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2018 Kia Stinger: New Gunfighter In The Compact Luxury Car Corral

2018 Kia Stinger: New Gunfighter In The Compact Luxury Car Corral

December 16, 2017

The 2018 Kia Stinger sport sedan is an all-new entry in a segment of the market that is new to this Korean value-oriented brand. The Stinger will soon be joining the Forte and Optima sedans, and the Soul, Sportage, and Sorento SUVs on the Kia showroom floor.

In terms of specifications and performance, the new Kia Stinger will be going up against the top two tiers of luxury-oriented compact sedans. The top tier, in terms of both image and sales, consists of the BMW 3/4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4/A5, and Lexus IS. The second tier includes the Infiniti Q50, Acura TLX, Cadillac, ATS, Alfa Romeo Giulia, and Jaguar XE. Can a brand like Kia enter this high-class segment and make an impact?

What’s So Special About The 2018 Kia Stinger?

For those looking for something different, and who can overlook the total lack of status projected by the Kia badge, the Stinger has a lot to offer. To start with, the Stinger comes only in a five-door sportback body style. This gives you a lot more utility than the average four-door luxury sedan can provide. To match the Stinger’s five-door flexibility, you would have to step up to the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (starting price: $43,100) or the Audi A5 Sportback (starting price: $42,600). By the way, the starting price on the 2018 Kia Stinger is $31,900. Do we have your attention now?

Wondering how the Stinger’s performance compares to its German rivals? You should know that this car was designed by Kia in Frankfurt, Germany, and was developed on Germany’s famous Nurburgring racetrack. Kia’s secret weapon in this department is their Head of High Performance Development, Albert Biermann. Biermann was formerly the Chief Engineer of BMW’s high-performance M Division, and his input is reflected in the Stinger’s performance and handling capabilities.

Lots Of Standard Equipment Included

Many luxury sedans lure you in with a seemingly low price, then hit you with expensive options packages to add the equipment you want. The base 2018 Kia Stinger includes all these items as standard equipment:

  • Leather seats
  • 12-Way powered driver’s seat
  • 8-Way powered passenger’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters
  • 18” Alloy wheels
  • Multi-color LED interior accent lighting
  • Leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel with audio controls
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/MP3/HD/Satellite radio audio system with 7” touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Parking distance warning, front and rear

Features available on higher trim levels include LED headlights, ventilated front seats, power sunroof, G-force meter, chrono timer, 720-watt Harmon Kardon audio system with 15 speakers, heads-up display, and a suite of driver assistance systems such as smart cruise control, forward collision warning, and rear cross traffic alert.

Kia Stinger Trim Levels And Pricing

The 2018 Kia Stinger comes in two models and five trim levels: Stinger, Premium, GT, GT1, and GT2. The base Stinger and Stinger Premium come with a 2.0L four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 255 horsepower. The GT models are equipped with a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 that puts out 365 horsepower.

Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. All trim levels come with rear-wheel drive standard. All-wheel drive is available as a $2,200 option across the board.

Kia Stinger pricing starts at $31,900 for the base Stinger with rear-wheel drive, and goes up to $51,400 for the GT2 with all-wheel drive.

Should You Lease A 2018 Kia Stinger?

If Kia plays it cards right, this could be the lease deal of the year! The Stinger will be attracting the type of entry-level luxury buyers who typically prefer to lease. This means that Kia will need to have some very strong lease deals to compete with all the above-mentioned brands that are very well established in this segment.

The 2018 Kia Stinger starts out well equipped, and with an extremely competitive price. It looks good, drives like a German, and has five-door functionality. For those who select a vehicle based strictly on merit, and not badge status, the Stinger looks like a winner!

The 2018 Kia Stinger is planned to go on sale in the US in December of 2017.