- Kia’s hotly anticipated Stinger sports sedan will go up against the best of the best, from BMW, Audi, and Lexus.
- I tested the car in the San Francisco Bay Area for a few days.
- The Stinger blew me away.
South Korean carmaker Kia is better known for slightly offbeat, value-oriented cars than for high-performance wheels, but that changed with the introduction last year of the Stinger.
It was the toast of the auto-show circuit and a clear play on Kia’s part to redefine the brand with a classic “halo” car — in this case, a rear-wheel-drive, go-fast machine with a game-changing exterior design and a very inviting price tag, relative to the upmarket competition. We’re talking ten grand or more less than a German sports sled.
We were absolutely salivating over the Stinger, so when I recently traveled to the West Coast and escaped the miseries of winter in the New York metro area, I jumped at the chance to spend a few days behind the wheel. Here’s how it went:
Let’s start with the obvious: this is an absolutely stunning set of wheels. Kia design chief Peter Schreyer intended it to evoke the great European grand touring cars of the past. Easily my favorite sedan on the road today, looks-wise.
The Stinger is aggressive, elegant, stylish, and sleek. Our test car looked brilliant in “Hichroma Red.”
In keeping with a major trend, the Stinger is a fastback four-door, with an smoothly sloping roofline and a hatch. If you haven’t noticed already, the proportions on this car are masterful: balanced and suave.