By on October 19, 2018

2018 Kia Stinger GT1 AWD

3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (365 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 376 lb/ft @ 1,300 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

19 city / 25 highway / 21 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

12.7 city / 9.6 highway / 11.3 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

20.8 (observed mileage, MPG)

Base Price: $46,350 US / $51,919 CAD

As Tested: $48,350 US / $52,119 CAD

Prices include $900 destination charge in the United States and $1924 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Kia has done a remarkable job at building a brand here in the U.S., and has done so without treading the well-worn path of appealing to enthusiasts. No, the Kia brand is built on solid small cars and utilities, with price and a great warranty being top of mind. Not squealing tires.

You knew that had to change. There is plenty of money in Kia’s corporate warchest to move away from the meat-and-potatoes commuter appliances to a nice, exciting cake or pie. Thus, the 2018 Kia Stinger GT — a tasty treat for the eyes and the butt dyno. But does it satisfy?

2018 Kia Stinger GT profile

I’ve been begging Kia to drive the Stinger since the automaker unveiled it in a dank Detroit warehouse nearly two years ago. Shows what kind of pull I have with the automakers — the one that arrived had over 14,000 miles on the odometer.

[Get new and used Kia Stinger pricing here!]

Recall the adage that a rental car is the fastest car in the world, as you don’t care what happens to the car once you drop it off at the airport? Imagine getting paid to drive that car. That’s the kind of abuse a press fleet car sees. I’d love to see some sort of algorithm that plots press-versus-paying customer wear, but I’d wager that a 14k-old fleet car is worn at least as much as a 50k mile car that still has a loan balance.

2018 Kia Stinger GT interior

I mention this since my initial driving impression of the Stinger was unusual. I hopped in, adjusted seat and mirrors, connected my phone, and drove to a drive-thru for lunch. I hadn’t adjusted the radio stations (seems that every press car I get is tuned to classical), so I immediately switched off the sound. A light creaking sound became instantly noticeable, even at crawling speed between the menu board and the window.

I initially thought a light rain was falling.

2018 Kia Stinger GT front seat

Nope. There is a noise emitted from the sunroof mechanism as the car flexes slightly over the tiniest bumps. It sounds like different materials — I’m guessing fiberboard from the headliner, foam from insulation, and metals in the roof itself — rubbing together, conspiring to annoy me.

2018 Kia Stinger GT rear seat

A little noise shouldn’t be a big deal. Turn up the stereo, right? Plus, it’s a driver’s car first. But people who spend $48,000 on a four-door aren’t always hitting the track or the twisties. Occasionally, those drivers might need to drive the boss, a client, or a future father-in-law, and little things like squeaks can make a negative impression.

2018 Kia Stinger GT gauges

The 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 isn’t the most refined-sounding engine, either, though I dig the growl under throttle. That rumble is ever-present even at idle, which alarmed my wife a bit when encountering the start-stop system. You see, she has a history of exploding engines in various beaters, and when the Kia shut down at a stoplight, she noticed, immediately assuming something was wrong when all went briefly quiet.

2018 Kia Stinger GT infotainment

The driving feel does its best to make up for the little noises, however. The steering does a nice job of communicating what the tires are doing, and the suspension is always willing to hustle around corners.

2018 Kia Stinger GT center stack

Managing Editor Tim Healey complained that there is an unusual degree of body roll in what is marketed as a sports sedan. I agree — the roll is unusual. However, the roll is accompanied by plenty of grip when driving aggressively. I can specifically think of another car that has both a good deal of body roll and great handling: the Miata. That’s good company to be in.

2018 Kia Stinger GT dashboard

365 hp is plenty to get the big sedan/hatch out of corners briskly and up to unprintable speeds surprisingly quickly. I love the midrange punch — twitching my toe to change lanes and overtake a slow-moving hybrid (yes, said hybrid was lounging in the left lane at twenty under the limit), I quickly found myself approaching triple digits.

Thankfully, the Brembo brakes worked as one would expect. On one, ahem, spirited drive on a favorite back road, I encountered a Grumman LLV postal vehicle coming at me, inexplicably left-of-center. Other than the usual sound and feel of ABS engaging, there was no drama from the car. Drama between myself and the possibly-stoned letter carrier is not in the scope of this review.

2018 Kia Stinger GT front

I’m not as thrilled with the eight-speed automatic transmission, however. It shifts imperceptibly when commuting, but it’s not tuned for driving fun. Even when the lever is canted left into the sport sector, shifts are lazy. Worse yet, even when trying to “manually” shift (via lever or column-mounted paddle), the Stinger will upshift for you before redline. A proper sporty slushbox should hold the gear on the limiter.

