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2021 Avalon AWD vs. Stinger Comparison

When you think of luxury-styled sedans, performance may be part of the package, but All-Wheel Drive (AWD) capability isn’t typically offered. The 2021 Toyota Avalon and Kia Stinger change that with their available AWD drivetrain option.

The Avalon XLE and Limited AWD also challenge the perception that fuel economy will suffer with an AWD drivetrain. Beating the competition with an EPA-estimated 25/34/28 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating, the Avalon has better fuel economy ratings than even the Stinger RWD models. The Stinger GT-Line has an EPA-estimated 22/29/25 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating with RWD and an EPA-estimated 21/29/24 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating with the available AWD.

Not only does it have better EPA-estimated MPG ratings, the 2021 Avalon also has more standard safety features to help you be safe with a lower MSRP. To get the same features standard with the Stinger, you'd have to get the more expensive GT1 model starting at $45,490 MSRP.

The differences between these two competitors go beyond that, however. As we examine the specs more closely, you'll see they differ in safety features, performance figures, and interior options.

Published Date: 03/21/2021

2021 Avalon driving on wet road at night

Safety

  • Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) comes standard no matter what model Avalon you choose.
  • The Stinger's active safety features don't come on their GT-Line. You'd need to spring for the GT1 or GT2 for them.
  • The Avalon AWD and the Stinger both have standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC).

Looking for a car with lots of standard active safety features? The Avalon's Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) has lots to offer.

Standard Safety Features

With features like Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) standard, the Avalon AWD is always a few steps ahead.

The 2021 Kia Stinger doesn't come with as many standard safety features as the Avalon. For example, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) w/ Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), High Beam Assist (HBA), and Smart Cruise Control w/ Stop and Go (SCC w/ S&G) are not available on the GT-Line. You'll have to get the GT1 or GT2 for these advanced features which will cost you at least $12,400 more than the GT-Line starting MSRP.

Both vehicles do offer standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) standard.

2021 Avalon driving on a residential street

Performance

  • The Avalon XLE AWD and Limited AWD models have better EPA-estimated mileage ratings than any Stinger model.
  • Both luxury sedans offer up AWD.
  • While the Stinger's roadside assistance program is longer than the Avalon's, the Stinger's Kia Care Choice Service Plan costs extra and isn't standard.

A luxury-styled sedan without AWD and great EPA-estimated mileage may have cut it in the past, but not in 2021. So, which of these AWD-available full-size sedans has the best of both?

AWD Fuel Economy

While the Avalon XLE AWD and Stinger GT-Line with AWD have similar MSRPs starting at $36,125 and $35,290 respectively, with the Avalon's higher MPG rating estimates you get more bang for your buck.

The Avalon XLE and Limited AWD have an EPA-estimated 25/34/28 (city/highway/combined) MPG ratings. Conversely, the Kia Stinger GT-Line with AWD has an EPA-estimated 21/29/24 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating while the higher grade models have an even lower estimated mileage. The GT1 and GT2 have a 17/25/20 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating.

To keep your car in top shape, Toyota has ToyotaCare, a factory-scheduled maintenance plan that lasts for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24/7 Roadside Assistance for 2 years and unlimited mileage. Although the Kia Stinger has a 5 year/60,000 mile roadside assistance plan, scheduled maintenance is not included. You'll have to purchase a Kia Care Choice Service Plan separately.

Interior of 2021 Avalon

Interior

  • The Avalon XLE AWD has a larger touchscreen and more speakers than the Stinger.
  • The Stinger has the same Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® capabilities but lacks Amazon Alexa which the Avalon XLE AWD has standard.
  • The Avalon XLE AWD and Limited AWD have a larger passenger volume than the Stinger for a more comfortable ride.

A truly stellar drive means comfort, connectivity, and multimedia features came together to create the perfect driving atmosphere for you. The 2021 Avalon XLE AWD has impressive standard multimedia feature advantages over the Stinger GT-Line with AWD.

Multimedia

The Avalon XLE AWD comes with better standard multimedia features including a 9-in. touchscreen and eight speakers. Looking at the Stinger GT-Line you get a 7-in. touchscreen display and six speakers standard.

With standard Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, plus SiriusXM® with a 3-month All Access trial, you have more ways to jam out in the Avalon, too. The Stinger has Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and a SiriusXM® 3-month All Access trial but lacks Amazon Alexa capabilities.

Plus, keep all of your devices charged with one USB media port and four USB charge ports standard in the Avalon XLE AWD and Limited AWD. The Kia Stinger only has one USB/Auxiliary Jack and front and rear USB charging ports on all grades. Both vehicles offer wireless phone charging capabilities, too.

Enjoy a roomier ride with an EPA passenger volume of 103.8 cu. ft. in the Avalon XLE AWD and 102.6 cu. ft. in the Limited AWD. All Kia Stinger models have a passenger volume of 93.8 cu. ft.

2021 Avalon parked on a beach

Conclusion: Avalon AWD vs. Stinger

  • Both the Avalon and the Stinger have AWD available.
  • The Avalon lineup has Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) standard while the Stinger's more advanced active safety features aren't an option on the GT-Line.
  • The Avalon AWD also has better estimated mileage ratings than the Stinger.

The 2021 Avalon and Stinger are stylish and comfortable rides with the capability to take on any road. That’s never been truer than now when both vehicles have available All-Wheel Drive (AWD) added to their already impressive standard feature lineup.

At first glance these two luxury-styled full-size sedans may seem similar, until you take a look at their safety features side by side. The 2021 Avalon XLE and Limited AWD have the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of active safety features that includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) standard. To get these same offerings in the Stinger you'd have to get the more expensive Stinger GT1.

Beyond safety features, the Avalon AWD also has better gas mileage estimates than both the Stinger RWD and AWD options.

All around, the Avalon outperforms the Kia Stinger when it comes to standard safety, performance specs, and interior options without adding to your price tag. It's one luxury sedan that's a real stinger to the competition.