Only £40,495, yes, ONLY that much, because the Kia Stinger GT S is a helluva lot of car for the money.
Tom Scanlan drives Kia’s latest, greatest the Stinger GT S.
Is it its looks that even my fellow road-hardened hacks all admire?
Is it the knowledge that the 3-litre V6 twin-turbo engine bangs out 365 bhp at 6000 revs?
Of course, it’s those things and more. The spec of this car is massive and within the whole package is a host of equipment using the latest in automotive tech.
Connectivity, safety and comfort are all treated as being of vital importance, naturally. Therefore, in everyday conditions, the sting is withdrawn and the car is a docile family saloon that quietly performs its appropriate tasks.
As such, you are probably driving in ‘eco’ or ‘comfort’ mode. When you want to unleash the beast, you switch to ‘sport’. Put your foot down and it’s a different world. The car hurtles forward, doesn’t matter whether you do this from zero or at any speed in any of the eight automatic gears.
The suspension will have tautened, the steering weight adjusted for feel and the exhaust amplified, quite subtly, not too loud. If you’re with a similarly-minded passenger, you’ll both be a-hollerin’ and a-whoopin’ at the whole exhilarating show! And your eyes will be popping out if you give the brakes a real shove — you would expect, wouldn’t you, that they have quad-piston front callipers (co-developed with Brembo) holed and grooved with 350 mm front discs and not much less at the rear and you’d be right.
There is a further drive mode: ‘sport plus’. This should be used circumspectly. By experienced drivers only. In fact, since ‘sport plus’ de-activates the Stinger’s stability anti-slip systems, I would go further and suggest that this mode is only for track days. The car is rear-wheel-drive… massive fun in the right hands with your arms opposite-locking and your right foot feeding in unimpeded power…
Fancy driving at 168 mph? Kia claims this car can reach that. And should you fancy trying that out on the now relatively-few German Autobahns that still have no speed limit, there is a satnav touchscreen with full European mapping and access to loads of local information from traffic to weather to where you can get your bratwurst and fries.
It is to Kia’s credit that the Stinger was designed in Germany by their top men. Peter Schreyer from Audi and, under him, Gregory Guillaume from M-Sport BMW. A car nut since he was a toddler and a severe test schedule was carried out in a wide range of extreme conditions, including at least four hundred and eighty laps of the Nurburgring… who wouldn’t have loved that!
For ordinary road use, as its owners will almost exclusively use the car, it has the full complement of safety features that would help the, shall we say, over-enthusiastic or inexperienced driver. Connectivity, yes, all that, too.
The interior the car is award-winning and sitting in the driver’s seat, the impression is of complete comfort, thanks largely to the black suede-effect roof lining. It all works in a special way.
The Stinger also features a smart dashboard and design-thoughts have not missed out on the minor controls: they all feel intuitive and pleasant to use.
My week in the car gave me a best consumption return (according to the trip computer) of 28.8 mpg. That does equate to around only 250 miles between fill-ups, but this car looks great even when filling up.
Nothing’s perfect, but the Stinger? It’s a stunner!
Car reviewed: Kia Stinger GT S 3.3 T-GDi 8-speed auto ISG – Price as tested on the road £40,495 0-62mph 4.9 secs Top speed 168mph Fuel Economy combined 26.6mpg CO2 emissions 225g/km Engine 3342cc T-GDi 6-cylinder EU6 Max Power [email protected] Torque [email protected] Transmission 8-speed automatic with manual mode
Excellent spec throughout
Fun useable performance
A real Gran Turismo
Fairly short range for a GT car