Sporty driving dynamics impress
Stinger is one of the most surprising cars of the year
You need to drive this car (and drive it hard) to get that the 2018 Stinger delivers on its promise to surprise you. Maybe the novelty of doing tire-shredding drifts with a Kia is still new, but the car displayed a pure and tactile feeling that is increasingly rare.
Much of that feel comes down to the hydraulic steering setup, which is perfectly weighted. The steering on the Stinger is sportier than the steering in the new Porsche Panamera.
The GT model is the only Stinger available in Canada, meaning the V6 and AWD will come standard and RWD will not be offered. The twin-turbo V6 GT model is the much more exciting option anyway.
The V6 has a ton of hustle and puts down power in a smooth and linear manner with only a whisper of turbo lag. The eight-speed transmission doesn’t harshly slam into gear and also doesn’t suffer from the slow-speed issues that dualclutch transmissions do.
The suspension is also a thing of beauty. Chucked into a tight corner, the car stays nice and flat, but driven over rough roads, it also doesn’t beat you up. And Brembo brakes are standard on GT models.
Inside, almost every touch point feels high-end. The dashboard and center stack have logical layouts and everything is where you’d expect it to be.
As far as tech and driver assistance features go, the adaptive cruise control would benefit from being smoother, but it was appreciated that it works in stop-and-go traffic.
Some other available features include adaptive highbeams, bending headlights, a top-down 360-degree parking camera, blind spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic monitoring, forward collision avoidance, lane-keep assist, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel and more. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are part of the package, but Kia’s infotainment system is quick and user-friendly.
The comfortable and supportive front seats have adjustable bolstering and the rear seats are roomy with plenty of leg and head room. The trunk is massive with 660 litres of space with seats up and 1158 with seats down.
Practical, legitimately sporty, comfortable, and luxurious, the Kia Stinger is loaded with tech and features, and looks every bit as dramatic and stylish as a rear-drive car should.