2021 KIA Stinger GT Limited
The 2021 Kia Stinger GT Limited is a distinctive car by its look and level of performance in a Korean car; Kia put together a vehicle that is so much fun to drive. Our test vehicle had an MSRP of $50,495; the Stinger is a great value in terms of performance and practicality for families.
On the styling part, the Kia Stinger is gorgeous. The low profile bodes well the category and overall attitude of the vehicle. The front grille is massive and aggressive, with huge air intakes in the lower part of the bumper. The hood is very long, and for a good reason, the 6-cylinder twin-turbo hides underneath; a big letdown was that the air vents on the hood weren't real. On the sides, the 19-inch wheels carry on the vehicle's sportiness, the low-profile tires carry on the sporty look all year long. The Brembo brake callipers are a good indicator that the Stinger isn't a typical Kia model. The 4 exhausts in the rear bumper once again emphasize the level of performance that this vehicle can achieve. On to the interior, this Kia bears almost no difference to the rest of the family. This is good because they offer many features usually found on more expensive models, such as ventilated and heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and adaptive cruise control. The seats are pretty comfortable for longer rides. The back seats offer a decent amount of legroom and headroom for its occupants. Child seat installation is effortless due to the ISOFIX ports being very visible and easy to reach. In the trunk, you may be surprised the first time to find that the Stinger doesn't have a conventional trunk. Instead, it is a hatchback designed as a sedan to appeal to sedan buyers. The advantage is pretty obvious: you get a wide opening trunk, which means 660L with the back seats up, this number doubles when the seats are folded down! All and all, the Stinger is a surprisingly competent family car that happens to have a twin-turbo V6 in front.
Back to the front, the infotainment is the older 8-inch touchscreen that dates back to 2015. It isn't a flawed system; it just lacks the refinement that comes with such a high price tag coming from Kia. For example, there is no wireless Apple Carplay; you need a cable to access it. The excellent Harman Kardon optional sound system is always welcome in any vehicle, the Stinger being no exception. The gauge cluster is a mix of analog and digital, complemented with a decent 7-inch display slotted between the tachometer and speedometer. It offers some information such as a g-meter but no fullscreen map. There are some cheap plastics which we can forgive at this price point.
Now let's move on to the highlight, the sole purpose of the Kia Stinger, the powertrain's performance. As we said earlier, the Stinger is powered by a V6 twin-turbo that produces a hefty 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. It is coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission; unfortunately, this machine offers no manual transmission. But this is not a problem since the current transmission works harmoniously, plus the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel replicate perfectly the feeling of a manual. In the cabin, you can find a knob where you can change the drive modes (Smart/Eco/Comfort/Sport/Custom), the car will adapt its behaviour between them. This combination propels the car to 100 mph in under 5 seconds, the first time we see such a figure in a Kia! Standard on all Stingers, the all-wheel-drive definitely helps keep the car stable in corners or straight lines when flooring it. The low center of gravity also helps the handling, and the Brembo brakes do an impeccable job of stopping the car, and the shocks are stiff but not too harsh when driving for long periods on the highway. This Kia truly is a grand touring car because it can achieve impressive top speeds while transporting a small family and driving for 6 hours. This car is fast, fun to drive, easy to toss around. The Korean automaker worked hard to bring a very competent vehicle to the market at a fraction of the price of a German rival.
In conclusion, the Kia Stinger lives up to the hype. Not only does it have a powerful engine, but it is also pleasant in corners and offers lots of room to bring the family everywhere. Our only reserves are on the infotainment system; besides that, it is a very competent car all around and should be on your shopping list if you are looking for the absolute best value for the money.