2018 Kia Stinger GT AWD – The Jokes Cease Right here

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Received any good Kia jokes? Yeah, I guess you do. You in all probability have horror story or two, or possibly you simply have the acronyms lined up and ready (“Hold it, asshole”). Or possibly you simply have some form of predilection that robotically turns in your rage-meter at any time when somebody suggests Korean automotive may truly be on-par with no matter model you align your self with. None of it is a shock. Earlier than I drove this automotive, I confided in a pal of mine about this check drive and his phrases, verbatim: “I don’t care if it has 1,000 horsepower and corners like a motherf***er, on the finish of the day it’s nonetheless only a Kia”. Sure, Kia’s popularity for making throwaway automobiles all the time steps into play. I’ve handled a 1994 Sephia. And quite a few Ford Aspires (learn: Kia Pleasure). And Sportages. And Optimas, and the XG350, and so forth and so forth. In contrast to 2008 GM and Chrysler throughout their actually low factors, Kia didn’t hit all-time low, that’s the place they began out.

And right here’s the factor: not like some those who I’ve met in life, as a substitute of borrowing a jackhammer and attempting to maintain tunneling additional downwards, Kia’s high quality, match and end, appearances and longevity have been enhancing, markedly over the past ten years for certain. Kia took automobiles just like the Spectra and Sportage SUV and centered on fixing the issue points and the fundamental components that early U.S. market automobiles and SUVs lacked. Round 2010, the corporate began to work on fashion, with their Optima sedan changing into a sleeper hit with it’s smooth form. And now, for 2018, Kia has constructed one thing so out-of-their-element that the entire hyperbole that can be utilized is getting used: they constructed a no-shit sports activities sedan, obtainable as a rear-driver or an all-wheel-drive five-door hatchback. From the second Kia dropped the GT idea automotive on the Frankfort Auto Present a few years in the past, the automotive world has been watching. Is the world prepared for a hot-rodded Kia, or perhaps a premium-price Korean sedan that’s aiming actually excessive within the market? We sampled a little bit of the Stinger GT at SEMA throughout a test-drive and got here away wanting extra. And we received extra, within the type of this Micro Blue 2018 Stinger GT AWD that the Martin Group allowed me to run unfastened with.

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Let’s get this half out of the best way proper now: $52,405 is the quantity on the Maroney sticker for this GT2 AWD instance. That’s so much to choke down for a Kia, I get that. The GT2 is the bucks-up variation of the Stinger GT, the one with the twin-turbocharged three.3L V6 that you really want, and there have been solely two further choices over the bottom $51,400 value: $50 for a cargo web and $55 for wheel locks. So there isn’t any pairing down additional on this variation. However in the event you can stay with out the full-width sunroof, the thumping sound system and among the technological add-ons, you will get right into a RWD Stinger GT for $38,350 or an AWD Stinger GT for $40,550. You’ll nonetheless get the nice V6, you’ll get the Brembo brakes, the LED headlights and taillights, and the 19″ wheel/tire bundle. The choices are as much as you, however earlier than you learn additional, right here’s the TL;DR abstract: you will get a Stinger GT within the the whole lot you need, nothing you don’t setup for a comparatively first rate value. I check what’s on the lot, not what is good for many readers or consumers, and this one was able to roll. Received it? Okay, now learn on to search out out what driving this factor is like.


In the event you can’t say anything good in regards to the Stinger lineup, you must admit that Kia has come a protracted, good distance within the fashion division. The Stinger GT is a good-looking and pretty aggressive trying machine. It’s primarily based on a shortened platform raided from the Genesis G90/Kia Ok900.

The celebration piece, the rationale the Stinger GT has been on all people’s lips: the aluminum three.3L twin-turbocharged and intercooled V6. It makes 365 horsepower and 370 ft/lbs of torque, and has greater than sufficient grunt to get foolish with, particularly within the rear-drive automobiles. YouTube search “Kia Stinger SEMA drifting” and also you’ll see what we imply. You need to know the form of grunt this Kia could make? Automotive and Driver managed to eek out a 12.9@111 MPH out of an early manufacturing mannequin, and Street and Observe’s occasions have been inside the noise. I’ll promise you this: line this automotive up towards that Durango SRT I drove not too long ago and also you’ll have one hell of a drag race. It will likely be rattling shut.

