2018 Kia Stinger

A hot car focusing on quality, craftsmanship, and dependability
December 17, 2018 Updated: December 17, 2018

The Kia Stinger was designed with automotive passion in Frankfurt, Germany, and developed on the Nurburgring, the legendary motorsport race track in that country. The fruition of that engineering can be acquired in America for just under $30,000.

The new Stinger has an exceptional interior space with cutting-edge technologies and is blessed with craftsmanship. The luxury sports sedan has not only good looks but also power to go with it. Its base 2.0-liter twin scroll turbo four-cylinder engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The Stinger gets a gas mileage of 29 mpg highway, 22 mpg city, and 25 mpg combined average.

The performance-minded Stinger GT, with the 365 hp turbo V6, goes from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and hits a top speed of 167 mph.

The Stinger offers five drive modes—Eco, Smart, Comfort, Sport, Custom—that let you adjust throttle and gearbox response plus steering weight for different driving moods and conditions. The stopping power is supplied by four-wheel disc brakes, while high-performance shock absorbers keep the car planted on the road. They all ride on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires.

The interior is commanded by a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has a rear camera, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Smartphone integration is provided through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Epoch Times Photo
The interior of the Stinger. (Courtesy of Kia)

The optional customizable Heads-Up Display projects onto the front windshield, displaying minimum essential information, such as speed, turn-by-turn navigation, audio, and cruise control.

The rear seating has stretch-out legroom and 60/40 split-folding seats that provide a cavernous luggage space in the back when you need it.

All this “good stuff” on the inside only accentuates the “great stuff” on the outside.

The main illumination is through projector beam headlights and LED taillights. Even the front door handle pockets are illuminated, complemented by heated outdoor mirrors.

The long wheelbase gives the Stinger a stable stance, while the dark chrome trim surrounding Kia’s trademark “tiger nose” grille is complemented by an “island hood” design.

Much of the key driving-assist technology is not standard, but for an additional $2,000 you get a full bundle including forward-collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, advanced smart cruise control with stop-and-go, and a lane-keep assist system.

Something impressive about the Stinger was Kia’s aerodynamic design. At high speed, air pressure can build dramatically within the wheel arch, affecting airflow. On the Stinger, vents have been placed behind each front wheel to let the air exit, reducing the pressure buildup.

Panels and covers are fitted below the engine and transmission, on each side of the cabin, and over the rear suspension to further improve aerodynamics. The under-body panels allow the air to flow uninterrupted beneath the car in order to reduce lift at high speed.

If I could change one feature, I wish the front cabin was a little roomier and the front panel was not quite so crowded. The back seats, however, were wide and quite comfortable for two passengers, and even satisfactory for three.

5-Year/60,000-Mile Limited Basic warranty
10-Year/100,000-Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
5-Year/60,000-Mile 24/7 Roadside Assistance

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net