2018 Kia Stinger Walk Around


The Stinger is far from retro, although Kia designers were inspired by fastbacks from the 1970s, for example, they say, the Maserati Ghibli. It’s quite bold, with a long chiseled hood, sloping hatchback profile, and athletic haunches with short overhangs front and rear.

But what’s really impressive are the functional aerodynamic bits: wheel curtains with working vents, gills behind the front wheels to reduce turbulence, a belly pan with rear diffuser to smooth airflow under the chassis, and a ducktail rear spoiler. It all works. The coefficient of drag is a slippery 0.30.

That’s a lot of design detail, especially for the price.

Interior

The Stinger’s cabin follows along the lines of two of Kia’s near-luxury models, the Cadenza and K900. The quality of the materials is high: standard leather, including a thick leather-wrapped steering wheel, and big gauges ringed in metal. There are soft-touch surfaces everywhere, although some lower-cost plastics survive.

The dashboard is black and wing-shaped, with contrasting metal trim. The infotainment system is like a tablet on the top of the dash, possibly copied from German cars, and below that screen there are three round climate control gauges. There’s also a color screen that speaks to the Stinger’s sporty mission, programmable to display performance data, such as G-forces and lap times.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive, with driver’s seat highly power adjustable including lumbar. The GT2 gets 16-way adjustment, plus heating and ventilation. And there’s enough legroom in the rear for a six-footer.

The hatchback fastback roofline reduces rear headroom, but affords considerably more cargo area than a sedan’s trunk, a vast 23.3 cubic feet. And with the rear seats folded down, the space increases to 40.9 cubic feet, as much as a small SUV.

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