Another concern: the proximity sensors front and rear are hyperactive. Perhaps the sensors used are the same for other cars in the Kia lineup, calibrated for cars that ride higher than the somewhat low-slung Stinger, but they kept randomly alerting me to such serious dangers as speed bumps and leaves blowing across my path. PETA would be happy, however, as those sensitive bumper nubbins possibly saved the life of a neighborhood squirrel as I backed out of the drive one foggy morn.

2018 Kia Stinger GT rear

Perhaps the rodent was in awe of the Stinger. It’s an unusually attractive sedan — well, really, it’s a five-door hatchback, but it doesn’t really scream hatch when you look at it. It’s long, wide, and low, making the Stinger menacingly elegant. The nose is festooned with vents and scoops and swoopy headlamps, and a pair of hood vents add to the sporty look. But beyond the front wheels, it’s reserved, with a nice dark polished vent behind each front wheel arch exhausting hot air.

Inside, the optional red Nappa leather seats are a great contrast to the rental-car white exterior — I’ve always been a sucker for red leather. The seats are plenty comfortable, though the lower cushion on the driver’s seat is a bit short for me, leading to a bit of cramping on a long drive. Rear seat comfort is quite good, though headroom is a bit pinched for me due to the sloping roof of the hatch.

That hatch, however, is a brilliant feature, giving a sports sedan buyer who needs a bit more utility a great option rather than yet another crossover. Kia quotes 23.3 cubic feet of space behind those rear seats. While it’s not that much more than most competitive sedans, the option to haul taller stuff makes those cubes quite useful.

The 2018 Kia Stinger GT is a great attempt at breaking into the sports sedan market. It’s incredibly fun to drive, yet civilized enough to not punish while commuting. Still, some details need a bit of finishing. This pie remains underbaked.

2018 Kia Stinger GT grille

[Images: © 2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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79 Comments on “2018 Kia Stinger GT AWD Review – Icing On The Cake...”


  • avatar
    VW4motion

    I’ve heard the Stinger has a major issue with squeaks and noises in the cabin. Rear hatch seals are being replaced. $52,000 for a Kia with poor resale value that squeaks. No thank you.

    • 0 avatar
      mzr

      It is not just the Stinger, my Sedona is a creaking mess. Worse than my ’96 MPV. Even better yet, Kia won’t do a thing about it.

      • 0 avatar
        JLGOLDEN

        Summer of 2013: I bought a new 2014 Cadenza which had a creaking headliner/sun roof. This noise would occur when slowly driving over small pavement inclines, such as pulling into a slanted driveway…with just a little body flex. It seemed that adding some foam blocks between the headliner and roof structure would be a simple fix. The dealer and the local Kia zone rep verified the noise and refused to even *attempt* a repair. Disappointing. Conversely, my 2014 Sorento SX was flawless and rock solid.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Hey our ’89 and ’98 MPVs were rattle and creak free to the end! :P

    • 0 avatar
      Stung

      I’m 400 miles into a new Stinger GT2 (with a sunroof). Zero squeaks or rattles so far.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Shouldn’t someone with VW in their screen name feel at home in a car with squeaks and rattles?
      Anyway it’s a new car, that’s why you don’t buy them in their first year.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    Pontiac is still alive. just designed by a German in Frankfurt for a Korean automaker.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Yep.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It’s totally a Pontiac.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Thank you – exactly this. This is the G8 GT that could have been had Pontiac survived.

      365 HP? Huh, the L76 V8 in the G8 GT produced 1 HP less.

      More torque than HP? Yup that too, the L76 had more grumpf but not a huge difference.

      19/25 MPG – 17/24 in the G8 GT with a 6-speed auto, a couple of more cogs…

      Dimensions – ya do the comparison – they aren’t an exact match but you don’t have to squint.

      The squeaking sunroof as the body flexes over bumps? Hey, ask any G8 GT or GXP owner, I’ll wait.

      0 to 60 and quarter mile times – go look them up.

      Competent neutral chassis with excess body roll. Uh-huh.

      $48K as equipped loaded out – huh – the Chevy SS stickered for…when you adjusted for inflation on a $40,000 G8 GXP you come to about…$48,000.

      Even the instrument cluster, and damn close to the font for the analog portion of the gauges. Go look.

      Kia even perfected the paper thin paint treatment the G8 got.

