.Well, it's been 12 months with our 2018 kiya Stinger GT2 long term tester which means that sadly it's time to say goodbye to our beloved Jerry Stinger here.
So let's hit the road for one last ride and dig into everything that we've learned over the past few months.
But first let's talk about one small annoyance.
Now, we all like the fastback design, and in theory the hands-free, smart-lift gate should be a huge convenience feature.
But it has a bad habit of automatically activating when I'm back here just pumping gas.
So let's get that turned off and hit the road.
Speaking of filling it up we have been averaging between 18 and 24 miles per gallon this year depending on who's behind the wheel and what they're in the Stinger that week.
Which is pretty good considering the EPA estimates around, 21 miles per gallon combined for the all wheel drive stinger with the V6 engine.
I'm actually surprised that we actually got as good or better than the EPA's estimate Considering that well pretty much everybody who hops behind the wheel of this thing immediately slaps it into sport mode.
In order to better take advantage of the 365 horsepower.
And our auto stop start system for fuel saving has been pretty much turned off since we got the thing.
Plus the V6 engine sounds Town and feels so good that it's really hard not to be a little bit lead footed.
Keep your foot in it just to just enjoy the sound.
So it will come as no surprise that performance is one of our favourite part of the Stinger's formula.
From the V6 to the sharp handling to the really strong With Brembo brakes, you got almost no complaints about this doing/d its performance, well almost.
At around 8 thousand miles I did notice a little bit of shake from the Brembo brakes which is probably due to us getting a little impatient, [INAUDIBLE], Maybe not respecting the braking period as well as we should have.
Either way, between us noticing the shake, but before we actually had a chance to get down there and do anything about it, it had actually worked itself out, and now this big, sexy beast Strongly and smoothly.
Now the all-wheel drive system didn't get much of a workout in often dry California despite todays conditon, which left me spending most of the year wishing that we'd instead gotten the rear- wheel drive version which is a little bit lighter and a little bit A little bit more dynamic around corners.
Now our Emme Hall actually did put the all-wheel drive&nbsp; system to the test, when she took the Stinger to snowy Colorado over the holidays.
After shoeing it up with some winter tires.
And she reported back that the system performed admirably.
Over snow and ice, and even when stopping and starting on a hill.
So with actually a pretty good [UNKNOWN].
Now objectively speaking I really like the fast back, lift back design of this 2018 [UNKNOWN] And I really like the way that Kia's design language maps over a smooth silhouette.
My neighbors also seem to like it and I've noticed that at least once a week somebody comes up to me and is like, hey man, nice car.
Hey, is that your Stinger?
It's pretty sweet.
And I've never gotten so much positive feedback from people in a test car not when I was in a BMW5 not in the LEX7.
And I think that has a lot to do with the standard sort of living in that sweet spot between being desirable and it's performance from style but also still pretty obtainable because of the Kia badges at either end.
I think regular people can see themselves in this car and that means that I the person who's actually sitting Sitting in this car look less like a douchebag in a sports car.
But I gotta say, for as much positive feedback as I've gotten, I haven't seen many stingers on the road.
Maybe only one or two over the year of our testing, in fact most the time when I think we see a stinger, it actually ends up being an Optima SX which is It's a pretty good car, but not the sort of mistaken identity I want to get in my $50,000 Kia.
Which brings me to the my next point, at least one member of our staff has expressed some hesitation at the Stinger's price tag and I get it, $50,000 for this fully load GT2 is a lot to ask for a car with a Kia badge on it [UNKNOWN].
But when you consider the amount of performance, the technology inside and out, and the equipment that you're getting for that price, it actually looks pretty good compared to a comparably equipped BMW or Audi, which would cost between $10,000 and $15,000 more.
And factor in that there's not a whole lot in the rear-wheel drive sports sedan space from the volume brand Had to compete directly with the Stinger and I think we've got a vehicle here that's priced fairly.
In fact it ends up being a pretty good deal.
If I were personally shopping for premium mid-sized four sedan, the stinger would be on my very short list.
Though I don't know if I'd go With the GT2 model that we have here I would go with the mid tier GT with rear wheel drive and that's going to get me the V6 performance that I like but with a lighter rear wheel drive configuration.
I don't really have to worry too much about technology because the only dashboard tech that I care about, android auto and apple car play is standard across the board.
Though I would upgrade.
To the limited slip differential for a little bit more of a performance edge.
That's something you can only get with rear wheel drive.
And if you care about safety technology, or maybe you just want the convenience of adaptive cruise control while commuting.
Go ahead and pay a little bit extra to get Kia's Drivewise Safety Suite.
That'll bring you to a recommended price of around $42,000, about 10,000 less than what we've got here.
So with all that in mind, would we still recommend this Road Show Shift Award winner after a year in the saddle.
We'll tell you we would.
The Stinger is an amazing looking car with fantastic performance.
And on top of that it's a pretty good value.
I mean, what's not to like about it?
Heck, I don't wanna give this one back.
But it's time for old Jerry to go, so with that we bid goodbye to our 2018 Kia Singer GT2 long-term tester.
We're gonna miss you, buddy.
Gonna miss you.