By on January 8, 2017

2018 Kia Stinger

Kia uses the more accurate and less offensive term “fastback sports sedan” to describe the new Stinger, unveiled tonight ahead of the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Kia will offer the rear-drive, coupe-like 2018 Stinger liftback with turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 powerplants, and optional all-wheel drive.

2018 Kia Stinger red rear quarter

Styled by Kia’s Frankfurt office and overseen by Peter Schreyer, the production Stinger is inspired by the GT concept revealed in 2011. It pairs a long wheelbase with short overhangs and a long hood to evoke a traditional grand touring sports car.

Mechanically, a standard 255 horsepower two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or optional 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 365 hp will power the Stinger. The sole transmission is an eight-speed automatic transmission — somewhat disappointing for a challenger in the sports sedan field, but on par with the majority of the market. Kia estimates a 5.1-second 0-to-60 time, and a top speed of 167 mph for the V6-powered Stinger.

2018 Stinger

Kia refined the Stinger’s suspension on the Nürburgring, as is standard for any performance car. Albert Biermann, formerly of BMW, lead the Stinger’s development effort with engineers in both Frankfurt and Korea.

The 114.4-inch wheelbase and 73.6-inch width are larger than competitors such as the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and BMW 3 Series, and come within a couple of inches of the larger BMW 5 Series. The V6-powered Stinger will also come equipped with Brembo brake calipers front and rear, featuring four-piston calipers on the front and two-piston grabbers on the rear.

2018 Stinger

The usual suite of safety features, including forward collision assistance, autonomous emergency braking, and lane keep assist, will be available on the Stinger. Kia also introduces its Driver Attention Alert system, which monitors driver inputs to combat drowsy or distracted driving, and sounds an alert if the driver’s attention is reduced to unsafe levels. A heads-up display will reflect navigation, audio, speed, and blind-spot information upon the windscreen.

The 2018 Kia Stinger will go on sale late in 2017, with pricing announced closer to the on-sale date.

2018 Stinger

[Images: Kia Motor Corporation]

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76 Comments on “NAIAS 2017: 2018 Kia Stinger Revealed in Detroit – Don’t Call It A Four-Door Coupe...”

  • avatar

    man, that side profile couldn’t be any more Tesla Model S.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged Miata Man

      Last-gen Optima on top, all-Jaguar below the beltline.

      • 0 avatar

        oddly enough… its last gen Kia too

        Kia are abandoning that ‘tiger face grille’ but this thing has been gestating so long they couldnt change it… or maybe they are keeping some newer cues for the inevitable ‘Gen 1.5’ redux.

        Some Alfa Quad Fog cues in there too with a Mazda Jaguar ish interior.

        STILL… I welcome any company birthing RWD cars into this world.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      With a shamelessly Mercedes C-class triple-vent and tablet info screen on the center dashboard.

      • 0 avatar

        That screen almost looks like it could retract into the dashboard, a la the 1st-Gen CTS with Nav. One can hope.

        Another answer to the question nobody asked: is that a monostatic shifter? ::Rolling eyes!::

        And they take the ugliest sedan on the market and stre-e-e-tch it, then put a real trunk in it, leaving a blind spot the size of Indiana on each side!

        Shame the designers didn’t share the drugs they were on with the rest of us!

  • avatar

    This could be good, hopefully by using ex BMW talent (other reports say he was the head of the M division) they can get the driving dynamics to be reasonable. Sounds promising with a real V6, rear wheel drive etc. Sounds like it could be sized similar to a mid size sedan. The new Pontiac G8?

    • 0 avatar

      I’d say more Audi A5 – not the coupe we get, the 4-door sportback Europeans get. Dimensions are slightly bigger than A4, so practically an A7 for the non-rich. Looks too chunky in some angles, but i dig this.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree the styling is not perfect to my eye but a reasonable attempt. Further reading says it is 1 inch shorter than the Optima but has a 4 inch longer wheel base so leg room should good. Internal volume will be lower due to the reduced headroom.
        I would hope the V6 model to be priced a little under 40K since a well equipped Fusion sport would be priced right around there for similar power and size.

        • 0 avatar

          No way its under 40k. We’re into the 40s here.

