If you’re looking for a performance-oriented 4-door sedan, the Kia Stinger GT2 and the BMW M340i are two of the best options on the market right now. With both vehicles coming in right around the mid-$50k price range, the competition is close as to which sedan is the best. While the allure of the prestige behind the BMW brand might be enough to sway you in that direction, the performance potential of the Stinger GT2 might surprise you.
This article is going to compare the price, factory performance, performance potential, and overall driving experience of the Stinger GT2 against the BMW M340i.
Stinger GT2 vs M340i Factory Performance
The Stinger GT2 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.3L V6 engine. It produces 365hp and 376lb-ft. of torque and is coupled with 8-speed automatic transmission. As is with the M340i, it is a direct injection engine. The twin-turbo engine and stout factory performance numbers allow the Stinger GT2 to hit 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds. Not bad for 4,023lb. family sedan. The GT2 also comes in both an RWD and AWD configuration. The 0-60 times only differ by 0.1 seconds, with the RWD models at 4.8 seconds. The AWD configuration does add about 200lbs to the GT2.
The M340i is powered by BMW’s B58 engine which is a single-turbo 3.0L inline-6 engine. Despite its lack of a second turbo and 0.3L less displacement, the M340i produces just barely more power than the Stinger, with 382hp and 369lb-ft. of torque. No longer offered in a manual configuration, the M340i is also powered by an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The M340i is also offered in AWD and RWD, with the RWD models weighing 3,849lbs. and the AWD model comes in at right under 4,000lbs.
Despite both the GT2 and M340i having very similar power and weight, the M340i will do 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds, compared to the 4.7 seconds in the GT2.
Winner: BMW M340i
While BMW is the clear winner in terms of factory performance, it’s also important to look at power potential and engine power limits. Both the B58 engine and the 3.3L Lambda II engine are extremely tuner-friendly and can make significantly more power with just a few simple modifications.
Stinger GT2 Tuning Potential
Kia intentionally overbuilt the 3.3L Stinger engine. Just 4 basic Stinger performance mods can take the engine from 350whp from the factory to 500whp. A simple tuner, cold air intake, intercooler, and downpipes can add nearly 150 horsepower to the wheels, completely transforming the Stinger.
Above 500whp is where the GT2 gets a bit more expensive to mod. The stock turbos can’t handle much more than that so you will need a turbo upgrade and also the addition of port fuel injection alongside the direct injection it already has. But, the stock block and internals are rumored to be good for nearly 800whp which means there is a lot more room for power.
M340i Performance Potential
The B58 engine is also overbuilt and underpowered by the factory. Similar mods like a tuner, downpipes, and an intake can push the M340i into the 450+whp range. To make more than this you will probably need some fueling upgrades, and over 500whp also seems to be when the turbo needs upgrading.
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The M340i actually uses the same engine as the new Supra’s which has been seen making over 800whp on the factory block and internals. It appears the B58 in the M340i is slightly less capable than this and tops out around 700whp as far as we can tell.
Winner: Kia Stinger
Price: M340i vs Stinger GT2
The price point is very similar between these two cars. With the BMW providing more factory performance but the Stinger providing more performance potential, which is the right fit might come down to price and what you want to use the car for.
The starting MSRP on a 2023 GT2 is $51,790. There are surprisingly very few upgrade options on the Stinger which keep the price range in the mid-50s when optioned out. AWD, a special edition package, and an upgraded color make the max MSRP of the Stinger about $56,530.
Comparatively, the AWD version of the M340i starts at $56,850. Once you start optioning it out if you want all the fancy features that you might expect out of a luxury sedan you are going to be looking at a price in the low-to-mid 60s.
So, a fully optioned-out GT2 is going to run you about $6,000-$10,000 less than an M340i. If you care about performance, you have to add the $2,400 cooling package to the M340i so best case you are looking at $59,250 for the M340i without any of the fancy luxury packages, cooler wheels, real leather interior, and so on.
Winner: Kia Stinger GT2 – however, the caveat here is that for an almost equivalent price, you are getting a BMW which is certainly more of a status symbol than a Kia. Most people probably won’t know that your GT2 costs the same as an M340i so you don’t really get any of the prestige or appearance benefits that you get with the BMW if you care about what people think about what you drive.
Overall Driving Experience
Having driven both of these vehicles, I the BMW no-doubt offers a better driving experience. The power delivery of the B58 engine is extremely smooth and the quicker acceleration than the Stinger is certainly noticeable.
While the engine on the Stinger is stout and provides a good kick, it does not quite feel as smooth as the BMW. One of the big differences that also attributes to the quicker acceleration is the transmission. BMW’s transmission seems to transfer power to the ground more smoothly and efficiently.
In addition to engine and performance delivery, the suspension is also a lot more refined on the M340i. While the Stinger handles well and is capable, it has more of a sedan/family-oriented suspension setup whereas you can tell the M340i suspension is built for performance.
It has an M-Adaptive suspension which allows you to change the ride stiffness based on a few different sport mode settings. While the GT2 has a similar suspension technology, it doesn’t quite compare to BMW.
The M340i and the Stinger GT2 are two of our favorite sedans on the market. Both offer impressive performance and power from the factory, coupled with great suspension and ride quality. The M340i wins in terms of performance from the factory, with a materially quicker 0-60 time. The Stinger however wins in terms of performance potential, being capable of 800whp.
The BMW is a bit more expensive but it also has a better driving experience, in our opinion. Ultimately, which one is better really comes down to your preference and what you are looking for. The big decision piece is that for almost the same price you are getting a BMW over a Kia.
While the Stinger GT2 isn’t your average Kia, you still have to live with the brand and its reputation. The BMW is certainly a bit more flashy and more of a status symbol compared to the Kia, despite their similar price tags.