      I’d love to see the internal demographic reports for the average Pontiac G8 GT/GXP buyer and the Kia Stinger buyer.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Actually, for awhile now I’ve seen Kia as being the sportier version of Hyundai. I don’t know how well these will sell; I just hope they will be reliable and well made.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I admit this car is growing on me. Saw one just last night, at dusk, that kinda fighter jet gray color, xenons, leds on. The long,low,wide definitely is right. It looked sporty, kinda snazzy, and kinda expensive. A nice touch 1) from a Kia and 2) when you realize it seems every sedan, even $70k bMW and Mercedes etc are all really pretty boring to look at.

    Not sure still something I’d buy (yes, the Kia name is still awful to me). Also, this seems to follow in the Hyundai/Kia tradition of being almost there but let down by bad suspension tuning, bad transmission performance,etc. Quality seems there but I do still think you get overall more “finished” vehicles from the more established companies.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The creaky sunroof is a normal Hyundai/Kia thing. I had that on my Sonata, and there was some fix where the dealer would put felt washers on the attachment points to stop the creaking.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Was this a GT a GT1 or a GT2?

    It looks like a GT2 interior but that looks GT shifter.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Did you try the different suspension settings? The GT1 has the adjustable suspension..

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Also, any word on the paint issues? 2018 had terrible problems with paint – all colors, if you look. Have they fixed the problem in 2019?

  • avatar
    gtem

    That shift knob looks awful IMO. Reminds me of something you’d find in a Hummer H2 or something else GM like in an early 2000s Pontiac (to continue that comparison). Literally anything else would look better.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      That’s why I asked my question above.

      The 4 cyl model and the base GT have a mechanical lever that pulls back through “dents” to select gears.

      The GT1/GT2 has a “joystick” that looks nothing like what is in the picture.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      They use a mushroom-head looking thing in the GT2.

      blogmedia.dealerfire.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/260/2017/04/2018-Kia-Stinger-shift-lever_o.jpg

      I actually like the “T-bar” shifter more. But I’ve owned a lot of GM cars in my day so YMMV.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Priced too high.

    $10,000 less and it’s tough to beat.

  • avatar
    EX35

    2 year old manual CPO Audi S4 6-speed or ATS-V for $38-40k seems like the better deal

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Both cars in a different class, they are much smaller (3-series sized).

      This is Audi A6, CTS, 5-series sized.

      • 0 avatar
        EX35

        A 2 year old CPO A6 3.0sc goes for about the same as an S4 (maybe a bit cheaper). I think I’d rather that than the stinger, but I haven’t driven the stinger, so I can’t say for sure. I have driven a G80 and I wasn’t very impressed. Surprisingly, the A6 appears fairly reliable per the Audi forums.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          A6 and A7 are two of my most favorite vehicles on the planet. Ya I know, the A7 is an overpriced A6 hatch but I love 5-door hatchbacks.

          I’m with you on buy something a couple of years used. It’s been a decade since I bought a “new” car and I’ll never look back. Quality is so high at this point and warranties are extended out so far that finding a 2 to 3 year old gently used model is easy, and typically saves a ton of money.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        I’d say more 4 Series GC and A5/S5 sized (the Stinger still being a little larger) and the 4 Series GC and A5/S5 have a pricing premium over their 4-door sedan counterparts.

  • avatar
    ajla

    This review lines up fairly well with my impressions as Stinger GT owner.

    Just some notes for those interested:
    0. I don’t have a sunroof, so fortunately that means no sunroof squeaks. Haven’t heard any noise from the hatch yet, but if I do I’ll comment on it. I probably have a more recent build date than a lot of these press cars so it is possible Kia has remedied it. Overall the Stinger feels screwed together better than my Charger and seems comparable to other things in the mid-$40K price class. If you’re interested in the car, I wouldn’t let it scare you away.

    1. No paint issues yet, but the night is young.

    2. I commented on this yesterday, but I don’t consider the 3.3T a “luxury car” engine at all and I’m very surprised Kia & Genesis do (even if they tone down the Stinger’s louder exhaust). NVH is closer to my supercharged 3800 than it is to my Northstar or even my pushrod 5.7L ‘Hemi’. A V6 can be a lot of fun, but a modern I6 or V8 almost universally delivers a more premium experience.

    3. The power hits hard down low and in the middle RPMs, but the party is over a little under 5000RPM.

    4. The stop/start system is ridiculously terrible, luckily it can be turned off.

    5. When using the paddle shifters in nonsport modes the car defaults back into ‘drive’ in like 3 seconds. I don’t like that.

