The 2018 Kia Stinger
The extremely crowded midsize four-door sedan segment just got a new competitor, and it comes from, unusually, Korea. It’s no secret Kia has slowly evolved into one of the top manufacturers in the last decade or so. This once “cheap” alternative manufacturer is now a top contender, up there with Japan, America and Europe’s finest. Their latest edition to the lineup, dubbed the Stinger, is a four-door midsize sedan with a sporty twist. It’s aimed squarely at the likes of Audi’s A5 Sportback, BMW’s 4-Series Gran Coupe and even the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, but one has to wonder if this newcomer can compete with the already established line of rivals.
Well, if looks are any indication, we’d say yes. Although the unmistakable Kia DNA is still there, there’s something extremely appealing and charismatic about the Stinger. The elongated hood with the sloping roofline gives it a sporty silhouette, and the chopped off rear end is just the proverbial cherry on top. There’s no two ways about it, this is a handsome brute. It’s not as elegant as the Giulia or as understated as the A5 Sportback, but then again, it’s not trying to be. It’s a bold design, something which evokes a response. If you told us Kia would be churning out something that looked like this just a few years ago, we’d have laughed at it and quickly dismissed the statement. They have though, and to say it’s gorgeous would be an understatement. The name isn’t too bad either: Stinger. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
The Stinger is the first model of Kia’s luxury car line-up loaded with Kia’s design capabilities and R&D expertise. The new model is powered by a 3.3 turbo gasoline engine, a 2.0 turbo gasoline engine or a 2.2 diesel engine. The 3.3 turbo gasoline model has best-in-class power with a maximum output of 370 horsepower and a maximum torque of 52.0 kgf•m. The combined fuel economy is 8.8km per liter (ℓ) according to combined fuel consumption standards announced jointly with the government. The 3.3 turbo gasoline model reaches 100 km/h in only 4.9 seconds after departure. The 2.0 turbo petrol model has a maximum output of 255 horsepower and a maximum torque of 36.0 kgf•m. Its combined fuel efficiency is 10.4km per liter. The 2.2 diesel model has a maximum output of 202 horsepower and a maximum torque of 45.0 kgf•m. Its combined fuel economy is 14.8km per liter.
The Stinger delivers smooth speed change and the highest level of transmission efficiency in its class as the model is equipped with a second-generation rear-wheel eight-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle also features braking performance that can match explosive driving performance. ‘Brake cooling holes’ (an air guide that facilitates air inflow to the undercover for cooling the brakes while driving) were applied to the Stinger’s brakes, further raising its brake disc cooling rate. In addition to its powerful driving performance, the Stinger has a variety of features to support dynamic driving including five driving modes (sport, comfort, eco, smart and custom), active engine sounds, and a launch control.
The Stinger gives customers more options — the Lexicon Premium Package that includes Lexicon speakers with excellent sound reproduction capabilities, the electronic control suspension (ECS) system, Brembo brakes and a hood garnish and the Drive Wise Package consisting of the highway driving assistant (HDA) system, the Front Collision Warning (FCW) system, and the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) among others.