Stinger. However, the gas mileage is slightly better than the Stinger V6 at 23 MPG combined (20 city/28 highway). Also, it performs slightly better on the track, reaching 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

Now that you have a better understanding of what’s underneath the hoods of these two sporty sedans, you can see how they compete against one another. Comparing the V6 powertrains, the Kia Stinger is more powerful, but the Audi S4 gets a bit better gas mileage and is faster. However, the Kia Stinger offers four drivetrain options, which gives more variety for modern drivers.

Available Features

Now that you know for a fact that the two luxury-sport sedans are on a level playing field, it’s time to look at some amenities. Both come with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity for hands-free calling, text messaging, and music streaming. They each also include advanced smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, there are a few differences that should be taken into consideration.

Inside the 2021 Kia Stinger, you will find a wealth of available features. It offers an 8-inch touchscreen, the UVO eServices infotainment system with navigation, satellite radio, USB ports, and an auxiliary jack. As for the stereo, the top option is a 15-speaker unit from Harman Kardon. It also comes with a standard wireless charging pad, which the Audi S4 does not offer until the higher trims. On the other hand, the 2021 Audi S4 does feature a slightly larger 10.1-inch touchscreen.

As for comfort, both vehicles offer power-adjustable and heated front seats, a rearview camera, and keyless entry with push-button start. However, the Kia Stinger is equipped with a 16-way driver’s seat, while the Audi S4 only has a 12-way driver’s seat. Ventilated seats are also only an option on the Audi even though they come standard on the top trims of the Stinger. So while both vehicles are extremely comfortable, the Stinger does have a few more tricks up its sleeve.

A blue 2021 Audi S4 is shown angled left, parked against a divided red and white background.

Safety Ratings

Here’s where things get interesting. Standard safety systems for each of these vehicles may surprise you. Since the Audi S4 starts at such a higher price point than the Kia Stinger, you might think that it has better standard safety features. However, it doesn’t. The 2021 Kia Stinger comes standard with lane-change assist, blindspot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Higher trim levels come standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. These all help to make the Stinger a very safe sedan to drive. On the other hand, the 2021 Audi S4 comes with lane-departure warning and forward collision detection with automatic emergency braking. If you want blindspot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert on the Audi S4, then you’ll need to opt for a higher trim level.

It’s a little early right now to look at safety ratings. However, with 2021 just around the corner, both vehicles should have been crash-tested by now. The Kia Stinger has earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) along with a solid 5-star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Unfortunately, the 2021 Audi S4 has not been crash-tested yet. If you do some research, you’ll quickly find that the 2020 Audi S4 was also not crash tested. So, there isn’t any recent or reliable information to go on. This may make buyers wary since the Kia Stinger can present solid numbers and ratings.

Find a 2021 Luxury Sporty Sedan

Wrapping things up, the 2021 Kia Stinger vs 2021 Audi S4 comparison sure did throw in some surprises. If you are looking for a luxury AWD sports sedan at a more affordable rate, then the Kia Stinger is the right choice for you. Or, if you simply want a larger and more practical vehicle that still offers an incredible blend of technology and performance, then take a look at Kia’s offering. Get in touch with your local Kia dealer to learn more!

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