Drivers keep driving the wheels off our long-term Kia Stinger GT: We’ve quickly clocked more than 5,400 miles. Indeed, our impressions thus far are largely on the cheery side, especially from those who have used the car primarily for commuting. “We’ve raved a lot about its competence as a sport sedan, and it’s true, the Stinger GT punches way above its price tag,” noted senior editor Nelson Ireson. “But it’s also a fundamentally good vehicle to drive day-to-day, whether you’re excited more by a traffic-jam-capable smart cruise-control system that works as well as any other, the really nice Harman/Kardon premium audio system, or simply having plenty of space to store stuff while still seating four tall adults.”
Former staffer Kirill Ougarov was befuddled, however, by the role the Stinger plays in the marketplace. “I still can’t figure out what the Stinger is supposed to do for Kia as a whole since it has nothing in common with the rest of the lineup,” Ougarov wrote in the logbook. “Even though it’s selling decently now, I can see the Stinger going one-and-done like the Hyundai Genesis coupe.”
Reliability has been good so far, even if we remain a far cry from what one might consider high-mileage. But it’s nice to note that we have done several longer road trips with nary a dealer visit save for a regular service at 5,443 miles. However, the cost of that service raised a few eyebrows, especially considering the car comes from value-conscious brand. The visit entailed an oil change, tire balance and rotation, and inspection for a hefty bill of $220.99. The six-quart oil change accounted for $116.44—which we’re thinking is quite the chunk of change for your average Kia driver. This isn’t your average Kia, thought, and while unpleasant, it’s not surprising that we’re paying Genesis-style luxury-car prices given that the Stinger shares its underpinnings with that brand’s recently launched G70.
The tire rotation was suspect as well, considering the tires are staggered front to back. Unlike a tire rotation job on your average sedan or crossover, where the tires can be swapped front to back, the Stinger’s fronts and rears are only switched from side to side. This is not nearly as effective as a four-wheel rotation, so we question the necessity of spending $70.00 at every service interval.
Still, we consider this a strong start for Kia’s first and thus far only sport sedan. We’re looking forward to putting it through its paces in the coming months—costly routine maintenance or no.
Our 2018 Kia Stinger GT
|MILES TO DATE||5,444|
|GALLONS OF FUEL||256.21|
|FUEL COST TO DATE||$1,029.44|
|RECALLS AND TSBs||None|
|OUT OF POCKET||None|
|ENGINE||3.3-liter twin-turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6; 365 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 376 lb-ft @ 1,300 rpm|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, RWD hatchback|
|EPA MILEAGE||19/25/21 mpg (city/highway/combined)|
|LxWxH||190.2 x 73.6 x 55.1 in|
|0–60 MPH||4.7 sec|
|TOP SPEED||167 mph (mfr)|
|OUR OPTIONS||Rear bumper appliqué, $75|