2018 Kia Stinger
This is about as cool as it gets. Kia Motors’ first entry into the competitive sports sedan market has arrived in the 2018 Stinger. The results are in and this car is worthy of just about all of the hype and praise we have heard over the years. You may recognize the Optima’s base frame but the Stinger holds closer to the ground with Gran Turismo overlays added to the aesthetics. The newly recruited German design team made its exterior not only sleek and functional but unapologetically cool. And, of course, there is no shortage of power with two engine types available: the turbocharged 2.0 liter, four-cylinder producing 255 horsepower; and the turbocharged GT model that employs a 3.3 liter, V6 engine toping out at 365 HP. The Stinger commands the road, and has fun doing it.
Originally a concept car introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2011, this luxury performance sedan was brought to life in a real way. With best-in-class acceleration it out paces all other more established names. In 0-60 mph tests the Stinger at 4.7 seconds beats out the BMW 440i Gran Coupe and Audi A7 Sportback by 0.1 and 0.5 second, respectively. Even the 2018 Porsche Panamera V6 doesn’t compete at 5.4 seconds. Kia outperforms Lexus, Audi and BMW sports sedan with power as well. The Stinger logs 365 HP in the V6 version. The next best, Audi A7, comes in at 340 HP.
What is most surprising is that all this power and style come in an affordable package. Base models start at $31,000 MSRP. Even the GT version is listed at $38,350 MSRP making it less expensive than any of the aforementioned brand’s similar models.
Fuel efficiency may leave a bit to be desired, but if you are in the market for one of these types of performance vehicles that is of secondary concern. However, the 15.9 gallon tank offers 21 mpg city, 29 highway, 24 combined (19/25/21 GT models).
The engineering team that was also lured away from BMW as well boasts about the car’s “structural rigidities” that makes the car great for handling and an overall joy to drive. In interviews they speak in detail about the meticulous thought put into a few millimeter adjustment for an over 4,000 lbs vehicle. The results of this which again make for best in class torque rating at 376 lbs-ft @ 1300-4500 rpm. Which means you can hit those curves or weave through traffic with the same comfort and control of a straightaway.
The Kia Stinger–we are sure to be talking about this one for years to come.