Like most different performance-minded automobiles popping out recently, going to Brembo for good brakes is simply widespread sense. Right here, it’s four-piston entrance calipers and twin-piston rears. For driver use, it’s radical overkill. For monitor exercises, they’re a spot-on selection, hustling the two-ton machine down simply and with no drama.

The Stinger GT is roomy. The entrance seats are precisely what you need in a driver-oriented automotive, and the backseat passengers aren’t going to be hurting for legroom…although taller passengers will discover that slope reducing into the headroom. The sound system on this automotive can silence any bitching…I don’t know what the Harman Kardon system goes to number-wise, however “three” was sufficient to really feel the bass slightly bit and “10”, nonetheless low on the dimensions, was bothersome. Good!

General, the within of the Kia is a pleasant place to be, however I’ll nit-pick a few issues. First off, this Stinger had the nannies…lane-keeper help being one which cropped up a few occasions, beeping at you when it detects highway striping and also you don’t have your sign on. Fortunately, the nannies are an possibility referred to as the Kia Drive Clever bundle and usually are not commonplace tools. The iPad-like heart show is fastened in place, which for me personally kills the in any other case enticing dashboard. It’s, nevertheless, very straightforward to make use of. The useless pedal is a deal with, the flat-bottomed steering wheel good and cozy, and the heater will roast you out of the automotive in minutes.

One other automotive the place the drive modes truly do one thing! I attempted out “Consolation” and “Sport”. Consolation is the one you need for each day use. Sport is while you need to play…the throttle will get severely aggressive and the shift factors within the eight-speed automated get very crisp. There’s a little bit of turbo lag from a launch or at very low revs, however get into the RPM vary just a bit bit and the Kia comes alive such as you poked the nitrous button.

I may be nit-picky in regards to the sprint, however the shifter was genuinely annoying. The thumb button is an “unlock change” that permits you to cycle between reverse, impartial and drive. To place it into park, you hit that “P” button. Shift lever or buttons…not each.

It’s a hatchback! And a properly useable one. See, we do care about practicality right here. Driving the Stinger GT round city is a nice affair, although the nearly telepathic steering inputs initially had me utilizing the phrase “nervous” so much. The steering is that direct, although…you progress that wheel any and the wheels will go together with you. Overkill for a commuter, excellent for a highway rocket. However the Kia isn’t a brutal-riding sedan…it’s not tender, however it’s not spine-compressing, both. That “GT” badge is correct right here…this automotive will make the drive gratifying with out kicking your ass the entire time.

Mitch Wright, NCM Motorsports Park’s basic supervisor, initially thought BMW had appeared when he noticed the automotive. After I dangled the keyfob in entrance of him and advised him no person would discover out (sorry, buddy!), he received behind the wheel and flexed the Stinger GT’s muscle on the autocross pad. What that actually means is that he went from one finish of the asphalt to the opposite at WFO, drilled the brakes and went the opposite course. The automotive hustles…you’ll be able to wring the hell out of it and appear to be a star. The RWD model will step out in the event you get silly and there’s a bit left on the desk within the identify of driver security, however the look on his face after his drive mentioned all of it…very impressed.

So the place does AutoCarTechNews sit on the Stinger GT? That engine is a gem…it pulls from the second the turbos grow to be concerned to redline. The transmission is nearly on level…from time to time the paddle-shifters aren’t as speedy as you’d hope, however we’ve seen a lot worse than these. They play alongside for essentially the most half, however at 10/10ths, you’ll discover the slight delay that kicks up from time to time. The journey goes to come back down to private choice, however we recognize that Kia caught to the center floor. Let the tuners and aftermarket dial up the harder-charging elements for individuals who prefer to fiddle. The physique is enticing, the inside nice (shifter being ignored) and it’s completely sensible as a each day driver. You possibly can have the two.0L four-cylinder powered Stinger in the event you actually need to go for the price range, however as a substitute skip the choices checklist, go for the baser-level Stinger GT, and do us one massive favor: recover from the model identify concern we’re certain many may have with this automotive. Kia has made a really competent sedan that may shock the hell out of loads of autos on the highway.

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I can’t wait to learn the hate mail on this one.

 

The publish Better of 2018: 2018 Kia Stinger GT AWD – The Jokes Cease Right here Auto Reviews & New Cars on AutoCarTechNews.com.


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