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Kia Stinger GT: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver's Car Contender

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/19/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2018-Kia-Stinger-GT-front-in-motion-5.jpg

If seeing an RS, M, or ZR1 badge presets high expectations for a car, the "Kia" badge has the opposite effect. Several judges fretted that we'd invited a spork to a knife fight. Well, the Stinger started last, as the 12th car Randy Pobst lapped, but he instantly declared it "the biggest surprise of the week, with better balance than some of the big names that I've struggled with."

Pobst recited the "B-word" (balance) eight times in his post-session download. Yes, the car is softly sprung and damped relative to this field, but it always laid over and took a nice, predictable set, carving corners with little need for steering correction.

a red car driving on a road© Motor Trend Staff

On the track, judicious use of the controls could easily induce controllable drifts. "I love a car that I can impose my own style on," Jethro Bovingdon said. "The Stinger was always willing to adopt the cornering attitude I wanted." Interestingly, it's the only car in which Pobst's fourth lap was his quickest, indicating that the brakes and tires never tired of slowing or turning the 3,906-pound sedan (third heaviest in the group). In case you're wondering, its 1:46.16 lap time ranks 96th of 119 BDC laps, ahead of Mitsubishi Evos, Subaru WRXs, and the like.

Driven hard on 198, overly soft springs meant hard cornering over bumps prompted bump-stop visits that induced unwanted slides. Adding more brakes meant we felt some diagonal pitching. "I want to stiffen the springs about 50 percent," Scott Evans said. But he also noted that the lusty twin-turbo never threatened to overwhelm the chassis.

Most criticisms apply to 10/10ths driving, but "once you calm down, smooth out feet and hands, and get into a rhythm," Ed Loh noted, "the Stinger's communicative steering and planted ride bubble to the surface." It earned its ranking by proving more confidence inspiring and/or fun to drive than those that trailed it.

More 2018 Best Driver's Car Contenders:

• Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
• Audi TT RS
• Aston Martin Vantage
• BMW M5
• Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
• Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2
• Honda Civic Type R
• Lamborghini Huracan Performante
• Mazda MX-5 Miata
• McLaren 720S
• Porsche 911 GT2 RS


a red car parked in a parking lot© Motor Trend Staffa screenshot of a cell phone© Motor Trend Staff

2018 Kia Stinger GT
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD
ENGINE TYPE Twin-turbo 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 203.9 cu in/3,342 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1
POWER (SAE NET) 365 hp @ 6,000 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 376 lb-ft @ 1,300 rpm
REDLINE 6,500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 10.7 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.54:1/1.97:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 12.2-13.1:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.4
BRAKES, F; R 13.8-in vented disc; 13.4-in vented disc, ABS
WHEELS 8.0 x 19-in; 8.5 x 19-in cast aluminum
TIRES 225/40ZR19 93Y; 255/35R19 96Y Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 114.4 in
TRACK, F/R 62.8/63.7 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 190.2 x 73.6 x 55.1 in
TURNING CIRCLE 36.9 ft
CURB WEIGHT 3,906 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 52/48%
SEATING CAPACITY 5
HEADROOM, F/R 39.4/37.0 in
LEGROOM, F/R 42.6/36.4 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 56.4/54.8 in
CARGO VOLUME 40.9/23.3 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 1.7 sec
0-40 2.6
0-50 3.4
0-60 4.6
0-70 5.9
0-80 7.3
0-90 9.3
0-100 11.5
0-100-0 15.7
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.2
QUARTER MILE 13.1 sec @ 106.9 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 110 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.93 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.8 sec @ 0.79 g (avg)
2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 106.16 sec
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,500 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $39,250
PRICE AS TESTED $41,250
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS 8: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee
BASIC WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 10 yrs/100,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/60,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 15.9 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 19/25/21 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 177/135 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.91 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver's Car? See the cars in action right here.


2018 Kia Stinger GT front in motion 1© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Kia Stinger GT front in motion 1

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