The Stinger is Kia Motors’ most bold and ambitious product ever. It’s positioned above the Optima due to its greater power, suspension and sleek, modern design – compliments of Peter Schreyer. It’s also loaded with the latest driver aid technologies like automated braking, lane keep assist, head up display and adaptive cruise control. For audiophiles, you can get a 15 speaker Harman Kardon stereo system as well!
The Infiniti Q50 is designed artfully with a muscular body. However, its performance doesn’t quite match it’s aggressive exterior. Having said that, the Q50 has almost the same features as the Stinger with adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking and a loaded infotainment system.
Unlike most production cars, the Stinger closely resembles the concept car which first debuted in 2011. Its stance is wide and low with a sleek roofline – complementing the aggressive grille at the front. The Stinger stands out no matter where you go – especially at night when it puts on a very nice light show.
The Q50, on the other hand, has a much leaner body compared to the Stinger. The design is very attractive and unique – as Infiniti’s design team doesn’t often mimic other brand’s designs. The original M45 is a great example of how Infiniti likes to be unique.
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. The Q50 stretches 189 inches long, 71 inches wide (without mirrors) and stands 57 inches tall. The Stinger’s standard Continental tires are better apt at handling sharp turns due to a lower 45 height to width ratio than the Infiniti’s 55 series. While the Stinger comes with 18 inch alloys as standard, the Q50 uses 17 inch wheels.
As soon as you enter the Stinger, you find a room, specious, and well-appointed atmosphere. Being a Grand Tourer, the Stinger offers a comfortable and compliant ride. While the Q50 is almost the same length as the Stinger, it doesn’t translate into the same amount of passenger and cargo space. The Stinger has 2.3 inches more front hip room, 3.6 inches more rear hip room and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Q50.
The hatchback of the Stinger is significantly larger with 23.3 cubic feet of room as compared to the 13.2 and 13.5 cubic feet available in the Q50’s trunk. If this isn’t enough, the power trunk of the former can be opened and closed at the press of a button, a hands free convenience not available in the Infiniti. Also, foldable rear seats come standard in the Kia while Infiniti offers this only in their top line trim.
While the Stinger offers heated and ventilated leather front seats, the Q50 does not – to many luxury buyer’s disappointment. The same goes for a standard heated steering wheel in the Kia – something you need to pay extra for in the Infiniti.
Engine & Performance
The Kia Stinger is available in three trims with two engines. The base and premium trims run on a 2.0 L turbo inline four cylinder pumping out 255 hp. These figures take on the likes of BMW, Audi and Lexus as it launches to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds. 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 the all-wheel-drive cars in the segment. This one reaches 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds.
The Infiniti Q50 is available with four different engines, including a hybrid version. The base 2.0 L turbo inline four cylinder is in direct competition with Kia’s standard engine – though it’s not as powerful with only 208 horsepower. The 3.0 L V6 turbo churns out 300 horsepower, while the 3.5 L DOHC hybrid has 360 horsepower. The Q50 Red Sport 400 offers a twin turbo 3.0 liter V6 with 400 horsepower and 350 pound feet of torque – which is a direct competitor to the Stinger GT. In twin turbo form, the Q50 can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. All Q50s are available with rear or all wheel drive.
Kia Stinger’s acceleration is pretty smooth while the steering effort is moderate. Driving in Sport mode makes the car feel more energetic and powerful. Thanks to an excellent suspension designed by the same people who make BMW’s M division vehicles, the Stinger is highly responsive as soon as you move the steering wheel. And the tires never feel like they’re leaving the road, which is welcome and inspires confidence. But the primary mission of the Stinger is to keep it’s passengers comfortable – so even when the dampers are in sport mode, there’s a little body roll. Having said that, the Stinger GT has amazing handling characteristics and is lots of fun to drive around tight corners.
An advantage of the Q50 is it’s small turning radius – which helps a driver maneuver through tight turns very easily – and light steering adds to the smoothness in such situations.
The brakes of the Stinger are gradual and not grabby, which is good for bumper to bumper traffic. While at high speeds, the brakes need a little more effort to bring the car to a sudden stop. This is however made up for with stickier summer tires. While a Stinger GT running at 65 miles per hour comes to a stop in 164 feet, the top end trim of the Q50 takes 170 feet of braking distance at the same speed.
When it comes to exterior design, both the Stinger and Q50 are unique, exceptional, eye catching automobiles. However, Kia offers much more space, comfort and power compared to its Infiniti rival. The interiors of the car are comfortable and refined with a 8.0 inch touchscreen available as standard. Considering such amazing features, it would be wise if buyers once take a look at the Stinger before moving on to other expensive brands.