These sorts of four-door coupes are becoming so popular, even KIA is making one. It all started with the original Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and now almost every major automaker has one. The most popular of the current bunch of four-door coupes are the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback. They’re both very good cars that blend style, performance and practicality. But what about the KIA Stinger? Car and Driver recently put all three together to see how they perform against each other.
At first glance, this comparison test may seem a bit one-sided. There are two blue-blooded German giants taking on the younger, less experienced Korean. However, KIA wants to be taken seriously in this segment and to do so it’s going to have to take on the Germans at their own game. So how did it do? Surprisingly well.
In a competition of three, the KIA Stinger came in tied for second place. It’s the most muscular and aggressive looking car of the bunch, even if it looks a bit cheap in some places. It’s also the largest car of the bunch, giving it the biggest back seat and much more weight than the Audi. On the inside, its interior is nice looking but it fall short in terms of quality and technology. However it makes up for that by being great to drive. In fact, the things Car and Driver said about it made it sound like an old-school BMW. Sharp steering? Check. Composed and compliant ride? Check. It’s not a refined product but is shows how far KIA has come.
Coming tied for the other second place spot was the BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe. Despite having one of the worst names in the industry, the 430i Gran Coupe is actually a very good car. It looks great, has a premium and high-tech interior and a brilliant engine. While its 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine only makes 248 hp, if feels like more than that and it’s quicker than you might imagine. However, its steering is a bit inconsistent and it lacks some of that old BMW fizz that fans have come to love.
That leaves the Audi A5 Sportback in first place. Audis usually get criticized for understeering and having numb steering. Not this A5 Sportback, though, as its steering was the sharpest of the bunch, its 2.0 liter turbocharged (252 hp) engine was the best in the bunch and its handling was the most impressive. It’s also the lightest, most powerful and was the only car in the test with summer tires. So it had a bit of an advantage. Still, it was deemed the most enjoyable car to drive and own, thus making it the winner.