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The Stinger is the most exciting car ever produced by Kia. It evenly competes against the top European performance sedans for a far lower price. Value is clearly one of this model’s best attributes. A seriously attractive exterior design and a comfy interior make the 2021 Kia Stinger even more appealing. However, should car shoppers choose the new Stinger over the competition?
What’s New for 2021?
When comparing the 2021 Kia Stinger to last year’s model, prospective buyers won’t notice any significant changes.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Kia Stinger – The Pros
1. Base GT-Line Trim Offers Fun & Affordability
Car shoppers seeking driving fun at an affordable price will enjoy the base Stinger GT-Line. Although it’s not quite as quick as the upper trim levels, it will still keep you entertained. Testers have clocked this model with a 0-60 mph time of around 6.0 seconds. Motivating the Stinger GT-Line is a turbo four-cylinder engine, which kicks out 255 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Prices start at a very attractive $33,0000.
2. Fast GT Models
Driving enthusiasts who are willing to sacrifice some fuel economy should consider the Stinger’s more powerful GT trims. They all come equipped with a twin-turbo V6 engine. Kia rates this larger engine to generate 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. There’s no overlooking the V6-equipped Stinger's elevated performance capabilities. Expect the sedan to record a 0-60 mph time of roughly 4.5 seconds. This means the Stinger GT is just as quick as some muscle cars, including the Ford Mustang GT.
3. Very Capable Handling
When stacked against its pricier rivals, the 2021 Kia Stinger proves to be nearly just as athletic. Many automotive reviewers rave about the Stinger’s impressive driving dynamics. A responsive suspension and precise steering help drivers to maneuver with confidence. Upgraded performance features are found on the more potent GT models. The Stinger GT’s available limited-slip differential helps aid traction when accelerating hard. An advanced AWD system with torque vectoring is optional, which transforms this car into an all-weather performance machine.
4. Award-Winning Styling
Over the last few years, many people have fallen in love with this sedan’s beautiful exterior design. In terms of styling, the Stinger can rival cars that are more than double its price. A long hood and fastback roof help give the car a beautiful silhouette. Even the base GT-Line model gets top marks in the styling department. While sporty 18-inch alloy wheels come standard, upsized 19-inch wheels are found on the GT trims. Bold paint colors, like Micro Blue Pearl, add more flair.
5. A Versatile Sports Sedan for the Daily Grind
The 2021 Kia Stinger isn’t designed to be just driven on the weekends. It’s practical enough to be your primary vehicle. There’s enough space on the inside for the average America family. Legroom is solid in both rows. Many drivers will also love the versatility of the Stinger’s hatchback design. When the rear seats are folded down, this car is capable of swallowing up to 40 cubic feet of cargo.
6. Excellent Warranty Package Adds Value
When buying a new vehicle, consumers should always strive to get the most value for their money. Very few models in the segment offer more value than the 2021 Kia Stinger. One of the qualities that make this car such a great bargain is its excellent warranty package. Expensive components, like the engine and transmission, are covered by Kia’s 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Owners will also enjoy 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage.
7. An Exciting List of Standard Equipment
Because the base Kia Stinger GT-Line is loaded with so much equipment, many people won’t feel compelled to climb the trim ladder. It feels genuinely upscale on the inside. Unlike most other base models in the class, the Stinger GT-Line receives a leather-appointed interior. Wireless smartphone charging is also typically an extra cost. Some of the Stinger’s other standard features include a 7.0-inch touchscreen with advanced smartphone connectivity, a self-dimming rearview mirror, and keyless ignition.
8. An Excellent Safety Rating
The Kia Stinger hits a home run in passenger safety. Top crash scores enabled the sedan to receive the government’s coveted five-star overall safety rating. Aside from a backup camera, Kia also equips the Stinger with some other supportive safety technologies. Blind-spot monitoring, which helps lower the risk of an accident on the highway, comes standard. Rear cross-traffic alert is built into the system to make backing up more secure. Automated emergency braking with pedestrian warning and smart cruise control are offered on certain trims.
