Full-size sedans are an endangered species, but there are still a number of worthy candidates on our roads. Among those are these two. We pit a grizzled veteran against a sprightly newcomer.
2019 Chrysler 300
Despite its age, the 300 has held on to its looks quite nicely. That aside, it’s sitting on a chassis that’s over 20 years old and which IS showing is age. Chrysler has patched it up well to keep the model going, but it’s a bit like fixing up a cracked window when it needs to be replaced. It should be noted that this chassis is also the base of the Dodge Charger and Challenger.
Speculation is rampant that 2020 will be the last year of production for the 300, which would explain the lack of significant changes this year.
In 2019, the two most luxurious versions of the sedan offered an optional harman/kardon audio system, the electric rear window sunshade, the dark mocha leather interior and the double-glazed sunroof. The Limited can also be used with 20-inch wheels, and the 300C is now standard with the 5.7L Hemi V8.
Recognized for its power
As before, the 300 starts with a 3.6L V6 engine that delivers 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, while the 5.7L Hemi V8 (standard in the 300C and optional in the 300S) produces 363 hp with 394 lb-ft of torque. Both use an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the V6 can be offered as an option with all-wheel drive.
The 300 is primarily intended for those looking for comfort and space. The base model includes a 7-inch customizable screen for the instrument cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rear view mirror, Uconnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that automatically integrates smartphones, 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, fabric covering and keyless access. Outside, there are 17-inch wheels, halogen headlights and LED taillights.
Climb to the 300S and you get heated front seats, as well as a remote starter, Beats audio system with 10 speakers, Nappa leather seats, front passenger seat with 12-way power adjustment and 20-inch black rims.
The Limited version adds 20-inch polished wheels, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt and telescopic power steering wheel, LED reading lights, Nappa seats with perforated inserts, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.
The 300C comes standard with the Hemi V8 engine, plus 20-inch polished aluminum rims, adaptive xenon headlights with automatic leveling, cup holders that heat or cool your favourite drink, black grille with platinum outline, premium steering wheel with paddle shifters, sport drive mode and padded Nappa seats.
The driving position in the 300 is quite good and a little offset. Soundproofing is even better, and the V8, which is expressive in acceleration, remains fairly calm at cruising speed. The car’s styling probably makes the car look more upscale than it really is, and there’s no doubt the eye-catching appeal of the 300 visually is at least partly responsible for its popularity.
The main problem is the short life expectancy of Chrysler products, which seem to have obsolescence planned into them. After three years, the 300 is beginning to suffer from premature aging, and the depreciation the car suffers from as it ages is alarming. You might want to keep that in mind before you think about buying.
2019 Kia Stinger
Kia's ambitious mission is to shake up the old boys’ club that is the full-size sedan segment and help drag it into a new era. The styling is certainly spectacular, but as of yet we can’t say the presence of the Stinger has been much of a game changer in the category. Change takes time…
To help spark more interest, Kia is offering for 2019 a new entry-level 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine. This new unit produces 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 3.3L turbo V6 remains in the GT and GT Limited versions with its 365 hp and 376 lb-ft. Both engines get an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as standard accompaniments.
The body design is undoubtedly the strong point of this sedan, which evokes some pretty sumptuous models like Porsche Panamera and the Maserati Quattroporte. Remove the Kia logos from the Stinger and you could mistake it for a much more expensive luxury car.
This style is, ironically, also its biggest handicap. Why? Because people want the prestige that goes with style, and that’s what’s missing with the Stinger.
Let’s just say that Kia doesn’t ring quite the same way in the ears of consumers as BMW…
What’s more, the interior doesn’t offer the same level of wow as the exterior.
Well dressed for $ 50,000
The 4-cylinder GT comes standard with 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, fully LED exterior lighting, heated and foldable exterior mirrors, auto-dimming rear view mirror, leather seats, heated 8-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, 7.0-inch multimedia information screen, 9-speaker audio with satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, induction charging, cruise control, drive mode selector, passive keyless entry, blind spot detection, traffic alert and rear parking sensors.
GT V6 models offer 19-inch wheels, sunroof, auto-dimming side mirrors, driver seat memory, carbon fiber interior trim, stainless steel door deflectors and an electrically operated tailgate.
Finally, GT Limited offers adjustable headlights, rain-sensitive wipers, Nappa leather seats with seat extensions, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, aluminum interior trim, 8.0-inch multimedia screen, LCD gauge group, head-up display, lane-keeping aid, driver alert, automatic emergency braking and 360-degree outdoor camera system.
If you want greater styling and can live without the status of a German car (and pay $25,000 less for the privilege of ownership), the Stinger is for you. This model provides proof that Kia is capable of bringing a relevant player into this arena, with enough guts to give you real driving pleasure, although it lacks the refinement and the years of experience of its German rivals. Only experience can bring Kia to this level.
Advantage Chrysler 300
Don’t let the automakers try to tell you otherwise: there’s still nothing quite like the beautiful melody produced by a V8 engine in a large sedan, and the Hemi engine sounds particularly good. There’s also more space in the 300, especially for the rear passengers.
Advantage Kia Stinger
The big hatchback in the rear of the Stinger opens up a gigantic cargo space. The car also offers a much more modern structure, which is stiffer and delivers a more dynamic driving experience. The handling is also superior - as is the warranty by the way.
Both models are part of an endangered breed. Available power is comparable, even if the sound of the V8 is more beautiful, and the price range is also quite close.
If you intend to keep the car for several years, it is strongly advised to go for the Stinger, because it’s far more modern, reliable and better-built and t comes with a superior warranty. If you just want to treat yourself and promise to give the car back after three years without crying over the depreciation you are going to take, you have to take a 300 V8, this is the most satisfaying to drive. Behind the wheel, you feel like Al Capone at the time of prohibition.
2019 Chrysler 300
Sound of the V8
We like less
2019 Kia Stinger
We like less
Interior is not as spectacular as the exterior
A bit thirsty (esp. the V6)
|...||2019 Chrysler 300||2019 Kia Stinger|
|Transmission||8-sp auto||8-sp auto|
|Drivetrain||FWD or AWD||AWD|
|V6 (FWD)||4 cyl|
|Fuel consumption (city)||12.0L/100 km||11.1L/100 km|
|Fuel consumption (highway)||7.8L/100 km||8.1L/100 km|
|Fuel consumption (city)||14.7L/100 km||13.6L/100 km|
|Fuel consumption (highway)||9.4L/100 km||9.6L/100 km|
|Type||6 cyl||L4 2.0 L T|
|Output||292 hp||255 hp|
|Torque||260 lb-ft||260 lb-ft|
|Type||8 cyl||V6 3.3 T|
|Output||363 hp||365 hp|
|Torque||394 lb-ft||376 lb-ft|
|Cargo space||461 l||660 l, 1,158 l (lowered)|
|Fuel tank||70 l||60 l|
|Length||5044 mm||4830 mm|
|Width||1902 mm||1870 mm|
|Height||1485 mm||1400 mm|
|Wheelbase||3052 mm||2905 mm|
|Warranty||3 yrs/60,000 km||5 yrs/100,000 km|
|Pricing||$42,045 to $50,845||$39,995 to $51,995|