I was hyped for the 2023 Kia Stinger. But when I got to drive it, I wasn’t wowed as I expected it to be. It is nice looking, and I do find myself checking them out whenever I see one out on the road which could be because they aren’t popular. But I think once you’re behind the wheel, you will realize it isn’t all that its craked up to be. It drives great, so you will still have an enjoyable ride, but it isn’t all that comfortable and spacious as it may seem.
The 2023 Kia Stinger Tribute Edition is the last “hoorah” for the car as it will be discontinued after 2023. The Stinger has a 3.3L T-GDI V6 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. It produces 368 hp and 376 lb-ft or torque. The Stinger is only available with a V6 engine here in Canada whereas in the United States, the GT-Line is available with a 4-cylinder turbo engine. The Stinger is rated for a combined 11.9 L/100km and I managed to average quite close to those numbers at 12.1 L/100km. The recommended fuel for the Stinger is premium for better performance.
Driving the Stinger can be a bit of fun, it is said to reach 0-60mph (96km/h) in a little over 5 seconds which is relatively quick for a Kia. Like myself, I’m sure some people don’t expect it to be quick, however, it does not feel as quick as it is on paper, at least not for me. One thing I really liked was the active exhaust which really brings out the noise when accelerating quick from a stop while in sport mode. Shifting gears with the paddle shifters is smooth which makes for great drive. If you decide to drive in comfort mode, it is very smooth and if you decide to drive in sport mode, it is responsive to your inputs; passing a vehicle is no issue at all as you just step on the gas pedal and it gets going.
Although it looks nice on the inside, the seats were a bit disappointing. I found the padding to be way too stiff which caused me to get tired more quickly when driving for longer periods. The rear seats are also not as comfortable as you’d like. While it had great support for your back, it wasn’t great on the legs and bum. In terms of comfort when driving around town, the suspension does a great job at absorbing bumps for a smooth ride.
The 2023 Kia Stinger Tribute Edition is equipped with leather Nappa seats, air cooled front seats, heated rear seats, head-up display, and a couple safety features. For the tribute edition you get Terracota brown seats and seatbelts which adds a nice touch to the Stinger. The driver seating position sits low which gives it that sporty feel. So while its great in terms of space for the front seats, that’s not the case for the rear seats. It can be quite squishy for the rear passengers even if they are below average height as you don’t get that much legroom unless the front seats are pushed forward. Headspace is also very minimal for the rear passengers due to the downward sloping roofline. This can be a great thing for driving dynamics but not great for comfort. Cargo space however is great at 1,158 L behind the first row and 660 L behind the 2nd row which is more than the BMW M440i for example, at 470L. It is equipped with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and infotainment system that is very straightforward to use along with a 360-degree camera system which I really liked as it makes parking the Stinger easier as you can see all your surroundings when reversing.
The Stinger sounds great when revving it or starting it, there is no doubt about that. For the Tribute edition, it is equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, heated sideview mirrors, body coloured door handles, LED lights, and a sunroof to name a few. It has a sporty look to it and the looks match to the performance. It is not deceiving, at least not the V6. One thing to note is that the Tribute edition is available with 2 colours only and one being matte grey which we all know can be complicated to take care of.
The 2023 Kia Stinger has a starting price of $51,995 CAD ($36,690 USD) for the GT-Limited and $56,495 CAD ($51,890 USD) for this Tribute Edition. I enjoyed driving in the Kia Stinger, but it isn’t a sedan I would consider for myself. It is fun to drive as it is sporty, but it is not comfortable for the bum and legs. It also has limited rear seat passenger space, and if you are wanting a true fun ride, then you’ll have to look into the GT2 trim which has a starting price in the $50k range for the American buyers. It could just be that when I think of a Kia, I don’t think of a sports car, let alone a $50k vehicle. So this too plays a big part in why I would not consider this car for myself. For this price, there are other more recognizable brands but of course won’t be equipped as the Tribute edition.