The new paradigm of gran turismo, delivering high performance and supreme comfort on the open road; not for the faint-hearted.
That's the opening Kia offers, when challenged to use few words to describe its 2019 fastback sport sedan, the Kia Stinger. Those of us at Kalidy Kia who have experienced it first-hand have much more to say about this the winner of the 2018 MotorWeek Drivers' Choice Awards "Best of the Year".
Taking aim at the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback the 2019 Kia Stinger is embodiment of heart-pounding power at an incredibly value-packed price. The lines were stylized by Peter Schreyer and Gregory Guillaume (Kia's Chief Designer) at Kia's European studio in Frankfurt, however, the performance prowess owes its lineage to former BMW M Vice President of Engineering Albert Biermann. The finished product features a practical and comfortable interior coupled with the heart-racing thrill that a twin-turbo V6 engine can deliver, all for half the cost of the Porsche Panamera or Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
This Kia sports carr is an exceptionally well-balanced sports sedan and its strength is in its handling, which leads to predictability. It's about your connection with the car - and the Stinger provides just enough feedback through the steering wheel and suspension to remind you that at a moment's notice it's ready to play.
There's not enough room here to convey everything we love about this car. Stylish touches such as the exposed speaker grilles and large round S-Class-like center vents are a must-see. Others gravitate to the aircraft inspired dash, which can only be described as sporty, retro and well-laid out. We'd be amiss if we didn't mention the cooled front sport seats which are firm and well-bolstered, yet comfortable enough for a long drive. The steering wheel paddle shifters and shift knob, push-button ignition and a 7-inch touch-screen audio system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto all deserve honorable mention in our book.
The game-changer, though, is the liftback design. SUV-like cargo hauling, with the seats folded down, opens to reveal nearly 40 cubic feet of cargo space - that's more than a Dr. Who phone booth. Of course, no technological wonder is complete without wireless phone charging, and the 2019 Kia Stinger does not disappoint.
The silhouette of the Stinger could easily be mistaken for a BMW 4 Series Gran Sport or even the Audi A5 Sportback, however, up close it stands on its own aesthetics. The rear side doors almost disappear in the lines of the car as if camouflaged, giving the term "coupe-like" real meaning. Kia's shark-nose grille gives personality to the front end, while the four oval exhaust pipes make a statement to those you effortlessly pass. New for 2019 are optional 19-inch alloy wheels and refined color options including Panthera Metal which, in our opinion, gives that much needed, grounded metallic gray appeal.
The 2019 Stinger is available with two turbocharged engines matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The Stinger and Stinger Premium trims pair the 8-speed to a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 255 horsepower. The Stinger GT, GT1 and GT2 all feature the upgraded 365 horsepower 3.3 liter twin-turbo V6 with the 8-speed. In addition, all Kia Stingers are available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive (RWD, AWD). All this power won't keep you from attaining up to 29 mpg highway with the 4 cylinder or go for the V6 while losing only 4 mpg on your cross-town commutes.
For the 2019 model, the Kia Stinger sports car gains 18-inch wheels, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic detection plus an optional Sun and Sound Package. We also think the Brake Fade Compensation, which increases brake boost when it detects the brakes overheating, is a nice addition to the standard equipment. Bump up to the Premium or GT1 and get the Advanced Driver Assist System, ventilated front seats and wireless charging. The GT features a limited-slip rear differential and the GT2 adds a heated rear seat and the augmented awareness of a 360-degree monitor. In addition, the launch control system brings that 'fun factor' that everyone seeks in a sports car. The WRX fans out there will appreciate the AWD available on the GT models. However, if you appreciate music, the 720-watt Harman Kardon audio system faithfully reproduces your tracks and is standard on Premium and GT models and optional on the base car. For information on the Kia Stinger price and additional amenities, visit our Kia Stinger inventory page.
The new Stinger 2.0 comes with the peace of mind only a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty can provide. Although we're somewhat biased towards this gem, MotorWeek actually bestowed it with two awards in 2018, Best Sport Sedan and as mentioned earlier, Best of the Year. They've been at it since 1983 and know how to pick a winner. Why not critique it in Oklahoma's largest indoor, climate-controlled showroom - Kalidy Kia. Then take it out for a few laps. We can't promise it'll make you 40 years younger like Aerosmith's lead vocalist, Steven Tyler, but we're confident you'll feel invigorated by the experience.