Kia executives say the Stinger will mark a new era for the company, dividing its history into before and after. We agree. 

Inside and out, Kia took big risks and broke new ground with the Stinger and the automotive world noticed.

Inside, the distinctive design vocabulary, striking colors and shocking practicality of a hatchback design make the Stinger stand out in an ocean of highly competent but predictable sedans.

Real wood and aluminum trim, matched with other high-quality materials throughout, immediately give the Stinger credibility as a high-end touring sedan ready to blast down the autobahn, but the massive cargo area created by the hatch and fold-down rear seats lets you know you can hit Home Depot on the way home.

Ergonomics are excellent in the front seat and so is the view. The instrument panel has a lot of nice big buttons and knobs that are easy to reach, but they are placed strategically, leaving a lot of open, empty space that creates an exceptionally clean, uncluttered look.

But the beauty of the Stinger’s interior is not just skin deep. The user experience is excellent. The center display screen is perched high on the instrument panel in the driver’s line of sight where it should be, to prevent the driver from taking eyes off the road. It’s also easy to pair phones and the voice command system is first rate.

The car is available with the latest advanced driver-assist systems, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capabilities, forward collision avoidance and warning with pedestrian detection; blindspot sensing; rear cross-traffic collision warning and a head-up display. “Fantastic adaptive cruise control, right down to stop. Very dependable,” raves editor Bob Gritzinger.  

 

Most importantly, the Stinger gets all the fundamentals right: great use of premium materials with beautiful textures and colors; soft, tactile surfaces that are pleasing to touch and meticulous attention to details. The interior pieces all share design elements that bring continuity to the overall look of the cabin.

“The red, black and aluminum trim is awesome and a ‘just right’ mix of those three elements,” says editor Christie Schweinsberg.

All the goodies you expect from a premium sports sedan costing $70,000 or $80,000 are there – only our fully loaded test car was priced at $48,350 and the base model starts at just $33,000, making it a great value, above all else.

dwinter@wardsauto.com