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Kia Stinger | Video Review | CarsIreland.ie

The Kia Stinger is the high performance luxury liftback that will make you see the brand in a whole new light.

“The Kia Stinger is the high performance luxury liftback that will make you see the brand in a whole new light”

  • Cracking design & a beautiful interior

  • Impressive performance and refined handling

  • Incredibly well-equipped

80%

Overall Rating

  • Price tag will still raise eyebrows

  • Infotainment could be better

  • Disappointing engine note

Overall Rating

Overview

This is a car we’ve been excited to show you around. Yes this is a Kia, and yes there is a 3.3l 370 brake horse power V6 petrol engine under the hood. So that’s not a bad start.

It goes without saying that this is a bold move from Kia. While they have no doubt come on exponentially in terms of design over the last decade, they’re still not the first brand to spring to mind when you think of high performance Gran Turismos. This is still a corner of the market very much dominated by the German premium brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Kia’s thinking on the matter seems to be, why should it be? And for that – we salute them.

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Interior Gallery

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Space & Practicality

Space in the back isn’t bad for this type of car. Legroom is quite good, though headroom is hampered ever so slightly by the sloping roofline. It is also much better suited to two passengers back there than three because there is quite a large transmission tunnel to contend with.

The boot measures in at a reasonable 406 litres and because it’s a very practical liftback, it’s very easy to load, yet it still keeps that nice executive silhouette.

In the front is where you’ll find the extreme comfort you expect in this bracket. There’s electronic adjustment in both the seat and steering wheel, which saves your preference and adjusts every time you sit in to it.

It’s a truly premium-feeling interior, complemented by the sumptuous nappa leather on the seats. The dashboard design is sleek and modern and not a million miles away from the type of simple elegance you’ll find in its high-end competitors.

Equipment and Safety

You’ll also find plenty of nice switchgear to play with, which will activate some pretty impressive features. There’s just one fully loaded trim option on this V6 petrol called the GT, and it comes with all the kit you’ll ever need. This includes a heating and ventilation system in the front seats for comfortable driving conditions in all seasons, a drive mode selector, automatic dual zone air-conditioning, and a 7 inch colour touchscreen infotainment system. This comes equipped with Apple CarPlay, a reversing camera, turn by turn navigation and is hooked up to a 15 speaker Harmon Kardon Sound system.

Usually it wouldn’t be fair to compare a Kia’s infotainment system to the likes of Audi and BMW, but since they have willingly put themselves into this bracket with them, we think we can on this occasion. And, while it’s by no means bad, it’s not quite in that league either. While it is very user-friendly, and some people will appreciate the simplicity, the graphics aren’t particularly mind-blowing and up against the likes of iDrive, it does feel a bit basic.

It’s also a car you feel very safe in, not just because of its generous dimensions and general feel of solidity, but because there’s a raft of driver assisting features that take some of the worry out of everyday manoeuvres, like automatic cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist.

Performance & Running Costs

There is a more sensible 2.2l diesel coming soon if you’re interested in stuff like fuel economy and all that jazz, but the petrol option is certainly the more interesting one. Powered by a 3.3l V6, it comes paired with an 8 speed automatic gearbox, and rear wheel drive for that proper sportscar feel. It pushes out 370 hp and can take you from 0 – 100km an hour in just 4.9 seconds. It’s not the one you buy for the fuel economy with a claimed figure of nearly 10l per 100km, or the running costs in general with its annual tax bill of €1,200. It is fun though.

It feels incredibly quick and powerful, with a nice smooth power uptake and a very refined and comfortable feel for the day to day. If you want to add a bit more excitement you can change the feel of the drive with some pretty self-explanatory different modes such as Eco, Comfort, and Sport. Sport will change the throttle response, stiffen up the suspension and weight up the steering for a sportier feel to the drive and it does change the character of the car considerably; it suddenly feels a lot more eager, gets a bit louder and makes you want to throw it down some long windy roads, and, it’s tremendous fun when you do so. There’s also Sport+ which is essentially the same as sport but with the traction control switched off, if you are feeling particularly brave.

The one thing I think it’s lacking even in the sportiest of its sport modes is noise – it sounds a lot more reserved than it actually is, but while you certainly feel the power kicking in, there isn’t as much in the way of acoustic excitement inside the cabin. Some people will prefer that over a synthetic sound played through the speakers. And to be fair it is being marketed as more of a relaxing Gran Turismo rather than a rival to the M4.

Reliability & Residuals

The Stinger is a truly impressive package, but the price is still going to raise a few eyebrows for a Kia – the diesel starts at €54,000 and the V6 petrol at €67,000. At the same time, you will struggle to get this level of performance for that pricetag anywhere else on the market, and certainly not with a seven year warranty to boot, so it all depends on which way you look at it. We are big fans of it here – it looks fantastic, is brilliant to drive, and is going to help people see the brand in a whole new light, and that is perhaps the most impressive thing of all.

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Details correct at time of publication
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2018-03-07T16:21:37+00:00

About the Author:

Sinéad is our resident car tester who has the unenviable (-ok, slightly enviable) task of reviewing all the latest new cars to hit the market. You can follow her on Twitter @smcani and on Instagram @whatshedrives