Now is the time to go buy one.
The Kia Stinger was one of our favorite cars of 2018. The Stinger came out of left field from Kia, a company known for making affordable cars, not BMW-rivaling sport sedans. We love how the Stinger looks, performs and feels from the driver seat but we have to admit, it isn't the most affordable car out there.
With a starting price of $31,900 for the base four-cylinder model and a loaded-up price of over $50,000 for the GT2 trim, not everyone can afford to drive a Stinger. But thanks to depreciation, you can now buy a slightly used Stinger for a lot less than a brand-new one.
We think we've made our point about why you should consider a Stinger, but here are a few more reasons.
1) It looks fantastic and people will quite literally stop you on the street to talk about it (we speak from experience).
2) The V6 model feels incredibly quick, almost as if Kia underrated the horsepower figure from the factory.
3) Even though the Stinger is a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan with tons of power, it still feels comfortable to drive every day.
Used Stinger prices have already dropped to a very reasonable level even though the car has only been on sale since the 2018 model year. We found several examples of the V6 GT model - each with fewer than 10,000 miles on the odometer - starting at around $27,000. That's the same amount you'll pay for a base model hot hatchback like a Volkswagen Golf GTI. Kia even built a special edition version of the basic GT model, limited to just 400 units in the US, which was painted a unique shade called Sunset Yellow and ditched the classic 'Kia' badges for unique Stinger emblems. For those who like yellow cars, we found several examples of this special edition model for less than $30,000.
If power isn't as important to you, four-cylinder Stinger models are now available starting at around $21,000. We recommend spending a bit more to find a certified pre-owned example, which will come with Kia's unbeatable 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
2.0L and Premium trim Stinger models are propelled by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque going out to rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive though an eight-speed automatic. It may not be the most potent Stinger but the base engine still produces a reasonably quick 6.6-second 0-60 mph time.
We'd highly recommend opting for one of the Stinger GT trim levels, each of which is powered by a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque also routing power through an eight-speed auto to RWD or AWD. The bigger motor produces a much quicker 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds as well as a top speed of 167 mph. GT models also benefit from larger Brembo brakes, adaptive suspension, and dynamic torque vectoring.
Kia's interiors have taken a giant leap in quality within the past few years - just take a look inside a Telluride if you need more proof. The Stinger's interior falls short of Audi or BMW quality but for nearly $10,000 less than the equivalent German luxury car, we are willing to say Kia did a nice job for the price. Higher trim Stinger models feature Nappa leather with heated and ventilated seats, Harmon/Kardon premium audio, and plenty of safety technology.
All Stingers, no matter which trim level, include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard on one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems on the market. Some of the luxury automakers could learn a thing or two from Kia on how to do infotainment.
Fuel economy for the Stinger varies depending on which engine you choose. The four-cylinder is fairly frugal with EPA-rated fuel economy of 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined. V6 models suffer in efficiency with ratings of 17/25/20 mpg city/highway/combined which, in our experience, are actually optimistic numbers compared to real-life results.
In terms of practicality, the Stinger shines with a spacious back seat, offering up 36.4 inches of legroom. The trunk is equally cavernous due to the Stinger's liftback body style, which offers 23.3 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up or a whopping 40.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.
As a new car, the Kia Stinger already offers up tremendous value compared to luxury rivals from Germany. But as a used car, the value is increased substantially. A used Stinger (with the potent V6 engine) can now be purchased for around the same price as a new hatchback like a Mazda3 or Golf GTI. Those cars are great on their own but the Stinger is both more practical and faster for similar money. It has only been on the market for a short time but the Kia Stinger is already looking like a used car hero.