2019 Stinger New Car Test Drive
The Korean manufacturer Kia has been good at imitating BMW, and they do it again with the Kia Stinger, an all new model. It's a rear-wheel-drive compact/midsize vehicle that Kia considers a grand touring car to challenge the BMW 3 Series.
Technically it might be a hatchback, because the back opens like a hatch, but it's more of a fastback sedan, with a long hood and continental styling. Its performance is serious and its price low. It's powerful, practical, upscale, and fun to drive.
With a wheelbase of 114.4 inches and length of 190.2 inches, it's a bit bigger than the 3 Series, or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS or Audi A5 Sportback, all of which might be considered rivals. It's more the size of a Lexus GS sedan.
The base engine is 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder making a good 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. There's also GT model with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 making an attention-grabbing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet. Both engines are mated to a Kia-built 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. All-wheel drive is available.
The Stinger with its 2.0-liter engine and rear-wheel drive gets an EPA-rated 22 mpg City, 29 Highway, 25 Combined. The V6 is rated 19/25/21 mpg.
Standard safety features include seven airbags. The top model, GT2, comes standard with all safety features that are optional on the other models: forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitors, automatic high beams, driver attention alerts, lane-departure warnings, active lane control, and dynamic headlights that point into turns.
Kia Stinger comes in five models. Stinger and Stinger Premium use the four cylinder engine, while GT models use the V6. All-wheel drive is available on all models for an extra $2200.
Stinger ($31,900) comes standard with leather upholstery, 12-way power driver's seat with four-way power lumbar adjustment, 8-way power front passenger seat, heated front seats, tilt/telescoping heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, automatic headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, 7.0-inch touchscreen, AM/FM/HD satellite radio, six speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth, and Uvo eServices Telematics, which is a smartphone app that offers maintenance alerts, parking minders, roadside assistance, and individual points of interest; and hill-start assist, front and rear park assist, and rearview camera. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
Premium ($37,100) adds LED headlights and rear turn signals, sunroof, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 7.0-inch digital instrument panel display, electronic parking brake, memory for the driver's seat, steering wheel, and outside mirrors; 8.0-inch version of Uvo with navigation, and a 720-watt, 15-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with Clari-Fi that digitally expands compressed music and QuantumLogic Surround Sound.
Stinger GT ($38,350) is equipped like the base Stinger, adding among other things, aluminum pedals and scuff plates, a flat-bottom steering wheel, a nine-speaker audio system, and 19-inch wheels. GT 1 ($43,250) adds performance gauges in the instrument cluster, 8.0-inch version of Uvo with navigation, and the 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
GT2 ($49,200) comes with a limited-slip rear differential (RWD only), forward collision warnings with all the safety features, plus a head-up display, a smart opening rear hatch, auto-dimming outside mirrors, Nappa leather, ventilated front seats, and 16-way power front seats with four-way air-cell lumbar support, two way width-adjusting side bolsters, and seat extensions.