Kia has branched into sports-sedan territory with its new four-door hatchback Stinger.

The 2.0-liter, 255-hp turbo four-cylinder engine, paired with optional all-wheel drive in the car we tested (rear-wheel drive is standard), is powerful, but at 7.5 seconds to 60 mph, it isn’t as quick as some rivals. Worse, it gets a mediocre 23 mpg overall. The eight-speed automatic transmission is smooth and responsive.

An additional $6,450 gets buyers the 365-hp turbo V6 in the GT and higher trims.

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When steering through corners, the Stinger feels taut and agile, and it can be playful on the track. But the ride is overly stiff and unsettled when encountering bumps. Other performance sedans strike a better balance.

It can be a challenge to get in and out because of the car’s low-slung design. Once inside, the front leather seats are comfortable and offer plenty of adjustments. The rear-seat space is hurt a bit by the sloping roofline, but the hatchback creates generous cargo space.

The controls are easy to use, but drivers may struggle with the faint labeling on buttons and a long reach to the infotainment screen. The electronic gear selector in the GT2 trim, which we also drove, can leave drivers confused about whether they’re in Reverse or Park.

Optional safety features include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning.

Read the complete Kia Stinger road test.

2018 Kia Stinger

HIGHS: Handling, front-seat comfort, hatchback versatility
LOWS: Ride, tight rear seat, difficult access
POWERTRAIN: 255-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine; eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
FUEL: 23 mpg on regular fuel
PRICE AS TESTED: $40,400

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the May 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.