SEATTLE, May 7, 2018 - "Dude, I can't believe that's a KIA!" – an all too common thing you'll hear when driving most of today's KIA lineup, most notably from their Stinger. The Stinger is KIA's foray into the sports sedan market and to say they nailed it would be to understand things. There are so many things right with this car that it can be difficult to remain objective and find fault with it as well.
With the 2018 Stinger GT, KIA proves that it can build a world-class grand touring sedan that can take on the best from Germany which normally cost nearly double.

As you can see in the photos, the Stinger GT has exterior body design cues that go on for days and looks stellar from any angle. Outside of the faux hood vents and odd rear tail light reflector that wraps around to the quarter panel, it's a sporty, masculine look. The side front quarter panel vents are active and help cool the front brakes – and they need it while stopping all 4004lbs of this RWD Stinger. KIA does outfit the GT model with Brembo brakes which stop this beast in a respectable 158 feet from 70 miles per hour. Zero to 60 times are in the 4.8 second range and the reported top speed is 167 miles per hour.

We love the fact that it's a "hatchback" – now referred to as 'sportback" – it's a total grab from the likes of the Audi A7 and provides a lot of cargo room. A side benefit is its ease of access compared to a trunk and you can fit much larger items into it. Think of it as a Grand Touring sedan that will also do well with those trips to Costco.

The secret to KIA's acceleration is the 3.3 liter V6 that has twin turbo chargers slapped on it. This setup developers 365 horsepower with 376 lb-ft. of torque that kicks in at only 1300 rpm. The end result is a very responsive engine that develops power early, with little "turbo lag". To help put the power down, KIA mated the engine to a very quick-shifting 8-speed automatic, sporting paddle shifters and a true manual mode. Meaning, it won't force an upshift when you hit the redline.

As when driving any Grand Touring car, there is that constant lust to keep one's right foot firmly planted into the accelerator pedal as far as it'll go. While I can neither confirm nor deny this happened with my time in the vehicle – I can say that driving it this way makes it a thirsty beast. KIA garnered an EPA rating of 18 miles per gallon around town and up to 25 miles per gallon on the highway. However, I believe my average was closer to 14mpg – I suppose I'll have to work harder at keeping the turbos from spooling up!

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