The Kia Stinger arrives next month as the automaker’s highest-performing production vehicle. In a fastback segment typically dominated by European marquees, Kia will stand with the likes of Audi, BMW, and Porsche. We recently dove deep into car’s specifications and they are impressive to say the least. Pricing was recently announced for the Stinger which will come in five different trim levels.
The entry level Stinger rides on a passive but balanced suspension for comfort and handling. The GT is available with Dynamic Stability Damping Control (a Kia first) and Brembo brakes. On offer are two turbocharged engines: the base Stinger and the Premium feature a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II plant, producing 255 horsepower (6,200 rpm) and 260 lb-ft. of torque. Torque is available from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm, giving the Stinger a reasonable 0 to 60 time of 5.9 seconds with this engine.
The 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine packs 365 horsepower (6,000 rpm) and 376 lb-ft. of torque, available from 1,350 to 4,500 rpm. With this engine, the Stinger enters the segment with more power than the Audi S5 Sportback, BMW 440i Gran Coupe, and Infiniti Q50. With the V6 Lambda II engine, the Stinger GT hits 60 in 4.7 seconds, which is quicker than the six-cylinder Porsche Panamera.
The Audi S5 Sportback with its 3.0-liter turbocharged engine hits 60 in 4.5 seconds, just an ounce faster than the Stinger. However, given Kia has never competed in this segment but are coming in with something as strong as the Stinger, we are inclined to give them a pass.
“The Stinger is a prime example of Kia’s commitment to surpassing consumers’ expectations in everything we do,” commented Orth Hedrick, Vice President of Product Planning, Kia Motors America.
Both engines are matched to a second-generation, eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission Kia developed in-house. All-wheel drive is available across the Stinger lineup.
All Stingers come standard with a leather-appointed cabin, although ultra-soft Nappa leather is available. Air-cell bladders and width-adjusting bolsters are available for the driver’s seat for additional comfort. A thick, hand-stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters is standard, but GT buyers receive a flat-bottom steering wheel.The Stinger also comes with a generous array of connectivity, infotainment, and entertainment features, including an available Harman Kardon 720 watt audio system.
The 2018 Kia Stinger provides solid performance for the dollar, regardless of which trim buyers opt for. The entry level Singer starts at $31,900; the Premium at $37,100, and the GT at $38,350. The GT1 comes in at $43,250 with the GT2 ringing the cash register at $49,200. All-wheel drive runs an additional $2,200; the destination charge is $900.
“Although the Stinger is unlike any other Kia that has come before it in terms of pure driving enjoyment, it is still very much a traditional Kia,” Hedrick explained. “It offers consumers a very compelling value proposition, providing excellent performance and handling, premium features, and functionality when compared to its much higher-priced competitors.”
By comparison, the 2018 Infiniti Q50 starts at $34,200 for the Pure RWD trim with a 2.0-liter turbo engine, and goes as high $53,000 (starting MSRP) in its top variant, the Red Sport 400 AWD. The Q50 also has a hybrid option which starts at $50,600 – tack on $2,000 to make the hybrid all-wheel drive. Conversely, the 2018 Audi S5 Sportback starts at $54,400 for the Premium Plus grade and goes as high as $59,000 (starting MSRP) for the 2018 S5 Coupe Prestige.
Pricing can vary on today’s vehicles – sometimes greatly – especially when considering each different package or individual options. Still, it is our belief the Stinger is priced correctly for the segment and will provide strong performance for the money.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.
2018 Kia Stinger Gallery
Photos & Source: Kia Motors America, Infiniti Motor Company Ltd., Audi of America, Inc.