2018 Kia Stinger GT Review




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Shortly after my last update was published, I received several emails regarding the Stinger’s lane keep assist system, which I said didn’t do much at all. The gist of those emails: “You can adjust the level of correction, you idiot!” This idiot checked, and sure enough, you can. My bad.

Within the instrument cluster display, there’s a menu for driver assistance features. Find the option called Lane Safety, and you’ll be able to choose between Active LKA, Standard LKA, and Lane Departure Warning, which sounds an alert but doesn’t intervene. I had it set on the standard setting, which, as advertised, only makes mild corrections when the system detects you’re about to veer out of your lane. Once I switched to Active, the system made a more obvious effort to stay within the center of the lane markers. The warning to keep your hands on the steering wheel is still easily triggered, but I’ve found that if you maintain a good grip with at least one hand, the alert sounds less often.

Since I was taking a closer look at the Stinger’s LKA system, I figured I could dive a bit deeper into the other driver assist features as well. I’ve learned to love the adaptive cruise control with stop and go, especially when I’m crawling along in wonderful SoCal traffic. When set, the system takes care of virtually all accelerating and braking duties, even at slow speeds. If you come to a stop for less than 3 seconds (which happens a lot on the 405), the cruise control will resume automatically when the car in front begins to move. Stops longer than 3 seconds require you to hit the gas to move again. The only issue I’ve had is slowing to a stop (or nearly a stop) from 40 mph or above with the closest following distance selected. At that setting, the system brakes just a little too late for my liking. The car will no doubt stop safely on its own, but it takes some heavy braking to do it, and cars behind you usually aren’t too happy about the more-sudden-than-necessary deceleration. Luckily, it’s an easy fix: There are four distance settings, and every one besides the closest will slow down smoothly and predictably.

The blind spot warning system works well, and with the head-up display that’s standard on the GT2 trim, you can choose to get the warnings in the display. The graphic also illuminates in the side mirrors, but knowing there’s a car in your blind spot before you turn your head to check could save you the hassle.

We’re usually pretty good about playing with features in cars, but sometimes it takes an email (or a half dozen) to push us to dig deeper.

Having a hatch has its perks. Just look at all the baby shower gifts I was able to fit in our Stinger. Don’t try this in your 3 Series, kids.

Read more about our long-term 2018 Kia Stinger GT:




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