          I was just shopping for an Optima/Sonata. You realize they are 36k with the 2.0t thats standard on the Stinger?

          Remember that you can never on a kia/hyundai get an upped engine on a totally base model, they tend to move things up in packages.

          I say the Stinger has a 6k above base price (Optima starts at 29,995 with the 2.0t)

          So I bet the the stinger costs $36,000 + another 6 or so for the V6, so I bet about 42k.

          • 0 avatar

            You may be right – as someone else said the pricing on this will be crucial since they have to stay well below the Germans and compete with cars like the Charger, Fusion Sport and Mustang (2+2 but otherwise a similar sports car segment).

        • 0 avatar

          Always stated that the previous gen Optima’s sheetmetal was too good for a FWD sedan, so basically going with the same greenhouse here works for me.

          Some details are a bit too fussy and the shape of a few things (such as the headlights) could have been done better, but overall like it a good bit and much better than the Genesis G80.

          There have already been first drive reviews of prototypes of the Stinger and word is that the handling is pretty satisfying.

      • 0 avatar

        Sized between the A5 Sportback (which we’re getting for MY’18) and the A7. So yes…quite frankly very interested to see how this thing actually drives.

  • avatar

    No manual… what is the customer base for this car?

  • avatar

    Even BMW only sells a small percentage of manuals. It is just that every single one goes to a serial poster on the internet.

    I welcome any RWD car…and the one thing the Koreans are missing is that last skosh of Germanic Magic Troll Juice. If they can copy that as well as the bits from Toyota and Honda (and they’ve already made off with the BMW ergos inside) they will be golden.

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged Miata Man

    Good Lord… “Stinger?” As if there wasn’t already enough resistance (real or perceived) to uttering the words “I drive a Kia” in affluent circles, let’s add to that with a name shared with a 90s Pontiac beach buggy concept.

  • avatar

    The front end looks like two cars stacked on top of each other.

  • avatar

    That side view…I see Mazda, particularly in the front.

    And then comes the interior view, and lo! it’s a sat-nav screen that pops up out of the dash, just like a Fiata.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t even compare this to a Mazda. That is embarrassing for Kia.

      • 0 avatar

        ?? How so? Mazda has a good reputation for reliability and driving dynamics and a well liked design language. How would Kia be embarrassed to have that?

      • 0 avatar
        Middle-Aged Miata Man

        The Mazda3 (“best interior under $30K” per C&D) and new CX-9 beg to differ. Kia could learn a little from Mazda in that regard, and it could learn A LOT when it comes to ride and handling.

        • 0 avatar

          Not ride these days, but handling (and specifically steering feedback).

          With reviews of the Elantra Sport/SR and the of the prototype of the Stinger out – seems like H/K have made major strides in the driving dynamics dept.

          • 0 avatar

            Sounds like something a Hyundai/Kia salesman would say…

            *bd2 sells Hyundais & Kias.

          • 0 avatar

            Seems like DW still likes to continue spreading untruths (sorry to disappoint, but don’t work in retail of any sort).

            Unlike you, I actually don’t say things w/o concrete evidence.

            For instance – early drive reviews of the Stinger prototype.


            “The handling circuit, slalom, acceleration runs and drifting exercises convince me that the Kia Stinger GT is the real deal — a bona fide sport sedan.”


            “Hang on to things around the corner, hard on the gas and the all-wheel-drive system dug in and kept the GT pointed in the right direction — it proved to be deliciously neutral, even at the limit. Sadly, my three laps were over just as I was beginning to fully appreciate the tenacity of the GT’s handling.”

            Australian comparisons of the Elantra SR with the competition.


            ““The Honda is really nice, but the Hyundai is so much more entertaining.”


            “The Elantra and Civic are somewhat harder to separate. The Oz-tuned Hyundai is more overtly sporty, with a really fun chassis and loads of meaty, accessible grunt.”

            Maybe you should try staying up with the times (things move faster than you think).

  • avatar

    I think this is interesting; the rear harkens FD RX-7 though the front and side view is a bit plain a la Optima. TT v6 RWD sounds like a bit of fun even if only available with an auto. The center stack and console look Taurus wide, seems like it might be a bit crowded in there. I actually liked the interior of the Taurus/MKs and thought it gave a good snug cockpit feel; maybe this is the goal for the Kia.
    I wonder what the cousin Hyundai will be?

