Following the launch of the 2018 Rio and highly anticipated 2018 Stinger, Kia Motors America (KMA) has earned two more J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) awards for its stylish subcompact and its powerful fastback sports sedan. The double win helped increase Kia’s overall score by eight points since last year, while also securing the brand’s spot among the top 10 non-premium nameplates. The announcement follows Kia Motors being named the highest ranked mass market brand in J.D. Power Initial Quality Study for the fourth consecutive year1, with the Rio also capturing a win in the small car segment.
“Whether it be a practical commuter car for people just looking to get from point A to B, or a sports sedan with up to 365-horsepower for enthusiasts, we design every Kia with the customer in mind,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. “Earning a J.D. Power APEAL award for both the Rio and Stinger demonstrates the level of dedication we put on delivering a superior combination of the desirable features and attributes today’s savvy car buyers want from their vehicles.”
Completely redesigned for the 2018 model year, the Rio outshined the competition in the small car segment, being one of the only contenders to score the highest marks in overall performance and design, comfort, features, and style. The highest performing vehicle in Kia’s history, Stinger bested its more expensive European counterparts in the compact premium car segment.
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.
The fact that Kia decided to take on the largely established luxury sedan segment with the Stinger speaks volumes about the Korean carmaker’s ambitions. What’s more, it largely succeeds in doing this as the Stinger offers almost everything available in its German rivals and at a relatively cheaper price. Kia has come a long way in the past few years, especially shedding its image of making stylish hatchbacks and SUVs that lacked the performance figures to go head to head against its rivals. With the Stinger, Kia has improved its focus on the overall performance of its product and yet maintains its design’s unique selling proposition.
Meanwhile, the Audi A5 Sportback is very much like the A4 sedan but with a fastback roofline, a big boost in performance and some minor interior/exterior tweaks.
So does the Kia Stinger manage to hold its own against the A5 and S5 Sportbacks from Audi? Let’s have a look…
Kia has come a long way in the past few years, especially shedding its image of making stylish hatchbacks and CUVs that lacked the performance figures to go head to head against its rivals. With the Stinger, Kia has improved its focus on the overall performance of its product and yet maintains its design USP. The aggressively styled sedan is a step forward for the South Korean carmaker as it takes on the likes of BMW, Audi, Infiniti and other brands. The performance figures of the Stinger are sure to surprise you – but not as much as its modest price. Especially when you consider its German counterpart which is way above the Kia’s price bracket.
The BMW Gran Coupe 430i and 440i, on the other hand, complete the 4 series along with the Coupe and Convertible. While these have been traditionally a part of the 3 series, the upward naming is largely in response to Audi’s A5 range.
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