Meet the Stinger, Kia’s new high-performance rear-drive premium sport sedan. Wait — a luxury performance car from Kia? Are we serious? Yes — and the new Stinger is a serious performer. When my fellow journalists and I arrived at Kia’s proving grounds in the Mojave Desert, we found an autocross-style course and a line of German and Japanese performance sedans. These included a BMW 440i Gran Coupe and 640i; an Audi A5 and A7; a Lexus GS F-Sport; an Infiniti Q50; and a Porsche Panama. Next to them was a line of Kia Stingers.
“Go ahead,” the Kia folks said. “Drive them back-to-back. Any order you like. Compare them to the Stinger.”
We did, and the Stinger held its own. The BMW 440i had a slight edge, but I liked the Kia better than the A5, the GS, the Q50 and even the Panamera. I was blown away because handling has never been a strong suit of Kia. When the company promised that the Stinger would be a world-class performance sedan, I was skeptical — but now I’m convinced.