    6. The rear-view mirror doesn’t have a lot of adjustable range. I think this could be an issue for the taller folks (like over 6’2″) out there.

    7. The overall performance (acceleration/handling/braking) is a noticeable degree better than in my Charger R/T.

    8. Discounts are easily available so don’t get too hung up on the sticker price.

    9. Flat-bottom steering wheels are kind of gimmicky.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I’m conflicted on this car. Love it’s looks in and out, have heard it drives nicely – although calling it a grand touring car seems like a backhanded compliment every time it’s uttered.

    This is a $50k car that has known issues with squeaks?

    That’s the one thing that would drive me nuts. If a $23k Civic is squeak free, why can’t a Kia that’s double the price pull off that parlor trick, too?

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I test drove a couple when they first came out. My impression is the same as the sundry Genesis cars – they will impress a Camry driver, but not someone used to German cars. $10-15K cheaper than the real thing, which makes them kind of a bargain, but they will NEVER let you forget it.

    But having to buy one and have it serviced at the execrable local KIA dealer – absolute deal killer, right there. But currently they will throw in a pair of kayaks with the purchase of the car! And last month, a cruise!

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      The new Camry IS impressive. If it’s a step above that, I’m very interested. Plus ze Germans keep proving they have zero interest in longevity beyond the warranty period, especially BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Yeah, I think longevity is the niche the Koreans need to fill in the luxury market. German cars are designed to make it through the lease period. There’s a reason you don’t see any 2008 Audis still on the road. A H/K product has to last to attract and keep customers.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      @ krhodes

      In our small local Canadian market far away from big cities, my Kia dealer acts as if the Stinger were a treasure chest of Spanish doubloons from the conquistador era. No discount. They only ever order them in one at a time and presume their customers have no internet. Screw that.

      So I went to the Genesis outfit and drove a G70 2.0t Elite. Nothing but tire noise, so wretchedly obvious it was a hoot. The car is inert, tramlines on crowned roads, and if I tried to describe the weird automatic’s behaviour, it would run into next week. I also wrenched my ankle getting out of the back seat when my foot got stuck beyween B-pillar and driver’s seat – not a Stinger problem. So it’s nicely-made pabulum, not up to the hype of “sporting”. Perhaps the growling V6 drowns out the tire noise, who knows? Not motivated to even find out.

      So I agree with you, this is not a reasonable facsimile of even the Audi A3 2.0t AWD, which is far more alert, emits actual sporty vibes, and suppresses tire noise. The G70 will whip around corners, but YOU have to make it do it; the car is not alert or eager. It’s a lump.

      Frankly, I much prefer the Mazda6 turbo. It’s alert and quieter. Drove one right after the G70 at the dealer next door while I was still shaking my head over the G70 “experience”. Perhaps one day Korea will major in actual feel rather than in features and reliability. But not yet, to my mind. Still, most people buy on looks and rationalize the rest. That’s how crossovers got popular, Moms wanted to peer down at the road from a great height, and anything else was secondary.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the Stinger is what Internet Car People claim everyone wants, but no one actually buys.

      the Ford Flex sells better than the Stinger. Think about that.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        I would buy one were it not for two issue that are a deal breaker on their own. The engine noise pumped into the cabin and the obelisk sticking out of the dash. Nearly everyone else can incorporate the screen in an elegant fashion.

        It is a handsome car on the outside but you have to live inside the cabin.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Stinger and Genesis G70 are a far cry from a Camry or for that matter, Lexus.

      According to the early reviews of the “new” K900, it is more fun on the corners than either the G90 or G80 and that’s even w/ non-grippy rubber.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    In my opinion, after all the hype, this is just an equal to the last Ford SHO.
    Would like anybody to show me what this car does better than the SHO.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Stock to stock the Stinger accelerates faster. I will gladly do $1,000 quarter mile runs against any stock Taurus.

      The 3.3T also sounds a lot better than the Ecoboost IMO.

      The biggest win the Stinger has over the SHO for me though is the availability of RWD. This is also why I got the Dodge even though it was slower than the Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      The SHO’s only merit was straight line speed, and in stock form, even that wasn’t THAT quick (tuning the Ecoboost makes it a different story). It’s a just a fat huge old thing. Taurus is best enjoyed as a cushy depreciated pleasure cruiser in SEL/Limited trim IMO, not as a performance car. The Fusion Sport is a much more interesting proposition IMO (likewise in heavily discounted form).

