The Kia Stinger is among the best cars we've driven so far this year — here are its best features

Kia Stinger

  • The Kia Stinger is the best car the South Korean automaker has ever produced.
  • We’ve driven it on two coasts and have been blown away.
  • The sports sedan is packed with appealing features for a relatively low price, given that it’s going up against Audis and BMWs.

When the Kia Stinger was revealed in 2017, nobody saw the BMW/Audi fighter coming from the South Korean automaker. 

That said, the car — in its magnificent sleekness — was a welcome surprise. The auto world collectively salivated over the opportunity to get behind the wheel.

For us, that happened in early 2018. We spent a few days driving around the Bay Area in a $52,000 Stinger GT2; we then recreated that experience a couple of months later on the East Coast.

In both cases, we were way impressed. Actually, that’s an understatement. We were way more than way impressed. We haven’t stopped talking about the car for six months. I’m having a tough time remembering a vehicle that was this surprising when revealed and that vaporized expectations so thoroughly when launched. For enthusiasts and auto journalists, the Stinger is treated like no other.

The car is simply splendid. It has some standout features that are worth highlighting:

Behold, the mighty Stinger!

Our West Coast tester arrived in “Hichroma Red.” We sampled the top-of-the-line GT2, which came with every imaginable option and all-wheel drive. The sticker price was $52,300. The base four-cylinder trim level starts at $31,900, however, so you get all of this useful beauty for a lot less.

Let’s start with the obvious: This is an absolutely stunning set of wheels. Kia design chief Peter Schreyer intended it to evoke the great European grand-touring cars of the past. Easily my favorite sedan on the road today, looks-wise.

Schreyer owns a Stinger, and he told me that he was stopped by the German police so they could get a closer look! 

On the East Coast, I had people honking horns at me to ask if I was driving a Kia.

Yeah, this car can gather attention, to be sure.

In keeping with a major trend, the Stinger is a fastback four-door with a smoothly sloping roofline and a hatch. If you haven’t noticed already, the proportions on this car are masterful: balanced and suave, long and low.

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