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2019 Kia Stinger

Starting Price: $34,115 | Price Yours

Above Average: Excellent, precise steering; unbeatable warranty; plenty of power; great suspension, strong performance, available AWD

Below Average: New model, so resale value is yet to be determined; entry-level model is well priced, but costs escalate quickly

Consensus: With the 2019 Stinger, Kia has a true sport sedan, from its fantastic-sounding and powerful turbocharged engine to its excellent and responsive steering and a chassis that’s tight but doesn’t make you feel every bump in the road. The Stinger’s liftback design also makes it practical for carrying plenty of cargo. It comes at a very competitive starting price but moves quickly into Audi and BMW territory once you start to add options, including the more powerful V6.
 

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2019 Nissan Maxima

Starting Price: $34,845 | Price Yours

Above Average: Standard V6 engine and excellent CVT; competitive pricing; sporty exterior styling.

Below Average: Steering can feel vague sometimes; features that come standard on other cars are options on the Maxima

Consensus: The 2019 Nissan Maxima makes its own way in the midsize sedan segment, with sharp exterior looks, a hearty and powerful V6, and a good price. In some ways, however, it’s been outclassed by newer and sportier models that offer optional engine choices and more standard features.
 

There are a few ways buyers can go in the midsize sedan segment: safe and comfortable choices like the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, or more toward the sporting end of the spectrum. That’s where the 2019 Kia Stinger and Nissan Maxima come into play. The Stinger fires right out the gate with a 255-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, and buyers can upgrade to a turbocharged V6 as well as AWD. The front-drive Nissan only comes with a V6, but it gives the sedan plenty of grunt and a nice engine note. The Stinger is the new kid on the block, so Kia’s equipped it with great steering, rear-wheel drive for serious handling to match its powerful engines, and a liftback design that allows it to hold nearly 41 cubic feet of cargo. The Nissan’s been around for a long time, so recent upgrades only focus on its exterior style; some of its optional safety and technology features largely come standard in its competitors.

Similarities

Nearly identical starting prices; powerful V6 engines

Kia Stinger Advantages

Hatchback design gives it much more flexibility and useful storage space; two engine options; looks are a little sharper and modern; better handling.

Nissan Maxima Advantages

Base engine makes significantly more power; $5,000 less than V6-powered Stinger

Final Recommendation

The 2019 Kia Stinger is a new model, so in some ways it’s still unproven, but we think Kia has a real winner here, from its practical hatchback design to its choice of powerful engines mated to a rear-wheel-drive platform for real handling. The Maxima is certainly a fine machine, but the rear is a little tight for the segment, steering can be a touch vague, and there’s only one engine offering. We think the Stinger is definitely the champ between the two.

  2019 Kia Stinger 2019 Nissan Maxima
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.0-liter I4, turbocharged 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower 255 hp @ 6,200 rpm 300 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque 260 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm 261 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 8-Spd Continuously variable
Fuel Economy 25 mpg (22 city/29 hwy) 24 mpg (20 city/30 hwy)
Also Available 3.3-liter V6, turbocharged  
Specs    
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating n/a n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 114.4 inches 109.3 inches
Overall Length 190.2 inches 192.8 inches
Width 73.6 inches  73.2 inches
Height 55.1 inches 56.5 inches
Turning Diameter 36.7 feet 38.1 feet
Headroom, Front 38.3 inches 39.4 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.0 inches 36.7 inches
Legroom, Front 42.6 inches 45.0 inches
Legroom, Rear 36.4 inches 34.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.4 inches 56.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 54.8 inches 55.7 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 93.8 cu. ft. 98.5 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 40.9 cu. ft. 14.3 cu. ft.
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