The Kia Stinger is one of the best cars I've driven all year — here's how it matches up against its competition from BMW

Kia Stinger

  • The Kia Stinger combines style, value, and performance in an appealing, sporty four-door package.
  • We’ve driven the car three times in 2018 and have come away very impressed.
  • BMW might make be the ultimate driving machine, but the Kia Stinger matches up pretty well against the best Bimmer has to offer.

Kia has scored a notable victory with the Kia Stinger, a high-performance sedan from a brand better known for affordable four-doors and SUVs.

The Stinger was the toast of the auto-show circuit in 2017. I first sampled the all-wheel-drive GT2 version of the car in California in early 2018. This $52,000 machine, with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 making a tasty 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of yummy torque, completely captivated me as I drove around the Bay Area.

Later, I enjoyed the same car in the New York/New Jersey area and was equally impressed. So was my colleague, Ben Zhang, who took his first crack at the Stinger.

We haven’t yet tested the base four-cylinder trim, priced at $32,000. But I just finished enjoying the rear-wheel-drive GT2, which clocked in at about $50,000. Full review coming later, but suffice it say that as much as I was ga-ga over the AWD Stinger, first-impressions aren’t everything; the more classically configured RWD GT2 is THE ONE. I just wanted to drive it, and drive it, and then drive it some more, and then have dreams about driving it.

I’m not usually this thorough taken by a car, but the Stinger combines style, value, performance, and versatility is such a brilliant way that all bets are off. Particularly when you consider that you can get the marvelous V6 in basic GT package for an astounding $38,350.

Consequently, I’ve been doing all manner of running comparisons in my head. For my money, while the Stinger is overtly taking on the entire luxury performance-sedan segment — Audi, Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW — the aim is squarely at BMW. Bimmers provide the reference driving dynamics that the Stinger is seeking to emulate.

As it happens, I’ve driven a bunch of Bimmers. Here’s how the Stinger stacks up against as many as I can think of.

First, let me just refresh your impressions of the Stinger, in GT2 AWD trim.

“It’s an endlessly fun car, a literal joy to drive,” I wrote in my review.

“It fires up with a pleasing snarl (OK, an augmented one, but still) and growls cheerfully when pushed. It’s flat-out fast. The 0-60 time is supposed to be 4.7 seconds, but I thought it was notably quicker than that. And you have to watch yourself at cruising velocities, as the Stinger taps out the legal speed limit in a hurry, but do so with such poise and relative quiet that one can easily overlook the speedometer.”

The rear-wheel-drive car is cheaper and more fun. Stomping in the throttle and feeling that back end dig in is motoring bliss. Obviously, the RWD setup means that you’ll have an easier time testing the limits in the grip on those back tires, if that’s your thing. 

How about the BMW M3?

The BMW M3 also has a six-banger under the hood, plus a pair of turbos. But this motor yields 425 horsepower to the Stinger’s 365 hp. 

The M3 is also a more aggressive looking car. 

But the M3 also starts at almost $68,000.

And what of the M4 convertible?

I checked out the convertible version, which offers two doors rather than the M3’s four but packs the same power under the hood: 425 horses.

Again, the Stinger loses on oomph — but then there’s the price difference: the M4 is a $70,000 car.

Additionally, th M4 drives like a German muscle car. The Stinger is sportier.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Read the full article from it’s original source: http://uk.businessinsider.com/kia-stinger-and-bmw-comparison-2018-7

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