2019 Kia Stinger, Greatest Fastback under $50k

by Tony West and Sommer Thornton

The highly anticipated Kia Stinger is taking over the sport sedan segment while forging its own path!

The 2019 Kia Stinger, now in its second generation boasts luxury, sport and very practical safety technology that puts it in a class by itself. Imagine a super-efficient sedan – 25 mpg highway EPA with a stuntastic design – 360 LED lighting, 19 inch wheels, chromed-out grille, hood vents and exhaust plus a dope interior that’s ultra-comfortable and that wouldn’t be half of the what the new Kia Stinger offers.

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We reviewed the 2019 Kia Stinger before it hit the streets and fans couldn’t get enough. Everywhere Editor Sommer went people would stop and ask about Kia’s new fastback, saying that it was not like anything they’d ever seen. And when Sommer told them the sticker price starts at just $32k for the Stinger 2.0 liter I4 Turbo they vowed to be the next owner!

The 2019 Kia Stinger, a carryover from last year is available in 10 trims starting with the Stinger 2.0 I4 Turbo and includes a Stinger Premium, Stinger GT, GT1 and GT2 with a 3.3 liter twin-turbo V6. All models offer four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants.

Just recently a limited edition Stinger GTS hit the streets with a electrifying campaign. Check it out!

For 2019 the base Stinger adds 18 inch wheels and the Blind Spot Collision Warning as standard equipment, while the sunroof, a premium Harmon Kardon sound system and an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation is optional.

2019 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD
2019 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD

The 2019 Stinger GT now has a mechanical limited slip differential added to this rear-wheel drive trim. And the Stinger Premium and GT1 have a standard wireless charging port, ventilated front seats and a full suite of advanced driver assistance features.

We reviewed the 2019 Kia Stinger GT2AWD V6 that now has a standard surround view monitor and heated rear seats.

Stuntastic Fastback Design with Exceptional Sport Interior

The 2019 Kia Stinger is an instant star. Before it dropped fans probably didn’t believe Kia could pull off a fantastic fastback like the Stinger, but designers worked painstakingly hard to make a unique affordable sporty sedan.

2019 Stinger GT2 RWD and 2019 Stinger GT2 AWD
2019 Stinger GT2 RWD and 2019 Stinger GT2 AWD

There isn’t another fastback on the road like the sporty new Stinger, especially at less than $40k for the base model. Since we reviewed the Kia Stinger GT2 AWD we’ve see a ton of new whips on the road in Chicago.

The low-slung 2019 Kia Stinger GT2 features 360-degree LED lighting including headlights, daytime running lights, stop lamp, brake lights and turn signals. Low-beam and high beams have dynamic assist.

The GT models have body-color door handles with chrome trim and black chrome electric folding heated outside mirrors with turn signals and puddle lamps. Both the front and rear windshields are super -raked and that with a short quarter panel gives the whip sex appeals and helps it cut through the air like a ginsu knife. However rear visibility is poor in the super-raked rear window. Drivers will barely see the license plate of trucks behind.

A sexy chrome GT grille sets off the front fascia. And high gloss good vents, and GT chrome side vents and exclusive dark chrome daylight opening surround gives the Kia Stinger GT it’s unique sporty edge.

2019 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD
2019 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD

The Kia Stinger GT2 we reviewed is also tricked out with a unique rear bumper and diffuser, dual chrome tipped mufflers, cool wrap around tail lights and huge smart trunk. A sunroof is standard. The big rear wing is stuntastic. Exclusive GT2 side vents have black and chrome trim.

Owners of the 2019 Kia Stinger will have to get used to new fans stopping them wherever they go to compliment the phenomenal looking fastback. An as they approach their sports sedan, LED welcome lighting illuminates the door handles, and the underbody.

2019 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD
2019 Stinger GT2 AWD

Because the Stinger GT attracted so much attention we coined it the “neighborhood whip”, – the whip that would stand out in Chicago’s most notorious hoods. We were proven right when we shot the whip in Humboldt Park, South Shore – 79th Street, South Austin, Bronzeville and Hyde Park.

Powertrain – Performance Innovative and Passionate

On the road the 2019 Kia Stinger is next to no one. The whip glides with precision and doesn’t just leave cars in the dust, it dips and weaves with its steering, suspension and trans in perfect harmony. It can move along the road as a ballerina would.

The base and premium Kia Stinger have a 2.0 liter twin scroll turbo 4-cylinder engine, with powerful efficient direct injection for 255 horsepower and a combined fuel economy of 20 mpg.

While the new Stinger GT, GT1 and the GT2 we reviewed feature a 3.3 liter twin turbo V6 engine with an intense 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft or torque. Still the FWD, RWD and AWD V6 models boast a 25 mpg highway fuel economy.

2019 Stinger GT2 RWD
2019 Stinger GT2 RWD

Aside the two engines, much of the powertrain features are the same in all Stinger models. And all five Stinger models have the same drivetrain, an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the same top speed – 130 mph for the whip fitted with 18-inch wheels and 167 mph for the models with 19-inch wheels.

On the road the 2019 Stinger feels like one of the most electrifying sedans in the world. The whip has an impressive launch with 376 lb-ft of torque available at 1,300 rpm, and soars with careful aggression. The exhaust even lets out purr with deep acceleration.

The Kia Stinger GT2 has the best steering we’ve seen in a sedan. Fine-tuned rack mounted motor driven power steering is silky and responsive. We love the agility of the Stinger, just point the nose and it can corner and even park tightly.

