Pricing for the Stinger starts at $33,090 in the US, $44,995 in Canada.
Kia has dropped the 4-cylinder version in Canada, which is still available in the US.
Few other cars come close to offering as much performance and features for the price.
We first got to sample the then all-new 2018 Kia Stinger roughly three and a half years ago. Falling under its spell was easy. The Stinger seemed to offer an answer for requirements, be it speed, power, styling, or creature comforts – it was all contained in a very attractive shell and for sale at a surprisingly affordable price.
Fast-forward to the 2021 model year and, in Canada, the turbocharged Stinger 2.0-litre GT-Line version came and went, little else has happened for the flagship grand touring performance car. The car’s underwhelming sales could possibly explain why it seems like the Stinger’s more or less frozen in time.
Despite entering its fourth model year essentially unchanged, the 2021 Kia Stinger remains astoundingly competent as a road car, a family car, and one that responds quite well to a mild thrashing when need be.
For all its positive attributes, there are certain elements about the Stinger that keep it from the topmost positions on the shopping list, but it’s often on said list. Should the Stinger be given a chance to shine as your latest acquisition? Read on:
Why you should buy a 2021 Kia Stinger GT:
From a pure design point of view, the Stinger GT is visually powerful with a fantastic road presence. The only way to make it more attractive is to replace the 19-inch wheels and repeat what Kia did for the 2019 GTS which was to alternate the “Kia” and “Stinger” badges on the car’s rear.
In Canada, the Stinger’s standard twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6 engine and its 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque is incredibly responsive.
All the torque is available from 1,300rpm to 4,500rpm.
The AWD system is heavily rear-wheel biased meaning that winter (and summer) driving is very entertaining.
Although the GT, at $44,995, is well-appointed, the $50,495 GT Limited is a bargain. The $5,500 surcharge includes an 8-inch display with navigation, a heads-up display, a 15-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, premium Nappa leather seats, and a rear limited-slip differential.
On the bang-for-the-buck scale, the Stinger puts cars like the BMW 3, 4, and 5 Series, and Audi A4, A5, and A6 to shame.
The Stinger’s dynamic dampers provide a supple-enough ride to make this grand touring car a perfect daily driver.
It’s spacious, well suited for four adult passengers, and offers a generously-sized trunk.
Why you should not buy a 2021 Kia Stinger GT:
Despite all its talents and skills, the Kia Stinger lacks street cred, as childish as it might seem. Only fans and those in the know will appreciate the Stinger.
Kia’s decision to swap the “Kia” and “Stinger” badges on the GTS’ rear points to the fact that the Kia brand wasn’t quite ready for the Stinger. Today, although the K5 GT is convincing, the Stinger is still too far removed from what consumers know and expect from Kia.
The brand’s reputation for poor resale values and doubtful medium- and long-term reliability also affects the car’s image.
Build quality is uneven. Our recent tester, and some in the past, have suffered from various rattles mostly coming from the car’s rear section.
It’s difficult to come to a clear-cut conclusion on the Kia Stinger GT. In the past, and this might apply if you’re shopping for a used Stinger, the 4-cylinder version is a no-no. For the size and weight of this car, you are kidding yourself if you think the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine will be enough. It won’t.
Despite the built-in value, the styling, and performance, most would rather pay more for less, or the same for much less so long as there’s a recognized premium brand on the key fob. Funny thing is that, with only 1,500 units sold in Canada on average every year, it will become a future classic. It may even become a preferred used car purchase for young car enthusiasts before long.
But in 2021, should you buy a Kia Stinger GT? It’s like this: We love the Stinger and have since the very beginning. But, for all the above-mentioned reasons, we’d not buy one. We’d not consider leasing one either as, at the time of writing these words, Kia offers no discounts or rebates.
With so few moving off dealer lots, we’re sad at the thought that the Kia Stinger may be on its last legs in Canada, but we’d not do much to change its fate…