The Kia Stinger is epitome of what the South Korean brand is capable of producing right now.
What an amazing car; full of power, style, comfort and luxury, it’s a complete package for a grand tourer sedan.
I was already impressed by the smaller engine version of the Stinger I test drove last year and now the Stinger GT with its bigger V6 engine and higher specifications is just mind blowing.
Of course the general body shape is the same as the Kia Stinger 200S apart from the spiffier alloys, exterior garnishing and chrome accents.
The Stinger has a low profile, longish in shape, with an aggressive stance and styling exemplifying the sporty but elegant branding.
The interior is really where it shines with an allure that will keep you wanting to stay inside.
First to catch your gaze is the striking burgundy leather interior coating the doors and seats which contrast the silver and black of the rest of the cabin.
The GT is premium and lux and is just beautiful.
From the cockpit, the driver feels cosy, surrounded by a perfectly formed, figure hugging seat, a high centre floor console, an angled centre console and leather bound flat bottomed steering wheel.
Everything, from the switchgear to the cubby doors have a nice soft feel or soft close, once again adding to the luxuriousness of the vehicle on par with European makes.
Let’s not forget about rear passengers who are equally afford a high level of comfort in bucket style seats with no compromise for legroom or headroom. The middle passenger may sit a bit higher due to the dip in the outer seats.
Being a Kia and the top spec model, the Stinger GT is not short of a feature or two.
From the driver’s point of view are a rocker style gear shifter, powered steering wheel adjustment for finding the perfect driving position, memory seat function, ventilated/heated/powered seats, electric park brake with auto hold and release and paddle shifters.
The instrument cluster also displays handy info such as a digital speedometer, compass, driver attention level, and even lap time and a g-force meter for those who like to go hard around corners.
While the gauges are traditional dials, the display screen is in colour with great graphics making Kia one of the leaders in this area.
The centre dashboard has an HUD touchscreen with digital radio and sat-nav, hooked up to a set of harmon/kardon speakers.
And to top this all of is a sunroof and powered tailgate, which is operatable from inside the car or with the key FOB.
Boot space is surprisingly large for this sized car – a bit shallow but long and wide.
Despite the fine features, the 3.3L twin turbo V6 is the real attraction of the Kia Stinger GT.
There’s heaps of grunt in the default comfort mode when the turbo kicks in but putting it into sport mode takes full advantage of the V6 engine and the 272kW/510Nm output.
Man, does it go! Acceleration is so immediate and in your face, almost to the point of being too much. The throttle is very responsive and has a nice feel.
Steering is very precise, with a little twitch making a huge difference. It’s very direct and combined with the punchy accelerator, require some finesse to keep the Stinger in line.
Likewise, the brakes are so sensitive they could stop a spare tyre.
It looks nice and sounds nice but is missing that big engine growl you’d expect from a V6 but is your option if you prefer it quiet and relaxing. However fuel economy was a shameless 14.0L/100km.
The Stinger is just as adept in a straight line and round corners with a ride and handling that is solid, stable and reassuring. It’s smooth and comfortable to cruise along in for those long distance trips.
A projected driver’s display onto the road ahead provides comprehensive information removing the need to take your eyes off the road.
It shows everything including your speed, the speed limit, adaptive cruise control settings, sat-nav guidance as well as special road conditions and signs.
The Kia Stinger GT has the whole kit and caboodle of driver assist safety features, like lane departure, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reverse camera and sensors and a neat 360° camera view to make parking a cinch.
- Beefy engine
- Design and presentation
- Red leather interior
- Premium styling
- Powered tailgate
Not so good bits
- Engine note
- Fuel economy
Serving a dual purpose, the Kia Stinger GT can pose as a family car with style and luxury but is also a beast you can have a bit of fun in.
With a serious engine and a long list of specs, pricing for this top of the range model starts at only $55,990.
Even with all this value for money, Kia always has a trump card in their 7 year warranty which is the cherry on top.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Kia Stinger GT
- Engine: 3.3L V6 twin-turbo 272kW/510Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed sports automatic
- Warranty: 7 Yrs
- Safety: Five Stars
- Origin: South Korea
- Price: From $55,990