2018 Kia Stinger long-term wrap-up: It is so laborious to say goodbye


After a yr within the driver’s seat, it is time to say goodbye to Roadshow’s long-term 2018 Kia Stinger GT2 check car, belovedly nicknamed “Jerry Stinger.” Like one other well-known Jerry, ours had a aptitude for the dramatic; whether or not we’re speaking neck-swiveling beauty or neck-snapping acceleration, the brilliant pink grand tourer left an enduring impression on our workers and we’re all fairly unhappy to see it go. However earlier than we bid farewell, let’s look again on among the highs and lows of the previous few months.

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Time to say goodbye to our long-term 2018 Kia Stinger…


Ups and downs

As a GT2 mannequin, our Stinger got here absolutely loaded. In principle, the elective Sensible Tailgate characteristic ought to have elevated comfort. You simply stroll as much as the rear finish with the important thing in your pocket and the power-lifting hatch mechanically opens. In follow, the tailgate would typically by chance set off every time I used to be simply pumping gasoline, so we ended up disabling it fairly early on.

Pumping gasoline is one thing we did fairly a little bit of over our yr behind the wheel. After a first-quarter common of 18.eight miles per gallon, the Stinger’s gasoline financial system climbed to 21.9 mpg for the second quarter, and settled at 24.2 mpg for the ultimate half of our year-long mortgage. That lands us properly in keeping with the EPA’s estimated 21 mixed mpg for the V6-powered Stinger with all-wheel drive. On one hand, a lot of the miles logged have been pretty easy freeway miles, which absolutely helped our common. On the opposite, it is shocking that we did so effectively contemplating the auto stop-start perform was disabled for nearly your entire time the Kia was in our possession. Additionally, practically everybody who drove the Stinger instantly popped it into Sport mode and left it there to totally admire the 365 horsepower. It is simply so laborious to not have a lead foot with such satisfying acceleration on the tip of your toe.

Efficiency, no shock, ended up being the side of the Stinger that we cherished probably the most. From the responsive dealing with to the meaty 376 pound-feet of torque to the highly effective brakes, we have had nearly no complaints relating to the sporty nature of the Stinger.

The all-wheel-drive system did not get an excessive amount of of a exercise throughout a yr in oft-dry California, leaving me eager for the extra dynamic rear-drive variant. Fortunately, our personal Emme Corridor was in a position to step up and put the AWD system via its paces, shoeing the Stinger with winter tires and taking it on a snowy vacation in mountainous Colorado.

We put a set of Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires on the Stinger for a vacation journey to the mountains of Colorado.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

I used to be greater than glad with the Stinger’s efficiency, however an encounter with 2019 Roadshow Shift Award-winning Automotive of the Yr, the Genesis G70 Sport, barely sophisticated my emotions. Mechanically, the G70 is almost similar to the Stinger with the identical powertrain and obtainable tech, however I most popular the marginally sharper suspension, extra compact dimensions and conventional sedan profile of the Genesis to the Stinger, which felt extra laid-back by comparability. Nevertheless, the Stinger’s extra spacious second row and liftback utility appealed extra to different members of our workers. With very comparable pricing, packaging and efficiency, I do not assume you could possibly steer mistaken selecting both of those shut cousins.

A clear invoice of well being

I encountered just one efficiency hiccup throughout the entire yr: a little bit of shake from the Brembo brakes that I seen at round 10,00Zero logged miles. This was probably because of the Stinger being pushed laborious in the course of the break-in interval by our generally impatient workers members. Nevertheless, the difficulty disappeared extra rapidly than it had arrived. After only a few extra journeys, the shake had vanished even earlier than we may check out the rotors.

The remainder of the Stinger’s medical file consisted of only one usually scheduled servicing (oil and air filter change and a great looking-over) and a brief cease on the paint store after one among our SF Bay Space neighbors used the Stinger’s bumper to assist in parking-by-feel.

Whereas I am nitpicking, the black chrome on our instance regarded incredible when it was clear. Nevertheless, I discovered it nigh not possible to maintain the darkish trim on the entrance bumper and wing mirrors away from blemishes. From water spots to bug splatters, each spot stands out on this end, which was a small level of annoyance. Maintain some spray cleaner and microfiber towels useful if, like me, you are a compulsive detailer.

One factor that I seen all year long with Jerry is the constructive consideration that the Stinger garnered round city. At the least as soon as every week, some stranger would praise me with a, “Good automotive, dude,” or, “Is that your Stinger? Candy.” I’ve by no means gotten so many compliments on a overview automotive — not on the BMW M5, not even the Porsche Panamera e-Hybrid. I chalk it as much as the Stinger driving the road between desirability and approachability. Folks love the premium look and efficiency, however it’s received a Kia badge at both finish, so it — and the individual behind the wheel — feels a bit much less hoity-toity.

A extremely candy deal

Talking model notion, a minimum of one workers member expressed a little bit of hesitation on the $52,000-plus asking worth for a car that wears Kia badges. Nevertheless, contemplating the entire know-how, efficiency and options you get for that worth — and simply how good Kia’s lineup and fame have gotten over the previous decade — most of our workers agree that the 2018 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD is a reasonably candy deal. A comparably outfitted Audi A5 Sportback or BMW four Sequence Gran Coupe — each smaller automobiles — could be hundreds of {dollars} dearer. 

Nevertheless, I feel we may do some higher on the value. For 2019, pricing and packaging have been modified and simplified barely, however my choice stays the identical. I might additionally step down from the GT2 mannequin to a midtier GT1. That places you at a candy spot of about $46,295 delivered with all-wheel drive — about $5,00Zero cheaper than a 2019 GT2. You lose Nappa leather-based and some consolation options like the ability liftgate, however the GT1 nonetheless options Kia’s Drivewise superior driver help suite, the adaptive suspension and all of cabin tech and efficiency that issues. Whereas I am at it, I feel I might spec mine in Micro Blue Pearl; practically each different Stinger I noticed in 2018 was pink like ours.

In areas with milder climates year-round, I might additionally skip the all-wheel-drive improve in favor of a rear-wheel-drive mannequin. Our workers who’ve pushed each assume that the rear-driven Stinger is a little more dynamic, plus the 2019 RWD GT fashions now come customary with the handling-enhancing limited-slip differential. That probably saves truthful climate drivers $2,200 off the underside line. In fact, should you’ve received cash burning a gap in your pocket, the newly introduced limited-edition 2020 Kia Stinger GTS looks like it’s going to be a no-compromises choose when it arrives later this yr.

So would we nonetheless suggest this Roadshow Shift Award winner after a yr within the saddle? In fact we might. Heck, we did not need to give this one again. However it is time to make room for one more long-termer, so we are saying farewell, Jerry Stinger. You may be missed.


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