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Video | 2018 Kia Stinger GT: First Drive Review

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author photo by James Riswick November 2017

The 2018 Kia Stinger is in many ways exactly like every other Kia: It has a long 5-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, provides tons of equipment for your money and features eye-catching styling. Yet, it's also something completely different: A high-powered, fun-to-drive sport sedan.

Of course, any car company can say it's made a sport sedan. Kia has actually pulled it off, feeling like the spiritual successor of BMWs from a decade ago that were more engaging, buttoned down and little less concerned with catering to a wider audience. The Stinger handles with poise, its steering in particular impresses and its suspension ably deals with stretches of poor pavement. Plus, its ride remains well within the range of comfort, avoiding impact harshness over sharp bumps.

Then there are the engines. The Stinger GT model has a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 that sends 365 horsepower through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. Kia estimates that it'll go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds, but it may be even quicker than that. Either way, that's sensational.

Though not sensational, the base Stinger engine is also quite capable: a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine good for 255 hp. That's more than most entry-level luxury sedans offer, and Kia says it should hit 60 mph in a competitively quick 5.9 seconds. It, too, has rear- and all-wheel drive on offer.

With its price range falling between $32,000 and $52,000, the Stinger is priced comparably to a BMW 3 Series. However, it's actually closer to a 5 Series in size. It nearly has a full-size back seat, and despite what it looks like, the trunk is actually a hatchback like those featured on the Audi A5/S5 Sportback. As a result, it provides far more space and versatility than a typical sedan.

And speaking of Audi, there's no denying where Kia got its inspiration for the Stinger's interior. The three road air vents, the infotainment display mounted atop the dash, the general look of black dash trim meeting silver controls … it's a chip off the Audi block. Yet, if you're going to be inspired by something, that's a pretty great place to start. The quality certainly doesn't match its German muse, but for the money you're paying, it's certainly strong and you won't feel cheated.

Really, that's a pretty good way of summarizing the entire 2018 Kia Stinger, yet it also drives so well and looks so good that you don't really need the qualifier of "for the money" to want one in your driveway.

To gain access to this information, Autotrader attended an event sponsored by the vehicle's manufacturer.

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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.
Video | 2018 Kia Stinger GT: First Drive Review - Autotrader