2018 KIA STINGER GT
Kia takes a lot of guff for not having the best brand image, and although that was once true, it can’t be for much longer. Why? Because Kia builds great cars in every segment it enters. Case in point, the brand’s first shot at a rear-drive sport sedan, the Stinger GT.
A 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 rated for 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque puts the Stinger GT in good stead with the likes of the BMW 340i and even the Mercedes-AMG C43. But the Stinger is considerably larger than either of those cars, most notably in the back seat, where you’ll find Porsche Panamera levels of space and comfort.
That, in a nutshell, is the glory and the oddity of the Stinger GT. A segment straddler, it’s neither a large sedan nor a midsizer, and it’s neither premium nor mainstream in its fit and finish. It’s somewhere in the center of the overlapping Venn diagram of all of these traits. And while that might mean it’s hard for some people to appreciate, it’s also what makes the Stinger GT so good for so many uses.
If you’re an enthusiast, it’s a no-brainer to opt for the reardrive model, as even with the standard paddle-shifted eightspeed automatic, the GT has no problem swinging the rear end around on throttle. “An incredibly tempting and well-priced offering that is legitimately fun to drive,” Morrison commented. If you’re more interested in a blazing-quick but safe and steady all-weather commute, the all-wheel-drive model delivers the goods while retaining a fair amount of reardrive character.
No matter what your style is, the Stinger GT is a fun car and an incredible value, and despite not being a final winner among this year’s stout competition, it absolutely deserves to be among them as an All-Stars contender. — Nelson Ireson
Letting Go of the Past
PRICE: $260,750/$352,680 (base/as tested) ENGINE:
3.9L DOHC 32-valve twin-turbo V-8/602 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 561 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm TRANSMISSION: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, RWD wagon EPA MILEAGE:
15/21 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H:
193.8 x 78.0 x 54.4 in WHEELBASE:
3.4 sec (est)
$38,350/$50,100 (base/as tested) ENGINE:
3.3L DOHC 24-valve twin-turbo V-6/365 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 376 lb-ft @ 1,300-4,500 rpm TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic LAYOUT:
4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, RWD sedan EPA MILEAGE:
19/25 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H:
190.2 x 73.6 x 55.1 in WHEELBASE:
4.7 sec (est)