GIF: Throttle House

Kia’s Stinger GT is remarkably similar to Ford’s Mustang GT in that they’re fun to drive, about the same price, similarly beautiful, and pretty darn close on the drag strip. Given ideal conditions and an ideal driver, the Mustang GT will eke out a victory in the quarter mile, but as has been proven before, and again in this video, the Mustang doesn’t always have the balls to get the win. Stock for stock, the Kia is factory-rated to run a low 13-second et, while the Mustang is occasionally capable of knocking down the quarter in less than twelve. Somehow, in this test, that wasn’t the case.

Throttle House doesn’t provide their elapsed times for either car, but they do show repeated victories with slim and shrinking margins for the Kia. Clearly the Mustang has the legs on the top end over the Korean sedan. Given a standing mile, or even another few yards, the Mustang would definitely overtake the fastback sedan. However, the Stinger’s AWD and turbocharged torque are super beneficial off the start line in less-than-ideal conditions, or with a less than perfectly experienced driver. In the hands of a civilian, the Stinger would likely be faster nine times out of ten.

Okay, so the drag strip story has been told, what about a road course competition? Back to back comparisons find the Stinger with a more agile feel, and a more adept corner turn in. Through the corner, even, the drivers comment how balanced the Kia feels. It doesn’t quite have the grunt of the Ford’s big V8, which gains speed on every straight. The Kia’s extra weight is also more punishing on the brakes and tires than the Mustang, which shouldn’t really be a surprise. The lap times at the Toronto-based track are not exactly a surprise, either. The Mustang beats the Kia, but the fact that the two can even be mentioned in the same sentence together is a victory for Kia.

If you’re looking for a fun car that you will drive with perhaps one other passenger, the Mustang is hard to beat. If you have a couple of kids and need a decent sized hatchback, however, and still want something fun to drive and exciting to look at, get the Kia.