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A sleek and potent sports sedan.

2019 Kia Stinger Review | CarMax

The Kia Stinger is a stylish and powerful car that offers a striking appearance, punchy performance figures, and all the luxury you could want from a midsize sedan. If you're looking for an executive car that can tackle both the office commute and lengthy work-trip journeys with ease, the Kia Stinger is a serious contender that deserves your attention.

Here's what you'll learn in this 2019 Kia Stinger review:

Key Specs & Features

  • Base and Premium models are equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 255 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • From the GT trim upwards, the Stinger comes with an updated 3.3L turbocharged V6 engine packing 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
  • The 2019 Stinger sports a rear-wheel-drive chassis with all-wheel drive available as an option across the range.
  • Six different trim levels: base, Premium, GT, GTS, GT1, and GT2.
  • The base model comes equipped with front and rear parking sensors, automatic dual-zone climate control, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and keyless entry and ignition.
  • At the top-of-the-range GT2 trim, a surround parking camera system, heated front and back seats, and a hands-free opening trunk come standard.

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Strong Powerplants

2019 Kia Stinger Review: Engine | CarMax

The two available engines are really the secret weapon of the 2019 Kia Stinger. The base 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 255 horsepower, more than enough to get you moving quickly and smoothly. But the 3.3L V6 gets up to 365 horsepower—that's 110 more ponies under the hood. And with all powerplants mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, power and driving pleasure are never far away.

2. Good Fuel Economy Numbers

You might think a midsize performance sedan with that much power is a recipe for gas-guzzling. However, the 2019 Kia Stinger can achieve an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined with the 2.0L four-cylinder engine, an EPA estimated 24 mpg when equipped with all-wheel-drive, and an EPA-estimated 20 mpg combined with the 3.3L V6.1

3. A Spacious Sedan

2019 Kia Stinger Review: Backseats | CarMax

The 2019 Kia Stinger isn't just about performance though—far from it. It is still a midsize sedan, and despite the swooping hatchback roofline, it doesn't sacrifice anything in terms of space inside. Five seats and 95 cubic feet of space inside for passengers means everyone can fit in just fine with room to spare. Additionally, a further 23 cubic feet of cargo space means suitcases and bags are no problem for the practical Stinger.

2019 Kia Stinger Review: Trunk Cargo | CarMax

4. Driving Pleasure & Convenience

2019 Kia Stinger Review: Tech Dash | CarMax

The 2019 Kia Stinger comes with an impressive selection of tech and driver-convenience features, even on the base model. Alongside those already mentioned, features such as leather seats, a six-speaker sound system, blind-spot monitoring, and a seven-inch touchscreen are all included, even on the base Stinger model. Perhaps the most unique all-round combination is the limited-edition GTS trim; combining features standard on the Premium trim, including a 15-speaker Harmon Kardon® surround-sound system, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, and braking systems, along with the 3.3L V6 engine found on GT trims and a drift mode setting for when you really want to let the Stinger rip. You get convenience and comfort alongside performance with the 2019 Stinger.

5. It's Different!

2019 Kia Stinger Review: Front Seats | CarMax

It's nice to stand out from the crowd and the 2019 Kia Stinger does just that. Kia makes some fantastic cars but this is the brand's first real foray into the performance-car market. If you want something a little different that will turn heads on the track as well as during your commute, or during a road trip with a friend, this car is a great choice. It might have a lot of competition but the Stinger is more than a match for any rival in its sector.


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What You Need to Know

2019 Kia Stinger Trim Levels

The 2019 Kia Stinger comes in six distinct trim levels: the base model, Premium, GT, GTS, GT1, and GT2.

The base model includes:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Leather seats
  • Heated and power-adjustable front seats
  • Blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Seven-speaker sound system

Premium:

  • LED headlights
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • A 15-speaker Harmon Kardon surround-sound system
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Sunroof

GT:

  • 3.3L V6 engine
  • 19-inch wheels
  • Locking rear differential
  • A nine-speaker sound system
  • Launch control & adaptive rear suspension dampers

GTS:

  • A combination of the Premium and GT features lists
  • Unique orange paint job
  • Drift mode setting on AWD variants
  • Imitation-suede steering wheel and carbon-fiber exterior parts

GT1:

  • Same features as Premium trim plus the 3.3L V6 engine as standard
  • Auto-dimming side mirrors
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Extra gauges

GT2:

  • Hands-free-opening trunk lid
  • Enhanced leather upholstery
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • 360-degree parking cameras
  • Heads-up display

2019 Kia Stinger Color Options

The 2019 Kia Stinger comes available in the following colors:

  • Aurora Black Pearl
  • Ceramic Silver
  • HiChroma Red
  • Micro Blue Pearl
  • Panthera Metal
  • Snow White Pearl

Similar Vehicles

Kia Optima

Either side of the Stinger in the Kia lineup are some great alternatives depending on what you are looking for. Want something a little more compact with a smaller engine but still packed full of driver convenience and a comfortable ride? The 2019 Optima is well worth a look. A selection of three engines, including a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 245 horsepower, means the Optima isn't lacking for potent performance in its own right. And inside, there are plenty of tech features available plus a full easy-to-use infotainment system, including Bluetooth® and Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® compatibility, mean the 2019 Optima should also be on your shopping list of midsize sedans.

Kia Cadenza

If you prioritize luxury and comfort above all else, the Stinger's bigger sibling, the Cadenza, is for you. It is a full-size sedan that offers all the tech features of the Stinger and trades off some of the performance for enhanced comfort and space inside. And when we say full-size, we do mean full-size; a whopping 108 cubic feet of passenger volume in the 2019 model means you and your passengers won't be lacking for legroom to stretch out in. And despite the car's size, the 2019 model will do an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined possible with the 3.3L V6 engine—including an estimated 27 mpg on the highway.1 When it comes to full-size sedans, the Cadenza is a standout in its field—particularly if you're after a comfortable highway cruiser.

Genesis G70

For something outside of the Kia family, the Hyundai offers a possible alternative. The Genesis is now its own subsidiary brand of Hyundai and the new-for-2019 G70 model is absolutely worth a look. Like the Stinger, it comes available with two engines: a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.3L turbocharged V6—and similarly packs plenty of convenience and tech features even on the base model. But the G70 is also an out-and-out sports sedan, taking on cars like the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4, all while holding its own. If you're looking for the performance and midsize sedan qualities of the Stinger in a smaller, sports-sedan package, the Genesis G70 is a great choice.

The Bottom Line

The landscape of performance midsize sedan motoring has changed—don't overlook the 2019 Kia Stinger, as it combines performance and practicality while looking good at the same time. This comes with all the driving pleasure and thrills you could want, all in a comfortable and practical package.

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1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.