The Kia Stinger is a ‘sports sedan’ that’s touted to deliver luxury and performance in the same package. The sedan is equipped with luxurious modern features that make lives easier for the driver, as well as some fancy new tech features. On the road, it shines too, with pretty attractive performance figures for a sedan at this price range.
Shrouded in style, the exterior looks quite pretty and sporty, with some cool curves and angled turns. With an eye to disrupt the market, ambitious Kia is looking to target the German-dominated sedan market at this segment. The Kia Stinger starts at about $34,125 for the lowest trim and varies all the way up to $51,425 for the highest-level trim.
Trims and features
The 2021 Kia Stinger comes in four trims – the GT-Line, GT, GT1, and GT2.
|Key Features||7” touchscreen||Adds to GT-Line features||Adds to GT features||Adds to GT1 features|
|18” alloy wheels||LED headlights||8” infotainment display||Adaptive low-beam headlights|
|Dual-zone climate control||Limited-slip differential||Harman Kardon fifteen-speaker sound system||A hands-free power trunk lid|
|12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat||Brembo brakes||High beam assist||Surround-view monitor|
|Nine-speaker sound system||Pedestrian detection||Nappa leather upholstery|
The base GT-Line starts at $34,125 and is equipped with basic features such as power-adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, 18” alloy wheels, etc.
The GT1 is priced at $46,525 includes GT’s features and adds an upgraded infotainment screen, Harman Kardon sound system, high beam assist, pedestrian detection, etc.
The GT2 begins at $51,425 and comes equipped with GT1’s features, plus adaptive low beam headlights, hands-free power trunk lid, surround-view monitor, and Nappa leather premium upholstery.
The GT1 is probably the best model to look-out for, because it is in a sweet middle spot, with amenities such as a sunroof, navigation, 8” infotainment screen, Harman Kardon audio, high beam assist, and a host of driver assistance features to make life easier; and it also keeps its pricing reasonable.
Engine and Performance
The entry-level 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 engine can be found in the base GT-Line model. It churns out 255 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400 rpm. It can be equipped with either RWD or AWD and comes paired with an 8 speed automatic. While it does decently compared to its rivals, the more exciting one is clearly the 3.3L Twin-Turbo V6 with 365 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 376 lb-ft of torque @ 1300 rpm.
Paired with an 8-speed automatic, the V6 delivers awe-inspiring performance with super quick and smooth gear shifts. The Stinger blitz down the straight line and with high-performance brakes also comes to a halt rather quickly.
Acceleration and Braking Performance
Kia proudly markets their stinger as being able to race from 0-60 MPH in as low as 4.4 seconds and sprint past the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds. For straight-line acceleration, the Stinger is impressively fast and fills you with the thrill of enthusiasm.
The Brembo brakes also do quite a justice to this awesome performance with a 70-0 MPH of just 156 ft. The Stinger is very lovely to drive with decent suspension and fast gear shifts which induce the adrenaline rush.
The base I-4 still manages to pull a 22/29/25 MPG for city/highway/combined driving respectively. The higher-end V6, obviously, still demands a lot more, with a figure of 17/25/20 MPG for city/highway/combined. The figures for the V6 aren’t too impressive, with competition generally offering better figures, but it’s not flat-out horrible either.
With a 15.9-gallon fuel tank, you get over 300 miles of range on a full tank, so you don’t have to stop an awful lot of times for refuel. Still, slightly better figures would’ve been more appreciated.
Interior and Cargo
The interior of the Kia Stinger 2021 is beautiful, with a thoughtfully laid out design language and attractive color contrast. The quality is constructed well and is of decent quality, with the highest trim offering premium Nappa leather upholstery.
The spacing isn’t too bad either. The headroom is decent but the legroom is where the Stinger shines. The rear seats are quite comfy and also offer great legroom with nifty seats too. A telescoping steering column eases finding an ideal driving position. The seats are heated and power-adjustable which makes things even more comfortable.