9. Very Luxurious GT2 Model
Buyers seeking the most luxurious driving experience will want the range-topping GT2. It provides a few premium features not found on the lower trims. Nappa leather upholstery takes the cabin’s plushness to the next stage. Drivers will especially enjoy the head-up display, which helps them to avoid looking down at the speedometer. Meanwhile, adaptive headlamps aid nighttime driving. Kia also adds a surround-view camera, an upgraded driver’s seat with adjustable thigh extension and side bolsters, and heated rear seats.
10. Powerful-Sounding Harman Kardon Audio System
Kia offers the Stinger with three different audio systems. Atop the lineup sits the Harman Kardon system. Its 19 premium speakers help create a great music-listening atmosphere. An amplifier ensures an especially powerful sound. When drivers can’t make it to a live concert, this audio system will prove to be the next best thing.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Kia Stinger – The Cons
1. Available Twin-Turbo V6 Engine Lowers Fuel Economy
Drivers who are concerned about getting the best gas mileage should choose the Stinger’s base engine. It can return up to 22 mpg town/29 mpg freeway. While the available twin-turbo V6 is potent, it does drop the sedan’s fuel economy. Drivers can anticipate getting around 17 mpg town/25 mpg freeway. Remember, Kia tunes all versions of the Stinger to run on premium gasoline.
2. Sleek Profile Reduces Headroom
The Stinger’s fastback roof enhances its overall attractiveness. Unfortunately, this sleek feature cuts into the sedan’s available headroom. When sitting in the rear seat, some taller passengers may find their head almost touching the roof. They’ll be much happier sitting in the front. Some drivers will ultimately need to find a roomy car for their family.
3. No Manual Transmission
Manual transmissions have become more and more rare in the sports sedan segment. The 2021 Kia Stinger is only offered with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Drivers who have a passion for changing gears should check out the mechanically similar 2021 Genesis G70. Its turbo four-cylinder engine can be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
4. Rearward Visibility Could Be Better
Like most cars with a sloping roofline, the 2021 Kia Stinger has its fair share of rear blind spots. It's often hard to see vehicles advancing in the next lane. This means drivers must pay attention when moving from one lane to the next. Luckily, a blind-spot monitor is standard on every new Stinger.
5. Not As Prestigious As Some Other Sports Sedans
The Stinger is an undeniably nice car. However, Kia has a reputation of being an economy brand. Although Kia now offers some impressive high-end models, some people still don’t view this Korean automaker as a top luxury brand. When it comes to prestige, BMW and Audi still hold an advantage over Kia.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
2021 Kia Stinger vs 2021 Ford Mustang
When shopping for a new performance car, some people will be deciding between the Stinger and the Mustang. There’s no overlooking the Mustang’s impressive performance capabilities. However, this two-door coupe is not nearly as practical as the Stinger. Not only does the Stinger provide more passenger room, but it can hold a lot more cargo as well. Kia’s powertrain warranty also provides an extra 40,000 miles of coverage.
2021 Kia Stinger vs 2021 Audi A7
Like the 2021 Kia Stinger, the 2021 Audi A7 has a hatchback design. Its remarkably plush cabin and cutting-edge technologies will impress a lot of people. While the A7 is a great driving machine, it costs a lot more money. Prices for the base A7 surpass $69,000. A shorter warranty also puts the A7 at a disadvantage.
2021 Kia Stinger vs 2021 Subaru WRX
There’s a lot to like about the 2021 Subaru WRX. Many people enjoy this compact sports sedan’s racy exterior styling and standard all-wheel-drive system. However, its interior isn’t as nice. Kia also equips the Stinger with a more impressive catalog of standard features.
Kia’s flagship sports sedan is certainly worth the money. While even the base Stinger GT-Line is extremely stylish and entertaining to drive, the GT models bring a greater level of performance. Great everyday practicality makes the 2021 Kia Stinger more appealing. When traveling and picking up stuff for your home, you’ll certainly be thankful for the Stinger’s large cargo area.
While there are many reasons why drivers should pick the Stinger, there are also just a few weak points to consider. Some tall families may need a bit more rear passenger room. Fuel economy also takes a hit with the available twin-turbo V6 powertrain.
• Why buy a 2020 Kia Stinger? w/ pros vs cons