• 2018 Kia Stinger: It Doesn’t Float Like a Butterfly. [Video Review]

    Kia’s Stinger is hitting dealerships in December. How does this all-new fastback stack up against its German rivals?

    Watch out, everyone – there’s a new sports sedan on the block. Kia has officially debuted its new flagship, the Stinger, in Los Angeles. The Korean brand is taking aim at a market currently dominated by the Germans, and it seeks to score a one-two punch with striking looks and performance to match. Based on the GT Concept car and developed on the Nürburgring, the 2018 Kia Stinger exemplifies the brand’s direction. From the ashes of Kia’s humdrum beginnings rises a phoenix that will carry buyers toward a bold and dynamic future. At least, that’s what the Kia Stinger’s creators want you to believe. But is it really that good? Can this new GT car really take on the Germans? TFLcar’s Roman Mica heads to Los Angeles to find out.

     

    2018 Kia Stinger Review
    [Photo: TFLcar]

    The Kia Stinger: Stylish. Sexy. Powerful.

    In its formative years, Kia’s design could be most charitably described as conservative. Remember the Sephia? Sure, that car did the job as far as getting you from A to B, but one thing it was not was sexy. In recent years, however, their styling has moved on. Now, the likes of Kia’s sedans and SUVs are much more appealing, if not on the same level as the Germans. That being said, the Stinger takes Kia’s design to a whole new level. This car wants to be taken seriously as a true GT, and its more aggressive front end, sloping roofline and muscular haunches, it may well turn some heads.

    Helping the Kia Stinger’s case is its performance credentials. For a shade under $33,000 (including destination charges), you can have a 2.0-liter, twin-scroll turbocharged Stinger with 255 horsepower. For $39,000 and up, you can get it with a more powerful, 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine. With the upgrade, the Stinger can charge to 60 in a reported 4.7 seconds. Keeping the car nailed to the road are grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and Brembo brakes bring things to a quick halt. While rear-drive is the default with the Stinger, you can have all-wheel drive for an extra $2,200. Along the way, you can choose from five trim levels: Base trim, Premium, GT, GT1, and GT2.

    It’s practical, too

    Not only does the 2018 Kia Stinger have performance chops to match the Germans, it’s practical as well. As mentioned before, it is a sportback, like the Audi A5 Sportback. With the rear seats in place, the Stinger has 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the seats down, and that figure goes up to a rather impressive 41 cubic feet. Kia will be first to tell you that sort of space beats the car’s main rivals, including the A5 Sportback, the BMW 4 (and 6) Series Gran Coupe, and the Lexus GS. However, as with Audi’s sportback models, the Stinger’s svelte roofline does rob rear headroom. Fortunately, you do get sufficient knee and leg room. And besides, a higher roof would just spoil the looks, and looks are what the Stinger’s design is all about.

    There’s one chink in the Kia Stinger’s armor

    If there’s one complaint to level at the new Kia Stinger, it’s the steering. Naturally, Kia sells the Stinger’s steering feedback as “razor-sharp” by way of it’s Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) system. Still, it’s an electric power steering system, and while the average driver may not care too much, enthusiasts may ding the Stinger for its inert steering feel. Happily, you can adjust the weight of the steering through the car’s six different drive modes. Changing drive modes also affects the car’s suspension, throttle response, and the stability control.

    Crashing the Germans’ Party

    There will be some folks out there who will shriek in horror at the thought of a $52,000 Kia. However, on paper and in practice, this isn’t just any Kia. It’s a good exercise at challenging your notions about what a Kia can be. It can deliver most of the German’s party tricks for substantially less than its equivalent German rivals. If you’re interested in buying the Stinger, it will be hitting dealerships around the beginning of December.

    SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Kia Stinger GT AWD

    Base MSRP: $32,795
    Price as Tested: $52,000
    Engine: 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6
    Horsepower: 365 hp @ 6,000 RPM
    Torque: 376 lbs.-ft. @ 1,300 – 4,500 RPM
    Transmission: 8-speed automatic
    0-60: 4.7 seconds
    Suspension: Front: MacPherson strut
    Rear: Multi-link (5-link)
    Brakes: Brembo 4-wheel discs (vented front and rear); 13.8-inch front discs, 13.4-inch rear discs
    Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 225/40 R19 (225/45 R18 optional)
    Fuel capacity: 15.9 gallons
    Fuel economy (EPA): 19 City/25 Highway/21 Combined MPG
    Drag Coefficient: 0.30

    Dimensions:

    Wheelbase: 114.4 inches
    Length:  190.2 inches
    Width: 73.6 inches
    Height:  55.1 inches
    Turning Circle: 37.5 feet
    Curb Weight: 4,023 pounds

     

    Zach Butler
    Zach Butler
    Zach Butler is the Managing Editor for The Fast Lane Car. He spends a fair amount of time defending his use of the Oxford comma, and spends the rest of his time geeking out about the awesomeness of hot hatchbacks.
    http://tflcar.com

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    7 thoughts on “2018 Kia Stinger: It Doesn’t Float Like a Butterfly. [Video Review]

    1. That destroys the Ford Eco Boost and they offer AWD, which is a challenging option for me. Do I take the AWD or a V8. Here is a seriously affordable GT with AWD but no V8 option. But their boosted motors at full torque at 1300rpm vs Ford at 3000Rpm is crusher. Kia easily has the Ford Mustang eco boost beat and it comes in AWD. It is a real value over the V8 Mustang as well if you can pass on the V8 sound and you want AWD

    2. I like the specifications on the 3.3L TT engine, great power and full torque at 1,300 RPM sustained through 4,000 RPM! I am not a huge Kia fan, but feel the styling and overall package of the GT AWD is a nice overall package, especially for someone looking to purchase a little outside the box from your traditional performance based manufacturers. I can see this type of vehicle’s performance compared to the idea of “unsuspecting performance” to the earlier model Ford Taurus SHO of the 1990’s.

    3. 52 yeah ok no I’d rather get a charger scat pack, BMW 435 grand coupe, Chevy ss or a Ford Taurus sho all of these are cheaper and better bang for the buck .

        1. How is a car (stinger) that’s slower in top speed, 0-60, and quarter miles faster than a Charger Scatpack? Do you have any idea what you’re talking about? The Scatpack even has higher road handling and shorter braking distances. Read up.

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