What’s the Stinger, you ask?
It’s not a long-lost American muscle car, though the name suggests it could be. The Stinger is a new rear-wheel-drive sports sedan from none other than Kia. The South Korean automaker has created a car that power-hungry Americans should love, even if it doesn’t steal sales from its German counterparts.
The Stinger comes at a time when U.S. sedan sales are down about a quarter-million units. Can the Stinger buck that trend and succeed?
Fluid lines, a long, elegant swoop of a hood, and tight rear quarters are integral to its racy physique. The Kia Stinger has two engines; the juicier option is the 3.3-liter V6 that makes 365 horsepower and clocks 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds. The Stinger is available in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Driving enthusiasts will go crazy for the rear-wheel drive option, but in this Detroit wintery weather, all-wheel drive certainly has its appeal. Kia is only offering an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Kia wants to go after the likes of BMW and Mercedes, but it may find U.S. buyers who crave the power of the Chevy SS or want an alternative to the Dodge Charger. The Stinger could be just the car to re-ignite a love affair with the sedan, but it has an uphill battle. The Truth About Cars said,
As recently as 2014, U.S. sales of midsize cars were on the rise, albeit marginally. As recently as 2015, U.S. sales of midsize cars were shrinking only modestly, falling less than 2 percent compared with 2014.
In 2016, however, U.S. sales of midsize cars decreased by more than 250,000 units—an 11-percent drop that exceeded the rate of decline witnessed elsewhere in the car market.
Can a new entry in a struggling market turn things around? Not single-handedly, but if a new sedan can come in and invoke memories of a muscle-powered past, its odds of success in this country are overwhelmingly positive.
The Kia Stinger: Yes or no?