2020 Kia Stinger

We drove Stinger at the Australian Launch and reviewed it here.

Is Kia Stinger any good?

It is bloody awesome. There is no other word  for it.

It has all the good stuff, and if you didn’t know there was a better version, you’d swear the base model was the top grade.

How about Kia Stinger’s looks.

It is long, low, and leggy.

It looks expensive. The German designer, Peter Schreyer, threw everything at it. Some say Germans have no sense of humour, and that may or may not be true, but they design smashing cars.

“German designed cars are rubbish”, said no one ever.

The roof is mighty low at the back, so watch your noggin getting in. The bonnet has decorative vents, with another couple of vents alongside the doors.

The fastback coupe 4-door car is a thing, apparently.

How does KIA Stinger look on the inside?

The cabin is classy.

After a few hours in the saddle you come to appreciate the subtle layout. Aircraft style vents direct air in just the right way.

Steering wheel buttons are back lit to see easily at night.

The materials feel soft and luxurious and what is hard, has the same sense of quality. Seats hug, but not too tightly. The leather look coverings make the Sports Premium Seats look a million bucks, and the driver gets power adjustment. They have no lumbar control, heating, or cooling, not that I noticed their absence.

There is oodles of room and the driving position is laid back, like a sports car.

Rear space is decent, with 10cms between knees and seatback, with the front seats set for a 6 footer. You get the obligatory armrests, and they all fold down 60/40 to make the even bigger.

Boot and petrol cap releases are out of the way down low on the driver’s door.

How about Stinger’s equipment?

The base model 200S misses out on a few of the tech goodies, but it is by no means poverty-stricken and bereft.

Stinger has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and DAB radio through 6 speakers. The up-market Harmon Kardon starts on the next level model, sadly.

Reversing sensors have a camera which displays a rear view in the centre screen. It really makes parking easy, where the speed sensitive steering is super light.

There are cupholders front and back, with bottle holders in the doors. Lighting is LED inside and out. There are power outlets at the front and rear of the centre console, and USB outlets front and back.

How safe is Kia Stinger?

Stinger gets 5 Star ANCAP rating. See what your car gets HERE

Along with ABS, Stinger has lane departure with steering that brings you back into the lane if you don’t indicate. There is blind spot monitoring on the next model up, and all Stingers have AEB (autonomous emergency braking).

The cabin has strengthening which also improves rigidity, and the usual seat belts are augmented by ISOFIX for infant capsule fixing.

The biggest safety feature any car can have, is a driver that pays attention.

Smart cruise control uses a radar to keep distant from the car in front, and that distance is adjustable from the steering wheel. It comes with queue-assist for foot-free stop-start city jams.

How does Stinger Drive?

Stinger is a true GT car, even in the 4 cylinder version.

It is agile around town, but magnificent and leggy on the highway.

Electric steering is mounted on the rack, which is sharper than cars with the motor on the steering column. Drive mode adds weight to the steering, and makes the 8 Speed Automatic hold gears longer. Throttle control sharpens too, but there is an ECO mode for long trips.

Words can’t describe how Stinger feels to drive, but imagine being in an expensive sports car and you’ll get the idea. It feels connected to the road even though the suspension (tuned by Graham Gambold in Melbourne) is soft and compliant.

The 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder has plenty of power. It has a respectable 182kw and 353Nm of torque. The 60L tank will almost get you from Sydney to Melbourne without a refuel, but you might want to top up just in case. Stinger gets 6.5L/100k on the highway and 12.7 around town. A mix of both gets around 8.8L/100k.

It emits an average of 150g/k of CO2.

There is an electric parking brake, and “brake hold” function for traffic..

What’s the verdict?

Kia Stinger is one of the best looking cars on the market.

Even the base model 200S handles superbly. Ride is excellent and handling is subtle. There is still a touch of sportiness, but 200S is aimed at people who want the look but are watching the pennies.

Although the 3.3 6 cylinder is fabulous, the 2.0L is a good all-rounder. Everyone is happy.

If I could wave a magic wand and change one thing, it would be to change out the driver instruments for a full digit LCD readout.

Price: $50,490

Engine: 2.0L turbo 4 cyldiner

Power: 182kw/353nm

Econ: 8.8L/1ook average

CO2: 150g/k

Warranty: 7 yrs/unlimited k

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