Competes with: Nissan Maxima, Dodge Charger, Volkswagen CC
Looks like: Kia’s built a legit sports sedan
Drivetrain: 255-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine or 365-hp, twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission; rear- or all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Late 2017
Kia’s all-new Stinger — making its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit — wears the coupelike sedan body style that’s become popular with luxury automakers. Powered by a choice of turbocharged engines and available with rear- or all-wheel drive, the Stinger offers both performance and luxury; Kia says the higher-output engine should deliver a zero-to-62-mph time of just 5.1 seconds, and available high-end features include Nappa leather upholstery. The Stinger hits dealerships late this year.
The Stinger bears a close resemblance to the GT Concept that Kia showed back in 2011. The front end features an updated version of Kia’s familiar grille above a gaping lower-bumper opening, slim headlights and a long hood with twin vents. Standard 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted with performance tires while staggered 19-inch wheels with ultra-high-performance tires are available.
The Stinger is about the same length as Kia’s Optima mid-size sedan, and like the Optima it has chrome window trim that follows the arcing roofline all the way to the trunk lid. The Stinger’s overall appearance, however, is more coupelike than Kia’s mainstream family car. With quad exhaust outlets and triangular taillights, the Stinger’s rear styling calls to mind the Maserati GranTurismo coupe.
There’s room for up to five people inside. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and a color screen between the gauges can show performance-related data like cornering forces, lap times and engine-oil temperature.
Available features include a color head-up display, wireless device charging and a Harman Kardon premium stereo with subwoofers under the front seats.
Under the Hood
A standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes an estimated 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 260 pounds-feet of torque from 1,400 rpm. An available twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 makes an estimated 365 hp at 6,000 rpm and 376 pounds-feet of torque from 1,300 rpm. Selecting the V-6 adds Brembo-brand brakes with four-piston front calipers and two-piston rear calipers.
Both engines pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission that includes shift paddles on the steering wheel for driver-initiated gear changes. The standard rear-wheel-drive system includes a limited-slip differential. Rear-biased all-wheel drive is available.
The suspension features front struts and a multilink setup for the rear wheels, and the Stinger is the first Kia to offer an adaptive suspension. The suspension has five modes: Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart. The modes also vary gas-pedal response, power-steering assistance and the transmission’s shift program.
Available advanced safety features include forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with full-stop capability, lane departure warning and prevention, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert and a driver-drowsiness monitor.