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Well, the Stinger won’t make you look like you’re driving a 10-year old Taurus. Honestly, I just went to Ford’s website to confirm that the SHO was still available. I had no idea.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      Hatch!

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Glad to see a realistic review that calls this thing out for the steamer it is.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    This car looks a lot better from the rear with the simple “Stinger” script across the lid, rather than the four different badges I count on this car.

    Any word on how this car’s all-wheel drive system affects driving? Seems like an unnecessary option when the RWD model is $2K less.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    “I can specifically think of another car that has both a good deal of body roll and great handling: the Miata. That’s good company to be in.”

    The Miata rolls a lot because as a roadster it doesn’t have the rigidity of a closed car, and so the roll stiffness and spring rates are dialed down so it won’t beat itself to deal and become a flexy-flier. Also the Miata starts with a way lower roll center, so that the actual amount of body movement with a given body angle is less.

    Not a good comparison, for those reasons and others.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The SS sedan just left American shores and it had a V8, two transmission options, magnetic shocks, 4 wheel Brembo, excellent build quality and no squeeks for under $50k

    Who does this Kia POS sell to? Around 50k for some lowly V6 on a value brand, styling that made the Commodore look wild, and autotragic only. I can see it maybe selling for $35k to a few people that aren’t car enthusiasts but $40+ for this is ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      EX35

      It was a damn shame Chevy stopped selling the SS. The cost for used examples are ridiculously high. People obviously value them. The stinger seems like a poor substitute.

      • 0 avatar
        EX35

        Also, after riding in a new mustang with magnetic shocks, I will not plunk down more than $45k on a performance car without them.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I maintain that Ford would be well served to build a SS sized sedan with an entire lineup of engines from snoozing to outright crazy and market it as their only non-mustang car using all Mustang drivetrain parts.. If they put all their mainstream car efforts into one sedan that can do everything I believe that not having a full lineup of cars would be okay.

          Basically they need a new Falcon, and it would be a hard argument to say that between the US and AU market that they wouldn’t be able to kill it.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Chevy stopped selling the SS because it wasn’t selling.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          This. The whole fullsize car segment is dying. FCA has announced the death of the 300. It looks like when it comes to 4-doors and RWD the Charger is going to be darn close to the last man standing. With no replacement platform in sight…

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          GM announced the death of the Commodore before it was brought to our shores, furthermore with 0 advertisement and no autoshow appearances – to this day the majority of the people in this country have no idea it exists.
          BTW it exceeded original sales expectations.

          Kia on the other hand has hyped the Stinger like it’s the second coming.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Those are some sharp words from someone that also bought a 2WD 4Runner.

      It’s still RWD, it’s still runs a 13.0 second quarter mile time, it is still not a CUV, and mine was bought for under $35K. It isn’t perfect, but for 2018 there’s some good attributes on offer here so I don’t see the need for such ire.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I’m not really sure what your getting at with the 4Runner. I have more off-road vehicles than you can shake a stick at. The 4Runner is nothing more than a modern BOF car to me, except in the most reliable form made. It’s only purpose is to go up and down the street and maybe tow some. If Automakers could build a proper BOF, RWD, high(er) displacement 6 or 8 cylinder engine with super reliability in a traditional sedan for $30k I would have given that consideration. As is now the entire field of comfy, cheap cruisers that are proper wheel drive, and not severely cost cut with tiny engines are extremely limited to almost non existent.

        The ire for the Stinger is simple, Kia has a V8 under the roof, they have a manual transmission under the roof, combine those two and replace the V6. Super simple equation that would make this car 10x more appealing in both Australia and America. There’s nothing stopping it. The car is built in South Korea, still considered by many to be a place where low cost cars are built. The SS was built in Australia – one of the most expensive places to build cars.

        So again why is it that a V8 Aussie car with better build quality, a heritage of making performance sedans, amazing resale value can be shipped half way around the world, further even than the Kia and sell for $50k; yet the Kia with rattles the dealers accept as normal, a heritage Kia wishes the entire world would forget, and depreciation that rivals a boulder being rolled down the side of Mt. Everest also tries to sell at $50k and over for certain trims?

        Everyone with a Kia or Hyundai tries to make excuses for their choices but resale continues to provide a light on the quality issues. And even if that wasn’t an issue the fact that they make nothing particularly unique just adds fuel to that fire.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          My point with the line was that your “it needs a V8” purity test is similar to the “it needs 4WD” purity test that some others employ on mid-size SUVs.

