2018 Kia Stinger Review

Fuel Type
City MPG
Highway MPG
  • Performance
    4.5 of 5.0
  • Cost of Ownership
    4.1 of 5.0
  • Interior
    4.2 of 5.0
  • Reliability
    3.0 of 5.0
12 Jan 2017

Kia is a car manufacturer well-known for producing high-quality vehicles. Their models are all quite successful in their respective segments. Every vehicle that has recently emerged from Kia factories and design tables is functional, reasonably fashionable, and sensible. The 2018 Kia Stinger is the next model to be released, and the first images were revealed at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

To be fair, Kia took a risk with the quirky, playful, and blocky Kia Soul EV design. That design may not appeal to everyone, but the Soul, despite its low price, sells quite well. The same can be said for the rather unassuming Kia Rio. Essentially, the smaller hatchback will always appeal to people who are less willing to spend a lot of money on their mode of transportation.

This will all change in 2018 with the arrival of the Stinger, because this authentic Gran Turismo car will be far from a safe and comfortable ride. Overall, the 2018 Kia Stinger will have a sporty, sleek appearance and the same driving experience. To get the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on the 2018 Stinger, read our full review.

Exterior design

The newest Kia model is a five-passenger fastback sports sedan that resembles classic sedans produced by high-end European automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Albert Biermann, formerly of BMW’s M division, was in charge of the Stinger’s development.

When viewed as a whole, the car clearly shows that the 2011 Kia GT concept was used as a base model.

The car’s front end features the eye-catching Kia tiger-nose grille, which is flanked by a large, dark air vent. The hood also has two air vents, hinting at a sweet, purring engine beneath. Two vertical air vents are niched into the corners on the left and right. The steep, sleek cat-eye headlights begin slightly above the grille, completing the car’s threatening appearance as a crouching tiger.

The poised presence continues on the car’s side. There are two large air intakes next to the doors, with two lines drawn out over the doors. For a more eye-catching appearance, the air intakes are finished in dark and chrome. Finally, from in front of the wheel arch to the fastback trunklid, a softer body line runs almost straight across the car body. The car’s profile emphasizes the elegant posture of the 2018 Kia Stinger.

The small taillights and the braking light on the back of the car are arresting. It’s a line that curves around the taillight and ends on the side. When the V6 engine is under the hood, the rear will have four exhaust pipes, two on each side. Finally, two small air intakes are located next to the exhausts on the left and right sides of the 2018 Kia Stinger’s rear.

Interior design

The interior is just as luxurious as the exterior suggests. The wrap-around dashboard is popular in car design and is evident here. A contrasting satin chrome line running through the center of the dashboard and on the doorpanels is a nice finishing touch.

The top of the center stack is dominated by a standing 7 or 8-inch infotainment screen. Then, directly beneath, there are three perfectly spherical A/C vents and a variety of buttons for controlling the A/C and car audio.

Upholstery for the seats is available in cloth, leather, or magnificently soft Nappa leather. The steering wheel is a large, leather-wrapped unit. The instrument cluster, which is partly digital and partly analog, is located directly behind it. There is also a second TFT-screen for viewing performance data such as driver settings and navigation.

Not to mention, the 2018 Kia Stinger shares the same wheelbase as the Genesis G80. This long wheelbase allows for plenty of front and rear leg room. Because the car seats are low, there is plenty of head room in both the front and rear seats.

The Stinger 2.0 liter turbo comes standard with a six-speaker audio system and a seven-inch touchscreen. A nine-speaker audio system with an amplifier comes standard with the 3.3-liter twin-turbo engine. Finally, the premium system includes a Harman Kardon 720 watt speaker system with an external amplifier. This system includes 15 speakers and two subwoofers mounted underneath the front seats. The latter makes the Stinger the first Kia vehicle to achieve this.

Engine specs

The exterior and interior of the Kia leave us positively surprised, but will the engine match or even outperform that surprise? Let us investigate.

The 2018 Stinger is available with three engine options. The first is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine with 255 horsepower.

The Stinger’s second available engine is truly the showpiece. It has a 3.3-liter twin-turbo direct-injected aluminum V6 Lambda II engine that produces 365 horsepower. This engine’s top speed is 167 mph (268 kph) with a 0-62 mph time of 5.1 seconds. That is very exciting! Even the fully redesigned and sporty Porsche Panamera only slightly outperforms the Stinger in terms of horsepower.

Finally, the European 2018 Kia Stinger will receive a 2.2-liter diesel engine with 200 PS and 440 Nm of torque that can propel it to 100 km/h (or 62 mph) in 7.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph).

The transmission is a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic that is designed for maximum fuel efficiency. Paddle shifters will be included for additional manual shifting.

The Stinger will be available in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. The rear wheel drive is very nice, and it’s good marketing to position the Stinger as a sports car.

The all-wheel drive system includes Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control, which can automatically determine which wheels require the most power or braking force to keep the car on the road in adverse weather conditions.

Tech specs

The Stinger’s electronic drive mode system provides five different shifting patterns for handling the engine. These are the following: Eco, Sport, Comfort, Smart, and Personal. Furthermore, the Head-Up driving display shows vehicle information on the windshield glass, eliminating the need for the driver to take eyes off the road.

The Stinger comes standard with a wireless smartphone charging pad and Bluetooth hands-free operation.

The 2018 Kia Stinger is the first vehicle to feature Driver Attention Alert. This system detects distracted or drowsy driving and then warns the driver with a sound and visual warning to take a break.

Forward Collision Assistance with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian detection are among the additional safety features. Advanced Smart Cruise Control assists in maintaining a safe distance between the vehicle in front by coming to a complete stop if necessary.

Then, Lane Keeping Assist alerts the driver and steers to help the driver stay in the correct lane. Finally, Rear Cross Traffic Alert warns the driver of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space, and Blind Spot Monitoring assists while driving.

These safety and tech features are mostly carried over from the slightly unique and unpretentious Kia Sportage, allowing Kia to keep both cars’ prices low.

Price, release and sale date

The base 2018 Kia Stinger begins at $31,900, while the Premium starts at $37,100. The 3.3 liter engine costs $38,350 with the GT trim, $43,250 with the GT1 trim, and $49,200 with the GT2 trim.

The vehicle will be available for purchase throughout the United States by the end of 2017. The car will be available in Europe in 2018.