In the past, Americans who wanted a more practical alternative to a four-door sedan didn’t have many options. They could either buy one of the few wagons on the market, or they could make the jump to a crossover. But recently, a couple automakers have followed the Audi A7‘s lead, offering liftback sedans that pair the look of a traditional sedan with the practicality of a wagon or small crossover. In the case of the Kia Stinger GT and Buick Regal GS, buyers also get an added dash of performance mixed in with all that practicality. The question is, though, how do they compare?
Even though Kia and Buick have historically competed at different price points, that’s not the case here. The Regal GS starts at $39,995, while the Stinger GT begins at $39,250. But even with all the major options added, the Regal tops out around $45,000. Tick every box on the Stinger’s order form, and it will cost you about $52,000. Actual transaction prices will vary based on dealer incentives, but odds are, you’ll pay more for the Kia.
The Regal GS comes with all-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V-6 that makes 310 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque. Buick hasn’t published official acceleration figures, but based on our initial driving impressions, we expect a high-5-second 0-60 time. The Stinger GT, on the other hand, makes 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque from a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. Rear-wheel drive is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic, but all-wheel drive is a $2,200 option.
In our latest test, the rear-wheel-drive Stinger GT hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, while the all-wheel-drive version did it in 5.1 seconds. So even if the Regal GS is a little quicker than it felt, we can’t imagine it being able to keep up with the more powerful Stinger.
Regardless of which configuration you choose, the Kia Stinger GT gets an EPA rating of 19/25/21 (city/highway/combined) mpg. On the other hand, the EPA says the Regal GS gets 19/27/22 (city/highway/combined) mpg. Those figures aren’t wildly different, but the Stinger’s extra power does come at a bit of a cost.
It might not look that way in photos, but the Regal GS is actually 2.7 inches longer than the Stinger GT. But despite being shorter overall, the Kia’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer. And while both cars have identical front tracks, the Buick’s rear track is 1.8 inches narrower. Interior measurements are nearly identical, though, only differing by about a half inch. Up front, the Regal GS has a slight advantage in headroom and shoulder room, while the Stinger takes the win on leg and hip room. In back, the Stinger is a little less roomy, only beating the Regal in hip room.
The Honda Accord’s 16.7 cubic feet of trunk space may best the Toyota Camry’s 15.1 cubic feet, but neither holds a candle to the Stinger’s 23.3 cubic feet of storage. Drop the rear seats, and that figure jumps to 40.9 cubic feet. As impressive as the Kia’s cargo capacity is, though, the Buick is even more spacious. It offers 31.5 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats up and an incredible 60.7 cubic feet of storage with the seats down. Believe it or not, that makes the Regal GS more practical than a Honda HR-V.
Compared to some other luxury brands, Buick and Kia both offer excellent warranties. Buick covers its cars with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Kia’s coverage is even longer, with the bumper-to-bumper warranty lasting five years/60,000 miles and the powertrain warranty lasting 10 years/100,000 miles. Both include roadside assistance, but Buick’s warranty guarantees courtesy transportation. Still, if you’re planning to own your car for a while, Kia’s warranty wins out.