          I’ve owned more V8 vehicles than you can “shake a stick at”, including sharing space right now with the Stinger, but I think you’re incorrect here.

          I actually *agree* a 5.0L Stinger would be better than the 3.3T version (I’m not really interested in a manual transmission option, YMMV there), but I disagree with the conclusion that the current Stinger is a trash car just for using a V6 because there are several redeemable and fun aspects here.

          As far the SS goes, that was an awesome car and you are lucky to own one. But, it is discontinued now and replaced by a FWD-based Opel. Your comment makes it sound like you can still go down to the Chevy dealer and pick one up new for $35K when that is very much not the case.

          For excuses, “the price was nice” seems like a good one. Everyone is focused on the full-whack $51k versions when the reality is you can get the same performance as those for high-trim Camcord money as long as you’re willing to forgo some luxury and tech.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @Hummer,

            I love my SS and would buy another if it was still available. But with 17k miles, mine already has rattles and loose/broken trim pieces. To me, it’s the price to pay for a well rounded performance vehicle at a reasonable cost. I wish the Stinger had a V8 too. But compared to other sports sedans it seems to be a good value to me.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Your paying a lot of money for a platform that has a limited range to build on. The point is it has been overhyped and it underdelivers. I think it’s a fantastic entry level performance car, but it simply has no place being priced where it is. As far as brand quality to brand product comparison goes, I would say a charger while maybe not as nimble, would be the closest current comparison. The issue is that a scat pack 392 is selling in the same range as the biggest engine on the stinger. Forget the 5.7 hemi which is priced closer to the base engine on the Stinger.
            What exactly are you getting for your money?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Jack the difference is dealer response to issues, I had to take my first H2 into the dealership twice under warranty to fix rattles, no questions asked they fixed the rattles and I haven’t had a rattle since. Kia response is that it’s accepted and essentially expected under normal use. Big difference.

            You can simply take your car in if you have a rattle and they should fix it no questions asked. Which is what I would expect from any dealership.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I guess “a lot of money” depends on perspective. The Stinger was under my anticipated budget so I’m fairly happy with the price paid. Other than the cylinder count, I don’t see what I’m missing out on.

            I’ve already owned a V8 Charger. It was an entertaining, if shoddily-constructed car. I’ll be surprised if my Dodge proves to be more robust than the Kia but we’ll see. If I’d never owned an V8 LX car in the past, I’d probably have bought one this time but I wanted to get something with a little bit more “sport” and I was interested in what the Kia ownership experience would be like.

            If my Stinger ends up being a rattle-box basket case and the dealer denies or ignores every claim I make then I’m fortunate enough to be able to dump it and buy something else. Obviously that isn’t the case for everyone.

            It’s unfortunate you don’t like the car because I think there is more good than bad on offer here, but I’d rather live in a world of Stingers than see it killed off and replaced by a Sportage GT or something.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Reminds me of the Fisker Karma, another car whose looks I don’t like. And I have 2 Kias in my driveway.

  • avatar
    EX35

    my biggest issue when I owned a Hyundai (Elantra) years back was getting them to honor their warranty. I had to fight EVERY DAMN TIME for the dealer to agree to fix things that were obviously covered. I don’t know if they have changed their attitude, but I have never experienced this w/ any other manufacturer. It’s that reason alone that I won’t own another H/K car.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Of the 5 H/K cars I’ve owned, 3 were still under warranty. But only once did I have an actual warranty claim, and it was honored without a problem.

      I suspect YMMV when it comes to dealer experience. Mine was excellent.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I drove one. Liked the drive, but it just looks wierd and honestly, kinda like it spun out in the Pep Boys accessory aisle. I have hope for the Hyundai version.

  • avatar
    z9

    I spent some quality time in a Kia showroom recently and had an opportunity to look at a yellow example of one of these cars (paint looked OK so far). I like the fact that it is a hatchback in the A7 style, but I can’t imagine who would prefer it to an A7. It’s a car that catches your eye and then makes you feel bad for having looked at it. I guess that’s kind of an accomplishment. I felt the same way about the 1974 AMC Matador, which might be the Stinger’s original inspiration.

  • avatar

    I have a friend who bought one of these in red. Beautiful! He usually buys American cars so I was surprised he went with the KIA. He was impressed with the car and wanted a V6, not a HEMI this time.
    I looked it over and was very impressed with the car. I didnt have time to drive it as of yet…but look forward to it.

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