Braking with the Kia Stinger GT2’s Brembo disc brakes is on a dime.

While drivers can switch to manual mode via steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, steering, throttle and braking can be customized via the Drive Mode Selector. With the Drive Mode Selector, the Stinger can be adjusted to Smart, Comfort, Sport and Custom modes.

The new Stinger is inherently fast and sporty in every drive mode. However Smart Mode saves even more gas, enhancing the whips 25 mpg highway fuel economy. Drivers would just have to deal with sub-par climate control with those functions leveled in Smart Mode to save fuel. Comfort mode is engaging and comfy. Suspension is tighter and steering more responsive in Sport mode, with a throatier exhaust note.

The 2019 Kia Stinger GT2 features the same front Macpherson strut suspension and multilink rear suspension that’s fitted in all Stinger models. The suspension is refined and robust. At every turn and every bump drivers will feel the resilience of the awesome suspension system and steel unibody.

Rack and Pinion electric steering is standard across the Stinger model line. Whipping the flat-bottom steering wheel is controlled, responsive and nimble.

The start/stop system in the Kia is jarring as it powers the engine down with a rumble right after coming to a full stop.

Even with its sporty attributes the 2019 Kia Stinger maintains a balanced powertrain with a 20 mpg combined fuel economy (25 mpg highway/ 19 mpg city)

Sports-Inspired Leather-Clad Interior

The 2019 Kia Stinger isn’t just sexy on the outside with an unbridled performance; it has a stylish interior with two-toned leather. A red interior leather color package is included with the GT2 standard as well a power sunroof, smart trunk, heated steering wheel and Heads up Display.

2019 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD interior
2019 Stinger GT2 AWD interior

The cabin of the 2019 Kia Stinger is lux style meets sport convenience. The Stinger GT2 sports perforated Nappa leather heated and ventilated “GT” front seats and a leather-wrapped heated flat-bottom steering wheel with controls for cruise control, phone, audio and the 7 inch color TFT LCD instrument cluster.

Drivers have a standard 16-way power seat with 4-way air cell lumbar support, 2-way width adjusting bolster and seat extension. Passengers have a similar 12-way power seat with lumbar support.

LED mood lighting can be customized to many cool colors. Vents for the dual zone climate control look like an airplane cockpit. That along with the perfectly designed aluminum scuff plates, satin chrome door handles, aluminum trim and aluminum pedals give the Stinger’s interior a sportier feel. Especially since the coup doors swing open long and wide and carpeted floor mats go all the way up the foot well.

2019 Kia Stinger GT2 steering wheel
2019 Kia Stinger GT2 steering wheel

Every aspect of the Stinger’s cockpit is well thought out. Style is flanked by fresh functionality. The drive mode dial sits next to the auto hold and park assist switch. And heated steering wheel sits next to some cool switches for the heated and ventilated seat(s). All within the driver’s reach while still resting their arm on the center console. All are ergonomically succinct. Heated 60/40 split folding rear seats are also available.

The driver’s Heads up Display projects a wealth of information on the windshield including speed limit, speed, speed warnings and speed zone notifications. When needed, the Heads up Display will show safety warnings for the Blind Spot monitor and Lane Departure Warning. Sometimes all the info and warnings on the windshield together can be crowded and hard to read quickly. But features can be customized on the Heads up Display to show as little or as much as the driver desires.

Cargo room is abundant in the 2019 Kia Stinger thanks to the concave dash layout that gives front passengers 38 inches of head room and 42 inches of front leg room. Rear passengers have an impressive 36 inches of legroom thanks to the design of the trunk which itself is huge.

2019 Stinger GT2 RWD
2019 Stinger GT2 RWD

Fresh tech is abundant in the 2019 Stinger, starting with the Heads up Display and the color LCD part-digital dash.

Along with sporty G-Force meter and special 180 mph speedometer, the Stinger’s digital dash will show a lap-timer and turbo boost PSI in sport mode.

2019 Stinger GT2 AWD instrument cluster

The Stinger also has a wireless phone charger. The base Stinger boasts a 7 inch touchscreen. While the Stinger GT2 we reviewed has an 8 inch center touchscreen with Bluetooth, HD radio, UVO eServices, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and standard surround view monitor,

Navigation is great showing thick traffic lines and all street names as approached.

The Stinger GT2 features an advanced 15-speaker Harmon Kardon surround sound system with quantum logic, and Clari-Fi technology. The sound system is on-point in the 2019 Stinger. However the car seems to beep all the time, for unbeknownst reasons and for redundant safety features. The Stinger beeps when drivers get in and out of the car, beeps for the lane keeping assist system, parking assist and for two or three other reasons. The beeping even overrides audio which is especially annoying on a call using Bluetooth.

Another drawback to the Stinger’s cabin is the shifter that has to sometimes be forced into gear by pressing very hard. The push button start sometimes has to be double-tapped to work properly. And while waiting to park, the Stinger beeps annoyingly until the driver parks the vehicle or deactivates parking assist. The volume of the beeping can be adjusted.

The Heads-up-Display is awesome, but shows redundant safety warnings drivers will see in other places. For instance there’s no need for the lane departure warning to beep when it shows in the heads-up-display. Too much info on the windshield becomes a distraction.

Advanced Safety Technology Steps Game Up Higher

Safety features in the 2019 Kia Stinger GT2 are abundant with the Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance, Front Collision, Lane Departure and the Driver Attention Warnings all standard.

2019 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD
2019 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD

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Check out more pics from our First Drive with the 2019 Kia Stinger on our Facebook Page!