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$33,090 - 52,500 MSRP

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2020 Kia Stinger Review

The 2020 Kia Stinger ranks near the top of the luxury small car class. It offers a roomy and posh interior, intuitive tech features, composed handling, muscular engine performance, and good safety and predicted reliability ratings.

Is the Kia Stinger a Good Car?

Should I Buy the Kia Stinger?

Should I Buy a New or Used Kia Stinger?

How Much Does the Kia Stinger Cost?

Kia Stinger Versus the Competition

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Kia Stinger?

Which Kia Stinger Model Is Right for Me?

Pros & Cons

  • Punchy turbocharged engines
  • Balanced ride and handling
  • Large cargo area
  • Easy-to-use touch screen
  • Below-average fuel economy

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Kia Stinger's #4 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Small Cars category. Currently the Kia Stinger has a score of 8.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 33 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 7.6
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Kia Stinger a Good Car?

Yes, the 2020 Kia Stinger is a great luxury car. The Stinger boasts an elegant interior, loads of standard features, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. It’s fast and rewarding to drive on switchback roads, but it’s also comfortable when cruising over rough pavement.

The Stinger is more than a sports car, however. It’s also rather sensible. The Stinger has a spacious cabin for the class, a large cargo area, great safety scores, and a lengthy 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. There’s really only one knock against the Stinger, and that’s poor fuel economy.

Should I Buy the Kia Stinger?

You should absolutely consider the Kia Stinger if you’re shopping for a luxury small car. It’s a great vehicle and an even better value. Prices start at around $33,000, making it one of the least expensive models in this class. That said, there are many other top picks to consider, like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, as well as the Genesis G70, the Stinger’s corporate cousin. Test-drive each to see which you prefer.

Compare the Stinger, A4, and 3 Series »

Should I Buy a New or Used Kia Stinger?

Kia launched the Stinger as an all-new vehicle for the 2018 model year, and there haven’t been many updates since. A surround-view parking camera system became available for 2019, and blind spot monitoring was made standard. For 2020, Kia shortens the Stinger lineup from six trims to four but adds no new features. As a result, you can likely save money by shopping for a used 2018 or 2019 model and get performance and refinement similar to a new Stinger.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Stinger and 2019 Stinger reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Stinger »

We Did the Research for You: 32 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 32 Kia Stinger reviews, as well as hard data points like fuel economy estimates and reliability ratings, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

This 2020 Stinger review includes applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2018.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Kia Stinger Cost?

The 2020 Kia Stinger starts at $33,090. That’s one of the lowest starting prices in the luxury small car class. The price rises to $39,500 for a V6-powered model, and the range-topping GT2 trim maxes out at just over $50,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

Kia Stinger Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Kia Stinger or Audi A5?

The Audi A5 Sportback is one of the best vehicles in the luxury small car segment. It has a top-notch interior, refined driving dynamics, intuitive tech features, and, like the Stinger, it’s a hatchback. This translates to good seating space and a large cargo area. You can’t go wrong choosing between the A5 and Stinger, and each has its perks.

The Kia is considerably less expensive than the Audi – its base price is lower by about $11,000 – and it has a lengthier powertrain warranty. On the other hand, the Audi feels more luxurious than the Kia inside and out, and its top-of-the-line RS 5 trim offers unrivaled performance. Test-drive both models to see which you prefer.

Which Is Better: Kia Stinger or BMW 4 Series?

It’s a similar story with the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. This sleek hatchback is a blast to drive, it’s elegantly styled, and it offers impressive seating and cargo space. It also has a very user-friendly infotainment system. The Kia is the better value. It costs less than the BMW (also by about $11,000 in its standard trim), and it’s backed by a longer warranty. However, the BMW feels a bit more special inside. Both are good options. It just depends on how much you want to spend.

Compare the Stinger, A5, and 4 Series »

Stinger Interior

How Many People Does the Stinger Seat?

The Kia Stinger is a four-door hatchback with five seats. The front seats are nicely padded, and the driving position remains comfortable, even after a few hours on the road. There’s ample head- and legroom up front as well, even for taller occupants. The rear seats are similarly comfortable, though taller adults may find rear headroom a bit snug. Still, it’s more than enough space for kids and younger teens.

Leather upholstery and heated front seats are standard. Available upgrades include ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

Stinger and Child Car Seats

The Stinger has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats, as well as a tether-only connection for the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this setup the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use. Some of the anchors are set deep in the seat cushions and are hard to maneuver around.

Stinger Interior Quality

The Stinger boasts an upscale interior that punches above its price point. The styling is clean and minimalist. Most surfaces are trimmed with quality upholstery, metal accents, and soft-touch plastic. Also, there isn’t much wind or road noise in the cabin.

Stinger Cargo Space

The Kia Stinger has 23.3 cubic feet of trunk space beneath its rear hatch and up to 40.9 cubic feet with its rear seats folded. That’s a lot of room for a luxury small car, and those figures best hatchback rivals like the Audi A5 Sportback.

Stinger Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Kia Stinger is well-equipped with tech and convenience features. Standard amenities include a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a six-speaker stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio, wireless device charging, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Available upgrades include an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a nine-speaker stereo, and a 15-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

This Kia’s UVO infotainment system is user-friendly. It has crisp graphics, a simple menu structure, and it responds promptly to inputs. It’s also complemented by a row of buttons and knobs below the screen that control the main audio and climate settings, making it easy to adjust these functions while driving.

Read more about interior »

 Stinger Performance  

Stinger Engine: Fast Four, Sweet Six

The Kia Stinger has two engine options: a 255-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 365-horsepower 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available.

