2018 Stinger GT2 RWD

STINGER GT2
Tires: P225/40R19 front; 255/35R19 rear
Wheelbase: 114.4 inches
Length: 190.2 inches
Weight: 3,829 pounds
Steering: electric power, variable
Fuel capacity: 15.9 gallons
City: 19 mpg
Highway: 25 mpg
Web site: www.kiausa.com

“No way, is that a Kia?” was the first impression from most everyone who happened to gaze at our 2018 Stinger test car. Indeed, it is a product of the Korean carmaker’s nearly decade-long work to produce the five-passenger sportback. And it has done an exceptional job.
The rear-wheel-drive four-door coupe is equipped with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 pumping out 365 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 376 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. Power reaches the wheels via an 8-speed auto gearbox with eco, smart, comfort, sport and custom drive modes. The independent MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension along with 13.8-inch front and 13.4-inch rear Brembo brakes ensure stability on the toughest road surfaces.

Up front, the familiar ‘tiger-nose’ concave grille with a matching lower trim is flanked by LED headlights while on the side of the strikingly bold-appearing car are GT black chrome vents with air surrounds. The cabin provides all the luxe accoutrements you would expect in a similarly sold car in this class. It is tasteful, functional and attractive with Nappa leather seats, dual-zone auto a/c, 16-way driver and 12-way front-passenger heated and cooled seats, heads-up display, Harman Kardon sound system with 17 speakers, power tilt/slide sun roof, flat-bottomed steering column, satin chrome door handles, electro-luminescent instrument cluster for speedometer, tachometer, coolant temperature, fuel level, odometer and trip computer gauges, 8-inch touchscreen display for phone, nav and audio to control via a knob; and much more.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, electronic stability and traction control, front/rear parking sensors and crumple zones, rearview camera, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision avoid/warning, lane departure warning/assist, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.

With this new agile, handsome and remarkable ride affording an upscale, spacious interior, European competitors such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, among others, have been put on notice. Base-priced at $49,200 (bargain compared to the offering from its rivals), the Stinger is a winner that takes Kia to the next level. And it is a tough act to beat if you consider the Korean automaker’s basic 5-year, 60,000-mile and 10-year, 100,000-mile limited power train warranties.