A funny thing happened when I drove the new 2018 Kia Stinger: it met all of my expectations. In most cases, they were reasonable and in others, not so much. You see, the hype surrounding this car is over six years old and thus Kia’s had plenty of time to make the Stinger great. And they did.
There is no shortage of things to say about the car’s styling. I was at the unveiling at the 2017 North American International Auto Show when the car rolled out of the darkness onto a platform to the sounds of oohs and ahs, and cheers of wonderment. The tiger shark grille, the long hood, the massive flared fenders, the low long roofline, everything about the car got everyone in attendance excited. I still am today and I think this is one of the best-looking sedans on this side of six figures.
The Stinger’s cabin is toned down compared to the outer shell but it is without a doubt luxurious, and sporty. The dashboard is very German, complete with a top-mounted floating screen and round circular vents. The ergonomics are brilliant and navigating menus on the 7” or 8” touchscreen display is highly intuitive. The seats are phenomenal and comfortable and aid in providing an excellent driving position. This is a very good place to experience a long journey.
Canada gets the twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6 as standard fare, for the moment. Its 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque are juicy and pleasant. Completing the powertrain are the in-house developed 8-speed automatic transmission and an AWD system. Together, and with launch control, the Stinger GT will sprint to 100 km/h in only 4.9 seconds. This is fast.
As a Grand Turismo, and not an all-out sports car, the 2018 Kia Stinger GT loves a brisk pace or being driven at 7/10. Anything beyond that displeases the chassis’ tuning, and the adaptive dampers. They tend to have difficulty coping with rebound after sharp and rapid compressions. At 7/10 or less, the Stinger is responsive with excellent steering and incredibly strong brakes.
At $44,195, the Stinger GT provides value, technology (safety, UVO, and features) and performance unmatched by any of the mainstream Japanese manufacturers. At $49,995, the GT Limited furthers this fact and puts the hurt on luxury carmakers, be they Audi, BMW or Infiniti.
The 2018 Kia Stinger GT is one hell of a contender.