Long Term

2018 Kia Stinger GT Long-Term Review Update | What living with the Stinger is like

The Stinger GT is compelling in many different ways

2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • Image Credit: Reese Counts
  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2018 Kia Stinger GT front
  • 2018 Kia Stinger GT rear
  • 2018 Kia Stinger GT hood
  • 2018 Kia Stinger GT interior
  • 2018 Kia Stinger GT seats
  • Engine
    3.3L Twin-Turbo V6
  • Power
    365 HP / 376 LB-FT
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • 0-60 Time
    4.7 Seconds
  • Top Speed
    167 MPH
  • Drivetrain
    All-Wheel Drive
  • Engine Placement
  • Seating
  • MPG
    19 City / 25 Highway
  • Warranty
    5 Year / 60,000 Mile
  • Base Price
    $32,800 (Base 2.0T)
  • As Tested Price

You're going to like looking at it, and everyone else will too

Man, this car is slick. It's long and low with curves in all the right places. Kia toed the line between in-your-face sportiness and luxury with every design decision on this car. I don't often feel the urge to look back at a car as I walk away, but the Stinger has a way of drawing my eye back to it wherever I go. The bright red paint might be partially responsible for this, but I've found I'm not alone.

Everywhere I drive, this car turns heads and brings about inquisitive stares from onlookers — the Kia badge just causes brows to furrow deeper. Never in history have random passersby been this interested in a Kia. It makes sense, though. We don't often see completely new, from-the-ground-up sports sedans these days. The Stinger's fastback shape just makes it even more enticing and refreshingly different. Noticing the sidewalk interest in a car like the Stinger gives me a glimmer of hope for other great sedans to make it through the crossover-apocalypse.

Kia Stinger GT back seat

Big car, but a small back seat

The usable space in the rear seat runs counter to how long and large the car looks. First off, the way the door is shaped makes for a narrow space to slide your body through. It's wide on top but narrows closer to the ground. That's no problem for a young and limber person such as myself, but less flexible folk may find it annoying. With the seat positioned for my 5-foot-10-inch frame, rear legroom is a bit scarcer than I would have thought. Throwing kids back there would be fine, but it still came off as one of the larger disappointments in my book.

You'll enjoy the cargo space, though. Hatches are almost always more utilitarian than sedans with trunks, and this trend continues for the Stinger. Loading and unloading is an easy task, and you can shove a ton of stuff back there. Somewhat limited visibility through the short rear window from the driver seat is the only downside of the rear hatch design.

It has a dual personality

This car firmly plants itself onto the list of ideal daily drivers. Leave it in Comfort mode, turn the Harman Kardon stereo up, and relax on your way to the office. Twist the dial over to Sport, and you'll blow everybody else away getting on the highway as you head home. Like we said in our last long-term update, the Stinger is the perfect GT car, and we stand by that.

You can use it as a backroad scalpel on weekends. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say it handles like a sports car. It's damn good, and the Brembos hold up to a real beating ... but the heft and large footprint of the car hold it back just a bit on technical roads. This Stinger GT is AWD; perhaps the rear-wheel-drive version would provide that extra zing of fun I was wanting.

Kia Stinger key fob

The key fob deserves a shoutout

Not many key fobs are worth talking about, and if they are, it's normally only brought up for chastisement. The Stinger's key is arguably the coolest one out there. Its design and button placement make me feel like I'm hitting the trigger to activate an explosive device every time I lock the car. Making a fun, yet functional key like this one is a great example of Kia sweating the small stuff on this car. Why shouldn't a device you interact with on a daily basis be something that brings a smile to your face?

Fuel is cheap; you'll want it to stay that way

Our Stinger GT drinks premium fuel and gets mileage that corresponds with its 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. I managed to average just under 23 mpg on a highway road trip from Detroit to Buffalo. This was acceptable, but most of the time, our city commuting has resulted in numbers below the official EPA rating of 19 mpg. It's a quick car; you're going to want to put your foot in it. Just know you're going to be feeling some pain if and when fuel prices head north again.

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Kia Stinger Information

Kia Stinger

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