It's a brave manufacturer that enters the sport sedan market aiming to upset the status quo, but that's exactly what Kia has done with the 2018 Stinger. It produced a boldly styled, low-slung sedan with four doors and a fastback hatch tailgate, offering a choice of powerful engines and standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. Underlining Kia's seriousness in taking on established contenders is that the company brought in a former BMW M engineering guru to oversee the Stinger's development.
It worked, too, because the Stinger drives very well. The steering is quick and accurate, the ride is tight and controlled, and the performance is satisfying with the entry-level 255-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and thrilling with the range-topping 3.3-liter turbocharged V6. There are five trim levels—Base, Premium, GT, GT1, and GT2—and Kia is, as usual, generous with the standard equipment. The Base model comes with cruise control, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats, and Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. The Premium sees the touchscreen grow from 7 inches to 8 inches and gains a 15-speaker stereo over the Base's six-speaker system. The GT and above come with the V6 engine, and more demanding drivers are likely to seek out the GT2 trim with its limited-slip differential. Kia has made an enjoyable, engaging sport sedan.