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2019 Kia Stinger Performance Review


Performance: 8.6

The 2019 Kia Stinger is an engaging yet comfortable vehicle. From Sunday cruising to zipping along mountain roads, this sportback (hatchback) sedan holds its own on the pavement. Its handling rivals other sport sedans, and its engines provide plenty of power.

  • "Taking aim at the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback, the 5-door Kia Stinger liftback comes to the fight with a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, two turbocharged engines, a sport-tuned suspension and steering so precise it will make you think twice about spending more on a pricey European make." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Even the 4-cylinder Stinger should be plenty of fun, but the GT represents the Stinger at its absolute best. Its adaptive suspension, variable ratio steering (it's ultra-quick), bigger wheels and limited-slip differential (GT2) combine with a gutsy 365-hp engine to create a car that's highly proficient and precise, yet rewards its driver with plenty of feedback." -- Autotrader
  • "When taking to the road course, the Stinger again inspired confidence, with friendly handling dynamics, resolute brakes and good power out of the corners." -- CNET (2018)

Acceleration and Power

This sportback (hatchback) sedan has two engine options: a 255-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger, and a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 365 horsepower. Both engines are potent, providing ample power for city and highway driving. The V6 comes in Kia Stinger GT cars, which are more assertive and deliver swifter acceleration. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard with both engines.

The base engine gets up to 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, while the V6 earns 19/25 mpg. These figures are below average for the class.

  • "From the moment you pull away from a stop, it's obvious that the 2019 Kia Stinger is something special. From the growl of the 365-horsepower V6, to the sharp steering, to the bite of the suspension, this Kia means business. Best of all, it's not an illusion: this is as legit a sports sedan as you could hope for. The engine pours out power seamlessly, and the 8-speed automatic transmission snaps off shifts quickly and smoothly." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "I didn't expect to like the regular Stinger as much as I did. … Kia says 60 mph comes in just 5.9 seconds, and the standard transmission's shorter 1st and 2nd gears keep it from feeling too much softer than the GT off the line. It sounds a little buzzier, but it does its job well. The transmission was just as responsive as the GT's." -- (2018)
  • "On the city streets around our starting point in North Hollywood, California, the Stinger drives smaller than its exterior proportions might suggest. … The claimed 0 to 60 time of 4.7 seconds is quicker than base models of the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera, and enough to make the Stinger feel spritely and eager when instigated. Though biased toward slickness over speed, the eight-speed auto tends to find the right gear. Taking over with the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters isn't immediate enough to justify their use; best to let the computers … do their jobs." -- Autoblog (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Stinger exhibits a fusion of comfort and performance. Its ride is gentle over rough roads, but it remains poised and nimble around turns and winding paths. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "We don’t know where they learned it, but Kia engineers obviously did their chassis dynamics homework because the Stinger’s setup absolutely nails it. Feeling every bit like a European sports sedan, the Stinger is built for curves, and maybe even a few laps around the Nürburgring." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Handling is the Stinger's greatest attribute, and it's no surprise. Kia's head of Vehicle Test and High Performance Development was lured away from BMW – and he's not just some rando from BMW proper. … So can the Stinger GT keep up with a BMW? Absolutely – not an M version, but it's unquestionably in the same ballpark as BMWs and other luxury performance sedans and hatches." -- (2018)
  • "Out in the mountains, the Stinger GT exhibits a surprising but intriguing combination of vertical compliance and lateral stiffness. Over bumps, the suspension was soft and the ride of luxury-car quality. In the corners, though, it was stiff with excellent body control. Even when pushing hard, the Stinger GT rode well but dug into corners with little body roll." -- Motor Trend (2018)
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2019 Kia Stinger

MSRP: $32,990 - $52,400

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