Long-Term Review

2018 Kia Stinger Ownership: Where My Dogs At?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Rob Nestora October 2018

The 2018 Kia Stinger has been a great daily driver during my time behind the wheel, with its awesome combination of practicality, style and fun. One arena that has yet to be addressed, however, is the Stinger's pet friendliness. Being an avid dog-lover this is definitely something quite relevant to my everyday life, so with the help of my hound homies Baloo and Adara, I evaluated how well-suited the Stinger is to ferrying puppy pals around town.

Tailgate

A super convenient feature on the Stinger is the automatic rear hatch that senses when you are behind the car and opens the rear hatch automatically. This can be a great feature -- if your dog is not easily spooked. The three beeps that are emitted from the car may startle more tightly wound pups, making what should be an easy process a bit more involved. That being said, the elder statesman and 120-lb Italian Mastiff, Baloo, didn't mind the noises at all, while the younger 70-lb Rottweiler, Adara, became a bit suspicious of the rear cargo area and required more coaxing to get near the vehicle.

In addition to the warning beeps of the hatch, the rear tailgate height is also a bit high for a sedan and might be difficult for some pups to get in and out of. Both dogs needed assistance getting into the cargo area of the Stinger, so steps might be a good investment to aid with ingress. On the other hand, getting out of the Kia didn't seem to be much of an issue for either dog, but I could see smaller pups being intimidated by the drop while getting out of the rear cargo area.

Inside

While trying to get Baloo and his massive Mastiff frame into the cargo area, it became apparent that there was no way I was fitting this pooch in the sport sedan without laying the rear seats down. I had hoped to be able to fit my cargo divider on top of the rear seats and provide some sort of barrier to keep the extra-large canine from trying to visit the driver's seat while I was piloting the Kia, but unfortunately there wasn't enough clearance inside the rear cabin of the Stinger to accommodate the divider. On the bright side, the child car seat anchors on the back of the rear passenger seats were easily accessible and made a great place to secure the big guy for his safety and mine.

Luckily when it came to the smaller Adara, I was able to fit her in the cargo area without having to lay the seats flat. It wasn't exceptionally spacious for her but had about as much room as an appropriately sized crate for her frame. In addition, the rear seats left only a little bit of room between the headrests and the roof, which made it extra difficult for her to get out of the cargo area and into the front parts of the cabin. And once again, the anchors were easily accessible, which made securing her a breeze.

Conclusions

While the 2018 Kia Stinger isn't perfect for pet owners, it will definitely get the job done. An ideal situation would be shorter dogs weighing less than 70 pounds, which would allow them to ride safely and comfortably in the cargo area with no additional accessories required (other than a harness and leash). Owners of large-breed dogs should probably take their pooch for a test drive just to make sure the rear-seat-down set up works for them and the torquey acceleration doesn't make their poor pup carsick -- because nobody likes cleaning their dog's mess out of a beautifully appointed interior. Nobody.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Kia Stinger Ownership: Where My Dogs At? - Autotrader