Traditionally the luxury sport sedan market was dominated by German automakers and in recent years the British have captured some that market share with their competitive offerings. In these dynamic times the race for wins, place or show goes far beyond excelling in performance and innovation. The stylish Kia Stinger GT Sports Sedan is shaking that market up a bit with its high style quotient and non-prestige brand pricing, which defines their market advantage. The designers and engineers envisioned upscale malls filled with BMWs, Audi and Mercedes the battleground against the old guard. Kia created a statement making car that is both powerful and sexy while incorporating an axiom anew in the fashion world – style is an expression of individualism. At the luxury mall some consumer are stalwarts to specific brands; a Gucci or Tom Ford devotee may never look in the direction of a Brooks Brother, while a new generation of fashionable elites find their self-expression in the mix. That consumer, outfitted in a Tom Ford blazer and Gucci sneakers complete with classic Levis and a vintage t-shirt, or in H&M latest designer collaboration with a Hermes bag, is unafraid to enter a Kia Showroom in their quest for the new, new.
During our drive in the Kia Stinger GT sports around Malibu Canyon we encountered many an admiring gaze and it was only when we heard the exclamation “that’s a Kia?” that we acquiesced to powerful attraction of the Stinger. We encountered an Audi A4 driver, who was extremely impressed with our ride, curious about the evolution this one-time GT Concept car. From its concept inception in 2011 the Kia Stinger has received great press and it has come to the forefront as an alternative choice to those European luxury brands.
This 5-door hatchback is very well balanced with its rear-drive chassis with struts in the front, and 5-links in the rear. The base model turbocharged 2.0-liter with 255-horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque is a strong motor. The Stinger GT we drove had the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, aligning 365-horsepower and 376 lb-ft. of torque that was electrifyingly fast. We loved the 8-speed automatic drive complete with paddle shifts and all-wheel drive that makes this a true GT, and a blast to drive. There is a lot more ‘good stuff’ to mention including Dynamic Stability Damping Control, five drive modes, Brembo brakes on the GT trim, electronic torque vectoring for all-wheel-drive models, just to name a few.
Our test car also had head-up display, leather upholstery, Kia’s UVO3 infotainment system, navigation, a panoramic sunroof, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 15-speaker Harman/Kardon premium audio system, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, pedestrian detection, driver attention alert and more. The best thing to do is go out one Saturday and drive a Audi A4 or A5 or aBMW 3 series or BMW 330i xDrive GT then go drive the Stinger. The determination that Kia has placed into making the Stinger a strong competitor is instantly evident and impressive. This is a car for a new breed of confident consumer who makes their own statement without regards to the status quo. Kia Stinger.
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