MotorWeek’s 2018 “Best of the Year” Revealed: Kia Stinger
Announced at the Chicago Auto Show, nation’s largest consumer auto show
CHICAGO – The all-new Kia Stinger is MotorWeek’s 2018 Drivers’ Choice Award winner for “Best of the Year,” announced today in Chicago at the nation’s largest consumer automotive showcase. Over an unprecedented 37 years of bringing weekly automotive news to consumers, MotorWeek has evaluated thousands of distinctive cars, all potentially deserving of their “best of” moniker. Every year, the pressure is on to thin the herd to a handful and then to just one winner overall.
The Kia Stinger luxury-sport sedan aimed itself squarely at the compact European sport sedan segment – and with its design team based in Germany, there is little doubt that it earned its style points alongside traditional luxury-performance brands while also looking very different from other cars in the Kia stable.
“Dynamic in both design and quality, the Stinger is a superlative example of how to successfully break into the established European sport sedan market – no easy task – but the Stinger proves it has what it takes,” says MotorWeek creator and host John Davis. “Delivering on both style and drive, the Stinger is incredibly responsive with great power as well as solid handling and brakes. That’s why the Stinger won our staff’s vote in the “Best Sport Sedan” category, which then put it in the running for our ‘Best of the Year’ honor.”
By design, Kia engineers skipped the typical four-door sedan formula and went directly to the five-door coupe-roofed hatchback so popular outside of America. Then they added capable power from a 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 for the top level Stinger GT, while base Stingers get a still-potent 255-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
“Kia knows it takes some splash to get noticed in the sport sedan segment, and they’ve delivered,” says Davis. “MotorWeek followers count on our awards to steer them towards the cars that are the most fun to drive – after all, that’s the point of our awards.”
In Stinger, the fast-roofed skin cloaks a finely-balanced, rear-drive chassis. Either of the two engine choices found under the long hood is paired with an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Both powertrains can also be fitted with all-wheel drive, a great benefit for buyers in the Midwest and Northeast especially.
“While the 2.0 is no slouch, the GT’s V6 powertrain really impressed us with its overall smoothness. Even the paddle shifters work with a quick precision we didn’t expect,” says Davis.
Starting at around $32,000 for the 2.0-liter and $40,000 for the GT, Kia has married good looks and a great drive with affordability.
All Drivers’ Choice Award winners are featured on Motorweek.org, and will appear on a special episode (#3723) of MotorWeek airing on public television stations beginning February 10, and on cable’s Velocity beginning February 20. MotorWeek and the 2018 Drivers’ Choice Awards are nationally sponsored by The Tire Rack, WeatherTech, RockAuto, State Farm and Hum by Verizon.
One of the auto industry’s most coveted honors, MotorWeek’s Drivers’ Choice Awards were announced at the largest consumer-driven auto show in North America, the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. In selecting the annual Drivers’ Choice Awards, the MotorWeek’s editorial staff evaluates more than 150 cars, trucks, and sports utility vehicles every year. Winners are chosen based on driving performance, technology, practicality, fuel efficiency, and value for the dollar.
2018 Drivers’ Choice Award Winners:
Best Small Car Honda Civic**
Best Family Sedan Honda Accord
Best Convertible Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
Best Luxury Sedan BMW 5 Series
Best Sport Sedan Kia Stinger
Best Sport Coupe Lexus LC 500
Best Performance Car Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Best Small Utility Mazda CX-5
Best Large Utility Volkswagen Atlas
Best Luxury Utility Land Rover Range Rover Velar
Best Minivan Honda Odyssey
Best Pickup Truck Ford F-150
Best Eco-Friendly Chevrolet Bolt EV*
Best Dream Machine Aston Martin DB11
Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Mercedes-Benz G550 4X4²
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*Denotes Repeat Winner from 2017 **Denotes Repeat Winner from 2016 & 2017