MHH International Spends A Week With The Kia Stinger
Car manufacturers these days are tending to play safe by staying in the shallow waters of mainstream popularity and rarely venturing out into the rapids, where one wrong move could spell disaster. Occasionally though some more adventurous company will decide to explore the deeper waters of performance and come up with a motor for which the only suitable adjective that fits the bill is ‘stonking’. That’s British slang and it means ‘really jolly good’.
Herewith, we give you, with a big round of applause and a tip of the hat, the brilliant Kia Stinger.
Kia don’t have a bad car in their range. Over the last twenty years or so their star has risen in the automotive firmament to make them one of the most popular brands around. The Stinger, then, is a new adventure for them.
To produce a car, seen here in range-topping GT-S trim, that delivers so much in terms of performance and comfort is a major step. Fortunately, it is clear that they have thought it through.
Kia Stinger Plus Points
The Stinger is a four door fastback saloon and it looks fabulous, so that’s automotive beauty ticked off the list; but the good news doesn’t stop there. With all model variants driving through a sweet eight-speed automatic gearbox, the GT-Line and GT-Line S models offer a choice of either a 244bhp 2.0L petrol engine or a 197bhp turbo-diesel. Both offer plenty of performance, but the star car is the GT-S (pictured), under the bonnet of which buyers will find a lusty 365bhp available to the twitchy right foot thanks to a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 power plant.
The Kia Stinger hurtles from rest to 60mph in a brisk 4.7 seconds and on to 168mph if you must, but that’s not the whole story. The real action comes with general driving. There are paddle shifts to facilitate manual gear changes but we soon noted that the quick-witted gearbox was up to the task, shifting swiftly and smoothly through the ratios on demand. This car is fast and overtaking, when safe to do so, becomes a thing of beauty.
On the motorway or on the country lane this car does not disappoint. We selected ‘eco’ mode for a long motorway run and watched the miles per gallon climb to a fuel-sipping 32. ‘Comfort’ mode suits traffic-crawls and ‘smart’ lets the car choose, depending upon driver input. Having tried all these modes we switched to ‘Sport’ which tightens everything up, improves the cars’ responses whilst adding a subtle V6 growl. ‘Sport+’ is the real deal but it does switch off some, but not all, of the traction control so best used with absolute care on public roads. We would suspect that, in extremis, this car could bite, especially on wet surfaces.
Front seat passengers are properly cosseted. The Nappa leather seats are big and well contoured for comfort and support. The smart and well designed centre console has an aluminium finish to it and chrome highlights lift the interior ambiance, topped off with a nice sunroof. Ideally, rear passengers should number two, although three will fit at a pinch. The back seats are limited by that fastback shape and, usefully, a cavernous boot.
The front seats do of course have a heating option, as does the steering wheel but many cars do that these days. However, we chose to visit Cotswold Wildlife Park on what we British are pleased to call ‘the hottest day of the year so far’ and so were delighted to find a cooling option too! That’s outstanding for hot climates. We switched them on and within a couple of minutes our combined rear-ends were frostier than frozen penguins. In a Kia Stinger you can truly chill out.
The best thing about options like this are many of them are in fact not options but standard. The car as tested costs just £40,495 on the road and it comes fully loaded. That’s impressive and it is our belief that this vehicle, all the way from South Korea, outdoes the prestige German regulars. You would have to have a serious case of badge envy to overlook Kia Stinger, especially with the long warranty offered.
The big touchscreen rises up upon starting and offers the usual technology included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s a clear heads-up display showing speed and navigation (when in use).
Kia Stinger Negative Points
on that 28mpg should be a fair average and that is indeed what we saw at the end of this blissful driving week. It is very easy, very easy, to knock that back to 20/24mpg by being boisterous but why else would you buy this version of the car? The other models in the range will be less expensive to run while still offering most of the benefits of the GT-S.
And In Conclusion
The plain fact is though that if you like to drive and we mean really, properly drive, then this car for all the reasons given is a must-have. This one will run and run and Kia deserve the highest praise for producing this great car.
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