It’s safe to say that Kia has come a really long way in a short amount of time. In the past decade, the brand has managed to do a complete 180 when it comes to public perception by modernizing its lineup and catching up with its Japanese rivals. And it goes without saying that Kia’s real transformation happened in the past couple of years with the arrival of the Telluride and the Stinger.
And while you can read almost any review of either of those models and learn about how great they are over and over again, we wondered what it’s like to live with them, more specifically, the Stinger.
Is the Kia Stinger worthy of all the praise?
The Kia Stinger is a mid-size sedan that has a powerful V6 engine, an all-wheel drivetrain, and bold styling to back it all up. According to Autoblog, the Stinger’s unique aesthetics do much in the way of garnering much attention from inquisitive onlookers and the “Kia badge just causes brows to furrow deeper.” Additionally, the Stinger’s fastback shape aids in making the car look even more “refreshingly different.”
And while bold styling really only gets a car so far, the real attraction is what’s on the inside of the Stinger. Step inside and you’ll be impressed by the car’s smooth interior soft-touch surfaces, leather upholstery, and simple, but effective interior layout. It’s not exactly a Lexus, but it’s definitely not a Kia Rondo either. So from an aesthetic standpoint alone, we can see why the Stinger gets so much praise. Although, according to Motor Authority, the rear seat is a little cramped, so don’t expect Lexus LS-sized dimensions.
What’s under the hood?
Under the hood of the Stinger GT is a 3.3-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine that pushes out 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque and is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission that transmits power to all four wheels. This equates to a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.6 seconds, according to Car and Driver’s testing, however, that performance is much better suited on the road than on the track because the shifts from the transmission aren’t as quick as they should be. Although, if you did take the Kia Stinger on a track with twisty, you could at least benefit from the 0.85 g it’s able to pull with the all-season tires.
Living with the Stinger
Looks and performance aside, the Kia Stinger is as practical as can be when it comes to daily duties. The clam-shell nature of the powered hatch provides ample loading room and there’s plenty of room for the front-seat occupants, including a near-perfect driving position for the one sitting in the left seat. However, rear-seat occupants might find the seating area to be a little cramped.
The Stinger is a good daily driver
Other factors that make the Kia Stinger a worthy buy are the comfortable ride (in Comfort Mode) and the premium Harmon Kardon sound system. But if you put the car in Sport mode, you can dial-in the fun and have a blast when it comes to carving up the back roads or zooming from stoplight to stoplight. Above all else, the Kia Stinger is sure to provide you with the comfort and sportiness that you wouldn’t expect from the brand.