Caroline reviews the Kia Stinger GT.
Kia has built a name in recent years for good value SUVs, small hatchbacks and lately hybrids. Manufacturer of luxury performance vehicles? Not so much. But the new Kia Stinger GT will challenge every perception you have of the Korean car manufacturer.
The Kia Stinger was first previewed as the 2011 Kia GT Concept and it’s the highest-performance production vehicle in Kia’s history. In Ireland the Stinger goes on sale as a range topping GT with a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6, but there’s also a more economical 2.2-litre diesel version available.
Designed from the start as a grand tourer or gran turismo, the Kia Stinger GT is a large five door ‘fastback’ sports saloon with a powerhouse under the bonnet in the form of the 370hp 3.3-litre V6. We don’t see many of these anymore, and Kia is really stepping into something new for the brand.
The design is spot on and the Kia Stinger is evocative enough to turn heads with sporty touches like 19” alloys, Brembo disc brakes with red callipers, front air curtains, bonnet vents and wheel arch gills. At the back there are four oval exhaust pipes set in a black diffuser.
Kia Stinger GT Interior
Inside it’s a large car with seating for five and a boot that opens like a hatchback. There’s practicality in this package too. For your information, Kia says the Stinger’s boot can accommodate two full-size suitcases or golf bags, or four or five weekend bags!
The Stinger GT is priced from €66,895, making it also the most expensive Kia you can buy! But this car is aimed at a luxury buyer and I’m happy to say it can deliver on quality and design inside. The quality is a serious step up from anything else in the Kia range. The GT model gets leather seats with lots of soft touch dash materials. The cabin is focused around the driver and the driving position low and sporty. Infotainment is provided via a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Equipment levels are exceptionally good too with a full complement of safety equipment and every comfort feature you could imagine.
What’s the Kia Stinger GT like to drive?
Honed on the Nurburgring, the Kia Stinger GT is the fastest-accelerating production Kia ever with 0-to-100 kph in just 4.9 seconds. This is a heavy car but it feels nothing other than quick and ultra-responsive, while rear wheel drive brings superb agility to the car’s handling.
The steering set-up is noticeably good too with accurate weighting and feedback. The big Kia slips through corners easily and with grace, while the 510Nm of torque will push you back in your seat.
It’s also a refined and comfortable long distance cruiser but bags of fun when you’re pushing on through corners. There are a number of different driving modes to choose from and Stinger is always ready to play with a lively back-end.
It’s predictably not cheap to run. If you are at all interested my fuel consumption was 9.6l/100km over a week of driving. The gutteral grunt of the V6 makes trips to the fuel station worth it and V6s really are a dying breed.
The Kia Stinger GT is a tremendous car from Kia. It’s a first attempt from the brand at luxury performance but a genuinely convincing car that doesn’t disappoint in terms of performance, quality and design, and there’s a real playful side too. Bound to keep drivers enamoured for years.
Model tested: Kia Stinger GT 3.3 V6
Price: €66,895 (Range from €53,895)
Engine: 3.3-litre V6 petrol
0-100km/h: 4.9 seconds
Top speed: 270km/h
Claimed Economy: 9.9/100km
CO2 emissions: 225g/km
Motor tax: €1200 per year