2018 Stinger Photos

2018 Kia Stinger

They call the 2018 Kia Stinger a GT. It's powerful and sleek with a low-slung seating position, quick steering and, even with all-wheel drive, a tail-happy nature. It looks killer in red. And with its V6-powered engine, the letters GT are even festooned upon its liftgate. Well, that's nice, but how does it actually deliver on the grand-tourer formula of rapid, comfortable and stylish transportation? Well, to find out, I put the Stinger GT to a grand-touring test. Starting in the western Rockies and the remote ski town of Crested Butte, Colo., my destination would be home in Portland, Ore. The Google-suggested way is 18 hours on mostly Interstates 70, 15 and 84. However, interstates are boring and are better suited to a perfectly capable but utterly soulless family transportation appliance. A proper grand tour should include two-lane highways and scenic detours, so that's exactly what I'd do. It would add hours and miles, but also, most hopefully, a vastly more memorable experience. Well, as my photos will attest, the scenery didn't disappoint. And, as you'll see in the videos, neither did the Stinger. Episode 1: Setting Off Episode 2: It's a hatchback! Crested Butte, Colo., to Moab, Utah Crested Butte is way off the beaten path, a charming mountain village deep in the western Colorado Rockies mostly free from the usual uber-commercial, Disney-like feel of ritzier, easier-accessed ski towns. Its main street thoroughfare, authentically Western rather than engineered to be so, is surrounded by scattered subdivisions and majestic mountains beyond. It had been buried in 9 feet of snow just a few weeks prior. The local citizenry didn't seem particularly bothered by that. Though most of that 9 feet had melted, the ground was still very much white, requiring the Stinger GT to shed its usual summer rubber in favor of Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 winter tires. These are specifically intended for performance car applications like the Stinger, sacrificing just a smidge of icy traction in favor of superior handling and steering feel when on dry pavement. There's no need to delay the verdict here: after 1,400 miles, the Stinger felt just as generally compelling and dynamic on the Alpins as when I drove it last November in Southern California on summer tires. The other half of the Stinger's snow defense is the GT's optional all-wheel-drive system, which adds $2,000 to its price tag (as-tested $52,300). Developed in-house by Hyundai/Kia, it is a performance-oriented, rear-biased system comparable to others produced by luxury makers like Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. In normal "Comfort" mode, the typical torque split is 40/60 front/rear, while switching the car into "Sport" results in a 20/80 split. It can send as much as 100 percent rearward if necessary, while the brakes pinch the inside wheels to create torque-vectoring lite. The stability control is also tempered while in Sport. The result is a car that maintains a rear-drive feel, which is great, because it would be a real shame to introduce a bunch of understeer into such an …
Full Review
They call the 2018 Kia Stinger a GT. It's powerful and sleek with a low-slung seating position, quick steering and, even with all-wheel drive, a tail-happy nature. It looks killer in red. And with its V6-powered engine, the letters GT are even festooned upon its liftgate. Well, that's nice, but how does it actually deliver on the grand-tourer formula of rapid, comfortable and stylish transportation? Well, to find out, I put the Stinger GT to a grand-touring test. Starting in the western Rockies and the remote ski town of Crested Butte, Colo., my destination would be home in Portland, Ore. The Google-suggested way is 18 hours on mostly Interstates 70, 15 and 84. However, interstates are boring and are better suited to a perfectly capable but utterly soulless family transportation appliance. A proper grand tour should include two-lane highways and scenic detours, so that's exactly what I'd do. It would add hours and miles, but also, most hopefully, a vastly more memorable experience. Well, as my photos will attest, the scenery didn't disappoint. And, as you'll see in the videos, neither did the Stinger. Episode 1: Setting Off Episode 2: It's a hatchback! Crested Butte, Colo., to Moab, Utah Crested Butte is way off the beaten path, a charming mountain village deep in the western Colorado Rockies mostly free from the usual uber-commercial, Disney-like feel of ritzier, easier-accessed ski towns. Its main street thoroughfare, authentically Western rather than engineered to be so, is surrounded by scattered subdivisions and majestic mountains beyond. It had been buried in 9 feet of snow just a few weeks prior. The local citizenry didn't seem particularly bothered by that. Though most of that 9 feet had melted, the ground was still very much white, requiring the Stinger GT to shed its usual summer rubber in favor of Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 winter tires. These are specifically intended for performance car applications like the Stinger, sacrificing just a smidge of icy traction in favor of superior handling and steering feel when on dry pavement. There's no need to delay the verdict here: after 1,400 miles, the Stinger felt just as generally compelling and dynamic on the Alpins as when I drove it last November in Southern California on summer tires. The other half of the Stinger's snow defense is the GT's optional all-wheel-drive system, which adds $2,000 to its price tag (as-tested $52,300). Developed in-house by Hyundai/Kia, it is a performance-oriented, rear-biased system comparable to others produced by luxury makers like Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. In normal "Comfort" mode, the typical torque split is 40/60 front/rear, while switching the car into "Sport" results in a 20/80 split. It can send as much as 100 percent rearward if necessary, while the brakes pinch the inside wheels to create torque-vectoring lite. The stability control is also tempered while in Sport. The result is a car that maintains a rear-drive feel, which is great, because it would be a real shame to introduce a bunch of understeer into such an …
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Retail Price

$31,900 - $51,400
MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

$1,883
Avg. savings off MSRP
Engine 2.0LI-4
MPG 22 City / 29 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 8-spd w/OD
Power 255 @ 6200 rpm
Drivetrain rear-wheel
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