Kia would normally be described as a mainstream automotive brand. They make good cars but not, you would think, especially premium. In the case of the new Kia Stinger GT, however, this is very much not so. We were fortunate to spend a week with the current version and it is terrific in terms of both quality, comfort and performance. Now, this new model promises to really up the game.
The New Version
The updated Kia Stinger GT revealed here is a high-performance fastback sports saloon boasting a range of upgrades to extol a true GT character. In addition to its refreshed design, this enhanced saloon includes the brand’s latest high-tech driver assist and safety features, as well as an improved interior for greater space and comfort. This car has a real premium feel. The Stinger is the brand leader for Kia and it is by design very much a driver-focused car, capable of covering great distances in style.
The most powerful engine in the Stinger line-up is a twin-turbo 3.3L T-GDi direct-injection V6 which features a new electronic variable exhaust valve system. This utilises a small butterfly valve in the exhaust which opens and closes, producing a more prominent, deeper exhaust note in Sport driving modes, or a quieter, more subdued exhaust note in Economy or Comfort mode. Probably not a necessity but still an aural delight! We learn that as well as enhancing the sound quality, the revised exhaust flow path helps to liberate an extra 3bhp from the engine for a total of 368bhp at 6,000 rpm. Every little helps. An enormous 510Nm of torque is accessible from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm, giving the Stinger effortless performance throughout the rev range.
The engine drives through a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, matching the car’s long-legged gran-turismo personality.
At front and centre of the Kia Stinger’s upgraded cabin is a new touchscreen infotainment system, providing the latest functionality, which in a changing world meets buyers changing expectations of in-car technology. There’s also an optional new 10.25” touchscreen display.
Bluetooth multi-connection enables users to connect up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and multimedia use; the other for media use only. Its advanced split-screen display lets users control or monitor different vehicle features at the same time, customising the screen with a series of different widgets. Additionally, the 10.25” system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, with a voice control system for many of the car’s features, such as heating and ventilation, audio and navigation.
A new 8.0-inch touchscreen display with a narrow-bezel design is also available, replacing the previous 7.0-inch system.The larger display also offers wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. On the road, wind noise levels are commendably low, while the standard-fit electrically-adjustable leather seats are both comfy and supportive, offering an excellent driving position for the pilot too. Heated front seats are also fitted as standard.
There’s room for five and all the latest safety technology is on board along with the added security of all-wheel-drive in some models. This very different, tried and tested model from Korea is very much a fine alternative to the usual German GT offerings.
Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite www.drivewrite.co.uk