One of the auto industry’s biggest surprises this year has been the 2018 Kia Stinger. Kia has been working for years on how to expand upon its value-oriented market positioning, and the Stinger should be a great way to help change customer perceptions. The rear- or all-wheel drive five-door grand tourer carries either a 255-horsepower four-cylinder or a hearty 365-hp 3.3-liter V6. It also packs a ton of content and room into a pretty slick wrapper.
Kia has been nothing short of ambitious, inviting the media to compare its Stinger with far costlier European models from Audi, BMW, Lexus and even Porsche. Remarkably, it fares well by the numbers, but lacks some of the interior refinement and brand cachet of those cars. However, it’s still plenty nice, and it’s also worlds cheaper, starting at $31,900 and topping out in the mid-$50,000 range for a loaded GT2. With sharp handling, surprising cargo space and easy-to-use cabin tech, we honored the Stinger with our 2018 Roadshow Shift Vehicle of the Year Award.
Here at Roadshow, we're big fans of the Kia Stinger. We gave this shapely hatchback our 2018 Shift Award for Vehicle of the Year, and after spending a year with , we walked away .
What makes the Stinger so special? For starters, look at it. Then pop the hood and you'll find -- in the case of GT models, anyway -- a potent, turbocharged, six-cylinder engine. Even in its fully loaded GT2 spec, the Stinger represents one hell of a bargain at around $52,000. But even when you peel away the options, there's a lot to like about Kia's performance GT.
The car tested here is still a Stinger GT, meaning it's powered by the 3.3-liter, twin-turbo V6, and not the 2.0-liter I4 of lesser models. But this one lacks many of the creature comforts found in our long-term GT2 tester. That also means it carries a price tag of $41,915, including destination.
The Good Kia's Stinger represents huge value for performance, especially in its midlevel trims.
The Bad Specific cost-cutting measures, like the switch in shifters, feels like unnecessary cost cutting.
The Bottom Line The Stinger may be a luxury tourer with an unconventional badge on the hood, but you'll be hard pressed to find the same features and performance in a similar package without spending tens of thousands more.
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