The Kia Stinger GT may be the best value in sports sedans out there, with a starting at $39,500. That outlay of cash gets you a car that looks and performs rather like the base model Porsche Panamera — for about half the price. It’s not a bad car if you need a more sensible alternative to the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Now, Kia has announced the Stinger will get a facelift for 2021 — one that only makes this bargain look better.
With the original Stinger, some critics notes the interior was not quite luxurious enough. Kia is keeping the same layout, but ramping up the detailing: the Stinger will offer Nappa leather upholstery in black, red and beige;it will also have contrast stitching, chrome on the steering wheel, a chrome bezel around the instrument cluster, either aluminum or carbon fiber trim on the center console and a frameless rearview mirror. The Stinger will also receive a 10.25-inch display and upgraded infotainment system.
GT buyers can opt for a sportier-looking wide-bore silver exhaust, as well as a more muscular rear diffuser. North American customers are getting a trendy “Black Package,” which will include 19-inch matte black wheels, a black rear wing and black mirror caps, side fender trims and new Stinger emblems.
Kia also said the Stinger will receive a “new powertrain lineup and technologies,” but it did not reveal any details. The upgraded Stinger is due to arrive in Korea and Q3 2020 and elsewhere at a later date.
The Stinger has been a smash hit with journalists, but unlike the Telluride, that hasn’t translated into strong sales — to the point that Kia may not build a second-generation version. The simplest explanation is that sports sedan buyers may have more fixed brand preferences for the likes of BMW and Audi, while family SUV buyers may be more willing to shop around for a great deal. Enhancing the perceived value with luxury trimmings may not save the Stinger in the longterm, but it’s worth a shot.