With the Stinger, Kia has improved its focus on the overall performance of its product. The aggressively styled sedan is a step forward for the South Korean carmaker as it takes on the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes. The Stinger shares its some of its dimensions with the Kia Optima – but is positioned above the latter due to its greater power, suspension and a more sleek and modern design – thanks to the Gregory Guillaume and Peter Schreyer.
It has a wonderfully sculpted design, fastback proportions and comfortable, luxurious, roomy interior. The engine is powerful and the drive is spirited. According to most of the automotive experts across the globe, the design team of Kia Motors has done a superb job in rolling out the perfect car to take on its European rivals. Striking a perfect balance between power and refinement, Kia’s engineers have done an exceptional job in taking on the likes of the high-end Germany automobile companies. The result of this is a finely tuned Stinger with a perfect blend of comfort, aggressive styling and impressive power.
The BMW 6 Series is available in various body styles including coupe, cabriolet and grand coupe. However, we will consider the 640i GT or the Gran Coupe, which is luxurious, large – and not a sports coupe despite being a sports car. In the last two model years, little has changed for the BMW. But how does it shine when pitched against a threatening rival that is punching far above its weight?
The Stinger’s stance is wide and low with a sleek roofline complementing the aggressive front fascia. There’s no question about it – the car stands out – night and day. What’s more, stretching 190 inches long, standing at 55 inches and with a width of 77 inches (excluding mirrors), the Stinger is much larger than most of the cars in its segment. Additionally, the 18 inch alloys shod in 225/45 R18 and suspended at front axle on MacPhersons add more substance to the Stinger’s design. It’s safe to say that the Stinger turns plenty of heads thanks to its unique beauty.
At the front is Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille that catches the attention of any onlooker and is smartly flanked by headlights that just run over to the body work.
Along with vertical side vents, the large central air dam adds much needed substance to the face of the vehicle. The air vents at the side are surprisingly functional, marrying practicality and good looks.
The 640i has a profile incorporating four doors as a “four door coupe”, making it one of BMW‘s most aesthetically pleasing cars in recent years. Despite adding over 4 inches to its wheelbase, the car manages to retain its elegance of a four door coupe rather than appearing as a low wheel base saloon.
The front and rear seats are both comfortable and roomy, however due to the low stance – the Stinger offers better legroom than headroom. The front seats and steering rack are electrically adjustable while the 8 inch touchscreen on the dashboard is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It incorporates satellite navigation, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity and is highly responsive with negligible lag.
The Stinger’s hatch back isn’t quite as spacious as the BMWs but there’s more than enough room in the sedan to carry sufficient weekend luggage for a family of five.
Stepping inside the BMW 6 Series, there’s little to complain about as even the base trims get leather upholstery standard on seat covers, dashboards and doors. The plush interior does scale up the price of the car compared to the Stinger.
Front and rear visibility is decent while handy parking sensors come standard. The controls are easily accessible from the driver’s seat while a 10.2 inch infotainment screen handles bluetooth, radio and navigation. While Android Auto is standard, you have to shell out extra for Apple CarPlay support. Although there’s plenty of room up front, tall people won’t want to sit in the back for too long as headroom is lacking – a familiar problem for four door coupes.
Engine & Performance
The base and premium trims of the Stinger run on a 2.0 L turbo inline four cylinder pumping 255 hp. The top end Kia Stinger GT has a 365-hp twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 at its heart and is one of the quickest models in the case of all-wheel-drive cars of the segment.
At the base of the BMW 6 Series is a pair of turbocharged six cylinder engines – the 640i churning 320 hp, and a diesel 640d diesel option. Moving up is the 650i with twin turbocharged 4.4 L V8 pumping out 444 hp. If that’s not enough, there is the M6 which makes 552 hp – but Kia doesn’t have a Stinger to compete on that level – yet…
A testing by an independent company AMCI pitched the Stinger GT against the BMW 640i and also threw in the Porsche Panamera for good measure. Racing from 0-60 mph, the Stinger GT took 4.6 seconds while the 640i took 5.18 seconds. The Panamera also took 5.14 seconds. The cornering G-Force of the Stinger GT was also higher than the BMW (1.024 vs 0.966). With better Slalom (62.8 vs 59.6) and Closed Course performance (45.70 vs 47.78) for the Stinger GT, it is easy to see which is the better performer here.
To note, the BMW 650i hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. But that may not be the fairest comparison considering the BMW uses two more cylinders…
What really makes this competition unique is the price difference between the Kia Stinger and BMW 6 series. It’s fair to say the only place where BMW beats Kia is inside the car – where quality is marginally better. Unless you move up to the much pricier 650i or M6, anyway…
Even a test by an independent agency shows that the Stinger is an overall more powerful and better performer than the 640i, all that at a significantly lower price…