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Kia has been on a roll. The Korean automaker has stepped up its game in design, technology, and performance while retaining competitive pricing and a class-leading warranty. Unfortunately, not every model is a hit. Discover which model is lagging in Kia sales.

How are Kia sales going?

According to data on GoodCarBadCar, Kia sales are up 21 percent this year compared to the same period in 2022. That’s partly because of a more favorable supply chain situation than last year. It’s also likely because of the improving overall quality of the brand. Practical family haulers like the Carnival and Telluride and affordable options like the Forte and Sportage are driving growth for Kia.

The YTD sales growth is up 85 percent for the Carnival, 30 percent for the Sportage, 39 percent for the Forte, and 59 percent for the Seltos.

However, sales are down 11 percent for the worst-selling vehicle in the Kia lineup.

What is the worst-selling Kia model?

Unsurprisingly, the worst-selling Kia so far in 2023 is the Kia Stinger. Kia has confirmed that 2023 is the final model year for the Stinger sport sedan. Unlike the Dodge muscle cars, seeing a spike in sales because they’re going away, the Kia Stinger is quietly fading away.

The Kia Stinger was never intended to be a best-seller. It shocked enthusiasts when it came out for the 2018 model year as a muscular, stylish, upscale sedan. The GT model is a serious sport sedan with a 365-hp turbo V6.

So, why isn’t the Stinger selling very well? The Kia Stinger is mechanically similar to the Genesis G70, which is available with the same outstanding turbo V6 engine. In this price range, many buyers would rather have the panache of a luxury brand. Most people associate the Kia brand with value rather than performance or luxury.

The Kia Stinger is also being cannibalized by the Kia K5. The K5 is a sedan with FWD or AWD, and its starting price is more than $10,000 less than the Stinger. An enthusiast with refined tastes can see the reason for the price gap between the K5 and the Stinger, but for most shoppers, the K5 is a better buy. The Kia K5 even has a sporty GT model with 290 hp, and it’s still more affordable than the base Stinger.

Another obvious reason for the slow sales of the Stinger is the continuing decline of sedans as the market shifts its favor to SUVs.

Future classic?

Right now, the Kia Stinger is an affordable sport sedan on the new and used market. However, it was always surprising that the Kia Stinger GT made it to production rather than being a concept car. The idea of a Kia sport sedan that’s actually very good has always perplexed enthusiasts.

For these reasons, the Kia Stinger (specifically the GT models) could be considered a future classic. Its performance, style, and premium interior make it a genuine competitor to expensive German sport sedans while proudly wearing Kia badges. Today’s performance car bargain could be tomorrow’s sought-after classic.

Whatever the future holds for its reputation, we’ll miss the Kia Stinger.


Why the Kia Stinger Mattered, and Why We’ll Miss It