Kia is a car brand known for the very decent automobiles they construct. Their models all compete in their respective segments with quite the success. Every car recently spawned from Kia factories and designing tables is practical, reasonably fashionable and sensible. Now, the 2018 Kia Stinger is next in line for release and the first images have been revealed at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.
To be fair, the quirky, playful and blocky 2017 Kia Soul EV design was somewhat risky business for Kia. That design doesn’t appeal to everyone, but the reasonably priced Soul sells pretty well after all. Same goes, for the rather inconspicuous 2017 Kia Rio. Basically, the more compact type of hatchback will always appeal to people who are less willing to spend a lot of money on their means of transport.
This is all changing in 2018 when the Stinger arrives, because this authentic Gran Turismo car is going to be far from a safe, decent ride. Overall, what you can expect from the 2018 Kia Stinger is a sporty, sleek appearance and the exact same driving experience. Read our full review to get the most fresh and extensive details on the 2018 Stinger.
The newest Kia creation is a five-passenger fastback sports sedan, which in appearance reminds of the classic sedans produced by high-end European car manufacturers, like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Albert Biermann, previously head of the BMW M division, was in charge of the Stinger’s development.
When viewing the car as a whole, it is clear to see that the 2011 GT concept was used as a base model.
The front of the car sports the striking Kia tiger-nose grille with directly underneath a wide, dark air vent. The hood also features two air vents, promising a sweet, purring engine underneath. Left and right there are two vertical air vents, niched into the corners. Then, slightly above the grille start the steep, sleek cat-eye headlights, completing the threatening appearance of the car as a crouching tiger.
The side of the car continues with the poised presence. Just next to the doors, there are two large air intakes with two lines drawn out over the doors. The air intakes are finished in dark and chrome for an extra striking look. Finally, a softer body line runs almost straight over the car body from in front of the wheel arch until the fastback trunklid. The profile of the car really enhances the elegant posture of the 2018 Kia Stinger.
The rear of the car is arresting in the small taillights and the braking light. 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 also feature a total of four exhaust pipes, two on each side. Finally, two tiny air intakes are located next to the exhausts, left and right of the 2018 Kia Stinger’s rear.
The inside is just as high-class as the exterior makes believe. The wrap-around dashboard is all the rage in car designs and is of course present here. A contrasting satin chrome line over the middle of the dashboard and on the doorpanels is a nice finishing touch.
The top of the center stack starts with a standing up 7 or 8 inch infotainment screen. Then, right below are three perfectly spherical A/C vents and a range of buttons for operating the A/C and car audio.
A choice of seats upholstery is available, it can be cloth, leather or magnificently soft Nappa leather. The steering wheel is a thick unit, wrapped in leather. Right behind it sits the instrument cluster, partly digital and partly analog. There’s also an additional TFT-screen to view performance info like driver settings and navigation.
Not unimportant, the 2018 Kia Stinger is built on the same wheelbase as that of the 2017 Hyundai Genesis G80. This long wheelbase provides for a generous amount of front and rear leg room. The car seats sit rather low, so head room is ample as well, both in the front and rear seat.
The standard audio system in the Stinger 2.0 liter turbo is a six speaker audio system with a seven inch touchscreen. Standard in the 3.3 liter twin-turbo is a nine speaker audio system with an amplifier. Finally, the premium system is a Harman Kardon 720 watts and an external amplifier. This system comes with a stunning amount of 15 speakers and two subwoofers mounted under the front seats. The latter making the Stinger the first Kia vehicle to do so.
We are left positively surprised with what the exterior and interior of the Kia offers us, but will the engine match or even top that surprise? Let’s find out.
Although Kia is still working hard to finish the engines for the 2018 Stinger, there is already some info on the units. The first is a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine and will produce around 255 horsepower.
The second available engine is really the showpiece for the Stinger. It’s a 3.3 liter twin-turbo direct injected aluminium V6 Lambda II engine that is expected to produce 365 horsepower. The aspired top speed of this engine is 167 mph (268 kph) and a 0-62 mph of 5.1 seconds. Very exciting indeed! Even the fully revamped and sporty 2017 Porsche Panamera only slightly tops the horsepower of the Stinger.
Finally, the European 2018 Kia Stinger will also get a diesel engine, but no specifications on that are available yet.
The transmission is a second generation eight speed rear drive automatic, designed for maximum fuel efficiency. Paddle shifters will be offered with this, for additional manual shifting.
The Stinger will be available with either rear wheel drive or All Wheel Drive. The rear wheel drive is very nice and good marketing to really offer the Stinger as a sports-oriented vehicle.
The All Wheel Drive comes with Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system, which can autonomously decide which wheels need the most power or braking force to retain the car on the road in unfriendly road conditions.
For handling the engine the Stinger provides five different shifting patterns in the vehicle’s electronic drive mode system. These consist of: Eco, Sport, Comfort, Smart, and Personal. Furthermore, the Head-Up driving display offers vehicle information on the windshield glass, so the driver won’t need to take the eyes off the road.
Standard in the Stinger is a wireless smartphone charging pad and Bluetooth hands-free operation.
The 2018 Kia Stinger first comes with Driver Attention Alert. This system recognizes distracted or drowsy driving and then continues to warn the driver with a sound and visual warning, advising to take a break.
More safety features consist of Forward Collision Assistance with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian detection. Advanced Smart Cruise Control helps maintain a safe distance between the car and the vehicle in front, if necessary by coming to a full stop.
Then, Lane Keeping Assist alerts the driver and steers to help remain in the right lane. Finally, Rear Cross Traffic Alert alerts the driver of cross traffic when backing out from a parking space and Blind Spot Monitoring to help during driving.
These safety and tech features mostly carry over from the slightly unique and unpretentious 2017 Kia Sportage, this ‘recycling’ enabled Kia to keep prices of both cars low.
Price, release and sale date
Pricing info on the 2018 Kia Stinger is not yet made available by Kia. We expect the 2018 Kia Stinger to start out just below the starting price of its main competitors. The Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS400 start around $65,000, and we predict that Kia wants to be a economical competitor. The starting price of around $60,000 is not at all a wild guess.
The car will go on sale all across the United States at the end of 2017. In 2018, the car will hit European shores.