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Kia Stinger: 2018 Car of the Year Finalist

By Barry Park, 19 Jan 2018 COTY

Kia’s gamble on the appeal of a liftback, rear-drive sports sedan ticks a lot of boxes with the 2018 Wheels Car of the Year judges

Kia Stinger 2018 Car of the Year Finalist

STINGER is unlike any Kia you’ve seen before. It’s a statement from the brand about what they want to achieve, and plays to a new market they want to appeal to.”

So says Wheels editor Alex Inwood, describing how Kia’s rear-drive experiment brashly elbowed its way into the final six cars vying for the 2018 Wheels Car of the Year award.

The Kia Stinger caught our attention the day it was flagged in concept form. Its long bonnet, sweeping roofline, bulging haunches and short overhangs alluded to the classic front-engine, rear-drive layout beneath. Two years later, we would learn that the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, the two cars that long satisfied our appetite for what is a true driver’s formula, would meet their demise.

In the scheme of things, Kia’s timing for the Stinger’s arrival couldn’t have been more perfect.

Powerful, tail-happy – especially in V6-engined mode – shapely, rich in gear, and supported by an unrivalled seven-year warranty, the Stinger presents itself as a compelling package for rational enthusiasts.

Ultimately, though, the Stinger will be judged against Car of the Year criteria, and not the ghosts of our past. Can it pull off the ultimate coup and take home Kia’s first COTY crown?