The four-cylinder engine is plenty powerful for everyday driving. It zips the Stinger up to speed briskly and offers strong passing power, thanks in part to the smooth and well-timed shifts of the eight-speed automatic transmission. For a real rush, though, you’ll want the V6. It feels every bit as muscular as its power rating would indicate, and it can move the Stinger from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds.

Stinger Gas Mileage: The Catch

The Stinger’s biggest hiccup is its relatively poor fuel economy for a luxury small car. Its four-cylinder engine returns just 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway (21/29 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive). With the V6, gas mileage drops further to 17/25 mpg city/highway. These are considerably worse ratings than what the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series can muster.

Stinger Ride and Handling: Balancing Act

The Stinger manages to provide a fun driving experience without sacrificing ride quality. It feels agile and stable around turns, the steering is quick and nicely weighted, and the brakes slow down the car smoothly and assertively. The standard suspension sops up most bumps and dips in the road, yielding a firm but comfortable ride. The adaptive suspension, found on GT1 and GT2 models, does an even better job of filtering out bumps when riding over rough pavement.

Read more about performance »

Stinger Reliability

Is the Kia Stinger Reliable?

The 2020 Kia Stinger has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Kia Stinger Warranty

Kia covers the Stinger with a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Kia Stinger?

The cost of insuring a Kia Stinger will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Stinger Safety

Stinger Crash Test Results

The 2020 Kia Stinger earned the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and was named a Top Safety Pick+, the organization’s highest honor. Depending on trim, the Stinger’s headlights earned a rating of Good, the second-highest rating of Acceptable, or the lowest rating of Poor for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

The IIHS has a different scale for grading active safety features. The Stinger GT1 and GT2 trims received the top rating of Superior for front crash prevention, thanks to their standard forward collision warning systems.

At the time of writing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash tested the 2020 Stinger.

Stinger Safety Features

The 2020 Kia Stinger comes standard with a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Available safety features include front parking sensors, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control. Lane departure warning, lane keep assist, a surround-view parking camera system, a driver drowsiness monitor, a head-up display, adaptive pivoting headlights, and automatic high-beam headlights are also available.

Read more about safety »

Stinger Dimensions and Weight

The Kia Stinger is 15.9 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,611 to 4,023 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Kia Stinger Built?

Kia builds the 2020 Stinger in South Korea.

Which Kia Stinger Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Kia Stinger is available in four trim levels: GT-Line, GT, GT1, and GT2. The base GT-Line is a good bet for most shoppers. It offers a potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine, lots of standard tech and convenience features, and a starting price just north of $33,000. On the other hand, consider upgrading if you want high performance. The GT, GT1, and GT2 models are all outfitted with a twin-turbo V6 engine, albeit at a higher price point.

Kia Stinger GT-Line

The entry-level Stinger GT-Line has a starting MSRP of $33,090. Standard equipment includes a 255-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, wireless device charging, HD Radio, satellite radio, and a six-speaker stereo. Keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert are also standard.

All-wheel drive is optional for $2,200. The only other option is the $2,900 Sun and Sound package, which adds an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a 15-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, and a sunroof.

Kia Stinger GT

The uplevel Stinger GT has a $39,500 starting price, and it comes with a 365-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine, a limited-slip rear differential, large Brembo brakes, 19-inch wheels, front parking sensors, and a nine-speaker stereo. All-wheel drive is optional for $2,200.

Kia Stinger GT1

The Stinger GT starts at $45,400. This trim includes the contents of the Sun and Sound package, plus ventilated front seats, an adaptive suspension, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a suite of active safety features. These include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, and automatic high-beam headlights. All-wheel drive is a $2,200 option.

Kia Stinger GT2

The Stinger GT2 has a starting MSRP of $50,300. This top trim adds heated rear seats, a hands-free power liftgate, a head-up display, a surround-view parking camera system, and adaptive pivoting headlights. Once again, all-wheel drive is available for $2,200.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

See 2020 Kia Stinger specs and trims »

The Final Call

Apart from its relatively poor fuel economy, the 2020 Kia Stinger is an easy car to love. It’s fun to drive, comfortable, spacious, and generously well-equipped for its low price point. Its interior is stylish and nicely trimmed. The Stinger also rates well for crash safety, and it’s backed by a long warranty. All in all, if you’re shopping for a luxury small car, the Stinger deserves a look.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "In the Stinger, Kia has created a performance sedan with adept handling, a potent twin-turbocharged engine and all the luxury you might expect from a car in this class, but with a price tag that lays waste to just about every competitor, foreign and domestic. The Stinger is a stunning looker of a car, but it's also a pretty practical and sensible car." -- Autotrader
  • "In a world overrun by SUVs, a car like the … Kia Stinger is a welcome change of pace. While some might still think of Kia as a builder of quality family transportation, the Stinger is set to change hearts and minds, one thrilling mile after another." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The concept of 'grand touring' has been around for centuries, and the moniker has been applied to cars since the 1940s, but it's a term we tend to associate with exotic sports cars. The formula, though, is pretty simple: stylish, comfortable on a long drive, and plenty of power. But there's no rule that says it has to cost a fortune, and the Kia Stinger GT is absolutely taking advantage of this exception." -- Motor Trend (2018)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: April 9, 2020

Falling Sales: After successful sales following its debut, demand for the Stinger has slowed. Dealerships have sold 20.7 percent fewer Stinger models in 2020 compared to the same period last year. The Stinger is currently selling in the middle of the luxury small car segment, though it’s outselling a similar fastback-style competitor, the BMW 4 Series by over 15 percent.

Research more buying advice »
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