  • avatar

    I think it looks fantastic inside and out, and a turbo V6 paired with 8-speed auto and AWD is pretty much the perfect performance package for people who are sensible, as opposed to people like me who are used to having more power than they know what to do with.

    Basically, if I needed a new car and had my sensible hat on I would very seriously consider buying one of these…

    The only thing I don’t like is the pop-up display for satnav. That’s so last-decade Volvo…

  • avatar

    A mid-size sedanoid. Win!

  • avatar

    Another too small to be a sedan to large to be a coupe coming right up.

  • avatar

    It’s kind of a messy design. But it’ll be destined to be the next 4DSC.

  • avatar

    I like it a lot. My future car right now is a GS350 (used) but with a 10 year warranty this might server me well in a few years. Glad RWD is an option again, with AWD it makes most all people happy.

  • avatar

    I like the G80 considerably more.

  • avatar

    I don’t think that roofline is particularly “coupe-like” especially compared to the other so called 4 door coupes on the market. This is something I’m happy about.

    This is a vehicle I’d be willing to give a shot.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I’m interested to see how this turns out. I applaud H/K’s ambition, first diving into the luxury field and now trying to produce a sports sedan when most reviews suggest they still haven’t nailed suspension tuning.

    The name is juvenile. The greenhouse is all Optima. And the dashboard is cribbed from the C-class as hard as the Optima’s is cribbed from the Mazda6. But another RWD sedan priced below the luxury marques is welcome.

    The stern looks good, but those quad pipes are making promises that may be hard to deliver on.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Stinger? Ew.

    If this car competes with anything, it’ll end up being the Charger. Even if it comes close to matching the German offerings dynamically (doubtful), it’s going to be completely hamstrung by the fact that it looks like an Optima and is sold through a dealer network only slightly less revolting than Mitsubishi’s.

    How many K900s have they sold so far? Three?

    • 0 avatar

      At the same time, Kia came out with the SX-L trim due to Optima buyers wanting something more luxurious at the interior and the SX-L trim since then has expanded through much of Kia’s lineup and has done well for them.

  • avatar

    The styling cues all come from other automakers. Seriously, Kia, except for that ugly grille, how about creating something understated, elegant and original of your own for a change?
    Maybe they were too busy struggling to make comfortable seats to worry about always being a follower in trends, quality and reputation.
    Even the name is second tier: does it refer to a surface-to-air heat-seeking missile, a bumblebee’s posterior, or a jailbird’s cobbled-together contraption to heat water in his cell?

  • avatar

    The car is so derivative, I see so many cars in there. In the first picture, I honestly thought they just muscled up an Optima. Looking through the side, rear, and interiors, it invoked designs imagery from at least a dozen cars, as numerous posters already pointed out.

    While the quality of their cars have improved significantly from the early 90’s, they still age quite a bit faster than the Toyonda competition; that is to say, a Toyonda with 75k miles looks and feels significantly newer than a H/K with the same mileage. And their driving dynamics still lag behind significantly. As much as I am rooting for them to surprise me with great handling/comfort balance, chances are car reviewers will be using wording like “coming close to the front runners, “A” for effort, or a great first try”. So I think they may be moving too fast for their own good. This is going to be a “good enough” poser car when it’s price driven. Kinda like the Pontiac Bonneville trying to grab BMW market share. BTW, that didn’t work out. Not saying this will sink H/K, but I am not expecting it to upend the automotive order of things.

  • avatar

    Love the design in and out. I couldn’t care less about the badge, but if it drives like a Kia rental car, it will get ugly fast.

  • avatar

    Who cares what it looks like or what design they copped? Honestly, who friggin cares? It’s a rear wheel drive based sporty sedan from Kia! Despite what jaded enthusiasts think, I think this is awesome. More choice is good. This car strikes me as a kind of blue-collar workin man’s type of 3 series alternative. Most of the performance (hopefully) with a lot less baggage and cost (hopefully).

