2018 Kia Stinger GT Limited

Words & Photos by: Jimmy Mak

In Canada, the Kia Stinger is only available in the GT trim in both base as well as the Limited model. So all Canadian Stingers will be equipped with AWD as well as the same 3.3 Twin Turbo V-6.

Looking at the Stinger it’s fantastic, with small front overhang with longer rear overhang and stretched wheelbase it’s distinctive for sure. There are some fake vents on the hood, but it adds to the overall look of the car. The only place I find that seems odd is the reflector on the rear quarter panel.

Quick look inside the Stinger, it’s filled with all the excellent materials you would find in a luxury car.

The car has a very high end feel to it, leathers are soft to the touch and the metals plastics are top notch. There’s a mixture of Mercedes and BMW inside. Some switchgear can be higher grade but it’s not bad by any means. The infotainment is amazing, like the rest of the KIA lineup its works well and there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For some reason when using the infotainment I was wishing there was a rotary dial on the centre console to control it but it’s all done via the touch screen which is a bit far away.

Seats wise the Stinger GT Limited comes with these lovely Nappa leather covered units. On the front, they’re heated and cooled with ample of support, so it’s perfect for long drives. I did find myself slumping a bit while driving the Stinger due to the roof height and visibility. Speaking of which, the rear window is tiny. Looking out back is one of the hardest things to do, luckily with the Limited gets a 360-degree camera to help with parking manuvers.

The rear seats are quite spacious, being 5’11 there is enough head and knee roof with no issues. Limited trim also gets heated rear seats.

What’s missing in a lot of rear seats these days is vents, the stinger has you covered these lovely vents work great to keep the rear passengers nice and cool. And there’s a USB plug as well as a cigarette lighter to charge your devices.

Outback there’s plenty of space, the floor is raised as the battery, and the spare tire is under the load floor, but its depth is huge. With the rear seats down there’s plenty of room in the stinger for your typical IKEA haul.

But what matters for the stinger is the heart. This 3.3L twin turbo v6 produces 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. All of that torque comes before 2000rpm which allows this Stinger to have plenty of gets up and go. 0-100km/h takes about 4.4 seconds this is phenomenal for a car that weighs 4000lbs.

But a true GT car is more than just power. The Stinger puts all that power to all four wheels. Depending on mode the power can go 100% to the rear and up to 50% to the front axle. In Sport mode, it locks it in at 20% front and 80% rear, this is a true rear biased AWD system.

There’s more to just a good all-wheel-drive system to bring that power to the road. The Stinger also sits on dynamic dampers that can adjust from a soft ride on comfort to a still a pretty soft ride in sport. This is NOT a sports car; it’s a GT car so dynamically it’s okay to be more comfortable. To aid with highway stops and day to day traffic, there are bright red Brembo brakes all around that help stop the car behind these 19″ wheels. Best yet, KIA has given us some good tires with the Stinger. It’s equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 there’s plenty of grip to allow a lot of fun even in the twisties.

For those who want more fun, by disabling stability control and traction control the Stinger has built-in launch control. Hold the brake pedal and throttle together, and the cluster will light up with launch control active and the Stinger will blast off. One thing to note, even with stability control fully turned off the system still limits you on the fun factor by cutting power.

Don’t be fooled by the badge the Stinger is a fantastic vehicle. The only downside is fuel consumption, with this amount of power using it becomes the norm. Accerlating and darting in traffic are simply fun. But with lack of the economical right foot, this engine can be thirsty. Averaging 18L/100km during my day to day drive it’s not easy to fill at the pumps. That being said when the time calls for it, it can settle down and be sensible as on the highway and it stretches t0 9.5L/100km and about 12L/100km in the city.

The Stinger is such an amazing vehicle. It’s perfect for everyday and travelling long distances, for those that are a bit more frugal there is a 2.0 Turbo available in the US and maybe we’ll get that in Canada along with rear wheel drive as well as a manual transmission later on. Priced at 45k for the base and 50k for the limited trim. There are not many vehicles out there that can deliver this amount of power and options that the Stinger has. Kia has something right here, sadly that badge on the front makes it difficult to sell if it had a BMW badge or even an Infiniti badge this would be flying off the shelves but with the current Kia badge it’s much harder to deliver to the audience.

Thank you to Kia Canada for providing the vehicle.

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