Spannerhead Dot

Posts filed under ‘Kia’

Transcending Badge Appeal: Kia Stinger

January 2, 2019 by Matt

I want one. I don’t even care that it’s a Kia.

It’s almost like a latter-day Pontiac G8 or Chevy SS: A good-looking, well-executed sports sedan with the ingredients in all the right places (longitudinal engine, RWD or AWD, great proportions and distinctive details) but doomed to irrelevancy because of the market’s enduring obsession with SUVs and crossovers.

As usual, it’s a shame, since Kia deserves to be rewarded for their daring attempt to take on the upmarket cadre of established sports sedan players. It’s a smarter move than meets the eye, also; instead of copying to a tee something like the BMW 3-series (see: Cadillac ATS), Kia went for a more classically American feel, like a hybrid of the larger BMW 5-series and a Dodge Charger. With the latter at the bitter end of its life cycle, assuming buyers are willing to consider the Kia (and that’s a big assumption), the Stinger would seem to be well-poised to capture a chunk of that market niche.

Sadly, what with the aforementioned fixation on Sitting Up Highâ„¢ (read: SUVs and crossovers), I just don’t see the Stinger gaining any appreciable traction in the market. It certainly doesn’t help that sister brand Genesis has just released the G70, built on the same platform, but more dynamically polished and available with a manual transmission (though not with the twin-turbo V6 engine option). The Stinger is much nicer to look at than the G70, but the latter has landed not only a spot on Car and Driver‘s annual 10Best list, but also been named Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year. The automotive world just isn’t fair.

The upshot for an enthusiast like myself is that depreciation will probably be very high, especially considering the lack of badge cachet, so a used purchase in a few years could be a realistic proposition. I’d love a slate gray RWD GT model with the twin-turbo V6. The lack of a manual option is a debit, but the compelling design makes up for it. Add the inevitable rarity caused by its position as the black sheep of the sports sedan marketplace, and the potential exists for the Stinger to remain a special car.

For a great review, check out Doug DeMuro’s thorough rundown on the car and all its quirks and features:

Image credits:

No Comments on Transcending Badge Appeal: Kia Stinger