2018 Kia Stinger Review
Edmunds expert review
As stylish as the latest Kias have become, they typically haven't had the performance and handling to match. That all changes with the all-new Kia Stinger.
The Stinger represents a significant step forward for the South Korean manufacturer. Its aggressive yet graceful design stands out among the relatively anonymous sedans with similar pricing. Even better, the Stinger performs on a level that is well above our expectations for its modest price. It's about the same size as Kia's Optima sedan but is lower, sleeker and more powerful. In the top-spec GT trim, the Stinger boasts 365 horsepower, available all-wheel drive, and a refined and comfortable interior.
Whether it's by numbers or appearance, Kia's Stinger impressively challenges similar luxury-branded vehicles. Yet there are still going to be some traditional Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz shoppers who won't bother with the Stinger because it lacks enough prestige. That's their loss. The Stinger isn't just good for a Kia — it's good compared to anything at or well above its price.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Kia Stinger is a four-door sedan with a fastback-like hatch that is available in five trim levels. The base rear-wheel-drive Stinger is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (255 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque) and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available on all models as an option.
Standard features for the base Stinger include 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, heated and power-folding mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, selectable drive modes, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen, three USB ports, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay-Android Auto, and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio. All-wheel-drive models also include a heated steering wheel.
The Premium trim adds LED headlights, a sunroof, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a larger driver information display, a universal garage door opener, driver memory functions, an 8-inch touchscreen and a 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
The Kia Stinger GT employs a turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 (365 hp, 376 lb-ft). Feature content is similar to the base Stinger but upgrades to 19-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, adaptive suspension dampers, a launch control system, variable steering ratios, a few exterior embellishments, aluminum pedals and scuff plates, a flat-bottom steering wheel and a nine-speaker audio system.
The GT1 trim adds the Premium features along with auto-dimming exterior mirrors and additional performance meters. At the top of the lineup is the GT2 trim that finishes it off with a limited-slip differential, a hands-free trunklid, a head-up display, premium leather upholstery, and upgraded front seats with ventilation. Automatic wipers are also available as an option for all Stingers.
The GT2 also comes with these advanced safety features that are optional on supporting trims: adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and intervention, a driver attention monitor, automatic high-beams, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
Noise & vibration8.5
Ease of use8.0
Getting in/getting out7.0
Child safety seat accommodation7.5
Audio & navigation8.5
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.