The ride is also quite smooth with good suspension taking the fronts. The highest-end trims come loaded with all creature comforts you can think of, starting from the heads-up display, a navigation system, heated and cooled seats, all the way to keyless start and even seat memory.
The Cargo Area
The cargo area is enclosed by a wide and high-opening hatchback, which reveals the access to decently-sized cargo space, with enough capacity to go on a long family trip. Interior storage options are also quite good. Overall, the cargo area doesn’t disappoint, even though it could have been more.
Kia’s UVO infotainment system comes in 7” variant and in the higher ends, in 8” variants. The system is quite intuitive and easy to use with a beautiful display quality, which is also responsive to the right degree. The infotainment features are also plentiful and some of them are:
- Harman Kardon surround sound system
- SiriusXM Radio/FM Radio/Satellite Radio
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Speed-sensitive volume
- Voice-activated radio
- Bluetooth connection
- USB ports and 12V power outlet
- Wireless charging
The 2021 Kia Stinger looks bold, with a sporty yet kind of luxurious design that flows throughout the exterior. It should appeal to a lot of people. The higher-end trims feature muscular lines and vents.
The front fascia has that grille that is stylishly shaped and the LED headlights are present from the GT model onwards. Mirror-mounted LED turn signals and LED DRLs are a feature too. GT, GT1, and GT2 are welcomed with 19-inch alloy wheels.
The rear end features a stylish taillight design with four exhaust notes at the bottom. The gently sloped roofline and window layout make the Kia Stinger even more attractive and appealing from the side. The exterior features on offer are:
- Rear Spoiler
- Liftgate rear cargo door
- Chrome surround black grille
- Turn signal indicator mirrors
- Black rear bumper insert
- Black front bumper insert
- Quad-twin Exhaust pipes
- Rearview camera
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Projector-beam headlights
- LED Tail Lights
The 2020 Kia Stinger has received an excellent 5-star safety rating from NHTSA with a 4-star overall front rating, 5-star rating on all the sides, and even a 5-star rollover rating which is quite rare. The Kia Stinger also aces the six Crashworthiness tests conducted by IIHS, receiving the highest rating of “GOOD” in all the parameters.
It also receives a “Superior” rating in front-to-front crash prevention. IIHS rewarded the Stinger with Top Safety Pick for 2020. These ratings should stand as a testament themselves to the strength of the chassis. Talking about safety features, it comes equipped with most of the industry-standard safety features.
While it is a little low on driver assistance features, but it still gets the job done. Not a whole lot of it is unique to Kia, but safety isn’t a big concern for Stinger customers. Some of the safety features include:
- Blind Spot Monitoring w/ Cross-Traffic Alert
- Forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Lane Keep Assist w/ Lane Departure Warning
- 4-wheel disc brakes
- Panic alarm
- ABS and driveline traction control
- 7 airbags
Kia offers some of the best and most lucrative warranty coverages, leaving almost every other brand behind. But it comes with a catch – Kia doesn’t offer any complimentary maintenance for free. However, that shouldn’t be too disappointing as Kia offers a limited warranty of 5 years/60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of more than 10 years/100,000 miles (whichever comes earlier).
There’s also 24-hour roadside assistance available that can be availed for a period of 5 years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes earlier). Kia offers the best warranty coverage at this price range and they have been doing so for a long time.
|Limited Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,00 miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 years/60,000 miles|
The 2021 Kia Stinger is quite a package of luxury, performance, and practicality. The sedan is also priced well as compared to the German counterparts and it offers good reliability and legendary warranty packages.
The interior is nifty and premium, with a decent cargo storage area; the engines are apt for even track use and the exterior gives off that sporty Kia vibe without going too overboard. Overall, the Stinger is a pretty good choice for anyone looking to own a sedan at this price point and Kia has delivered yet again.
Interesting related article: “Financial Aspects of Buying a New Car.”