Kia Stinger road test report and review: We put the Kia Stinger GT-Line S through its paces and are impressed by its quality and refinement.
EVERY now and then I find myself unexpectedly impressed with a new model – this Kia Stinger is one of those new models.
In short, it’s superb! A low-slung, wide grand tourer par excellence and almost a match in quality terms for rivals from the Germanic elite – testament to the progress being made by the South Korean manufacturer in a relatively short space of time.
With a £35,000 price tag, it has to be good, and after my few days with the car, I found very little to criticise, apart from the fuel consumption of the petrol engine, which still wasn’t bad for a big car at 34.9mpg. Oh, it could do with a rear wiper as well.
Externally the car looks impressive, with its gold-tinted trim around its wide radiator, long, sculpted bonnet with inset air intakes, and sweeping lines, which lead to rear lights the design of which reminded me of a Maserati – now there’s a rare comparison for Kia, but it did, and they look great.
Inside, you want for nothing, and all the switchgear feels like it has been engineered, rather than popped together from plastic moulds. Our test car was clad in beige leather which contrasted nicely with dark dashboard facings.
The instrumentation was clear, and the although not quite autonomous, the car will just about pilot itself along a motorway thanks to its lane-keeping aid which does a better job than most of reading the road and keeping you on the straight and narrow – it even copes with bends in the roads very well, but I always find it uncanny how these systems know as soon as you take your hands off the steering wheel, popping a reminder dash display within a second or two. All very clever, and slightly spoky.
The seats are comfortable, even after several hours at the wheel, and will either heat or cool you bum, depending on the weather, but during the first cold snap of the winter they set to warm, as was the steering wheel, which was lovely on a cold morning.
On the road, the Kia Stinger drivers very well, and its front engine, rear drive layout providing a nice balance to the car which will appeal to the keener drivers out there. There are various drive modes that can be selected, including Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ which turns off the traction control systems, probably not recommended in the current slippery road conditions.
The power delivery is smooth and the eight-speed gearbox refined, providing almost imperceptible gear changes. With 244PS on tap, progress can be quite rapid when required, with a 0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds pitting the Kia Stinger against some quite potent opposition.
Despite its size, parking sensors and all-round cameras help you avoid any obstacles and living with this car is a delight.
And don’t forget, if you needed any further persuasion, that all Kias come with a seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, so there won’t be a sting in the tail of your purchase!
THE VITAL STATISTICS
MODEL: Kia Stinger GT-Line S 2.0 T-GDi 8-speed auto
ENGINE: 1998cc, 244PS four-cylinder petrol engine, driving front wheels through 8-speed auto gearbox.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 149mph. 0-62mph in 6.0 secs.
ECONOMY: City: 25.7mpg.
Wheel World test average: 34.9mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS: 191g/km.
FUEL TANK: 60 litres.
INSURANCE: Group 36
WARRANTY: 7 years/100,000
• All data correct at time of publication.