    Btw, for those that will ask “Will you buy one?”, would you honestly prefer that the only cars for sale be what you have in your own driveway? I always hated that argument…

    This car excites me, as does Kia, they are filling the gap that was left when Pontiac unfortunately vacated the market. Here’s hoping they can succeed where Pontiac and GM failed.

  • avatar

    Love child of Jaguar F-Type Coupe and Audi A7.

    Let’s hope they get the suspension tuning correct. Every Optima I’ve driven suffered from a flinty ride and lousy damping.

  • avatar

    This car has a lot of borrowed elements. Not very original. But I still love it!
    Exterior: Jaguar F-type, Audi A7, Alfa-Romeo/Maserati
    Interior: Mazda/Mercedes C-class
    Engine: Hyundai
    Handling: BMW(?????)

    H/K cars have been plagued by the complete package being less than the sum of its parts. They looked good on paper, good styling, good engine, good value, disappointing cars… Hope that Kia was able to get all this working as a single coherent package.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    So does this mean the Stinger coupe is officially dead or does this mean they now have a platform to build it on?

    • 0 avatar

      A 2 door version of this would get my interest. If the interior has some contrast that would be nice too, as black on black doesn’t really match with the aggressive exterior. Some red leather inserts (dash, door, seats) would do wonders here.

    • 0 avatar

      The GT4 Stinger has been put on the back-burner due to the low interest in coupes, but Kia Europe has been pushing for it.

      While it would be cool for it to make it to production, Kia would be better off bringing the Cross GT concept to production (yes, I know, another crossover).

  • avatar

    Wow, for all of the folks lamenting the availability of RWD mid-sized sports sedans, you’d think this would be a bright spot in their Monday morning.

    As Pablo Picasso said: If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

    I’m no H/K fan, but I do appreciate the fact that they’re trying something that ISN’T a CUV. Frankly, the likelihood of me purchasing this car is .001%, but my priorities are different these days.

    That said, I’m glad to see some activity in this sector. To me, it looks like the long-lost son of the Pontiac G8.

    Nice job, Kia.

  • avatar

    I like it. I certainly don’t love it, but it is, as already mentioned, one heck of a risk for Kia to take. Pricing could make or kill the Stinger, or quality issues. Of course the 3-series isn’t exactly the paragon of reliability but it does have the badge prestige that Cadillac would love to have.

  • avatar

    Ok. Looks great. May be even drives decent. But where is the manual gearbox?

  • avatar

    My first reaction based on absolutely no information: I want one.

    This can’t be a bad thing for any car.

  • avatar

    I dig it, it could be a poor’s man Alfa Romeo.

    I hope to see it in the flesh soon, hopefully it’ll look better in person.

    Kudos to Kia for coming out with a RWD car…perhaps they’ll release a two-door variant in the future.

  • avatar

    Show me something on the market that people actually buy that isn’t derivative of something else.

    I agree with most of the above – based on the reveal and current info I’d consider this assuming it handles well, and has decent acceleration, etc.

    I’d been looking forward to the A5 Sportback, of which this clearly targets at, presumably, a lower price point.

  • avatar

    This is easily the most promising product announcement I’ve heard in a while. Anything other than another CUV is good to hear, but a RWD liftback that will hopefully be priced inline with the Fusion Sport? Fingers crossed that the Kia’s exhaust can cash the check written by the quad tips (unlike the Fusion Sport).

    Is it definitely a liftback, or is that an assumption based on appearance?

  • avatar

    It’s a liftback for sure!–GA_yxYpV–/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/fktwmhvc4pk9df2iibf1.jpg

  • avatar

    Very mixed feelings on this. I’m a big Kia fan (and anyone who isn’t hasn’t driven a new Sorento or Optima, case closed) and I do like them branching out like this. But there’s too many little weird details that kinda make this car look cheap. And it won’t be. It really does have a nice stance, but there’s just too much going on. It’s the opposite of the dull-as-dishwater Chevy SS. And Kia was pretty good at toeing the line of flashy versus tacky.

    It’s almost like Peter Schreyer is getting bored with his previously excellent designs and is just stirring up the pot for kicks.

  • avatar

    So that’s what over styled ugly for 40-50k looks like. Obviously Kia hasn’t learned from the K900.

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