How does it drive?
The GT-Line (the 200 GT) starts from $55,990, and the 330 GT is from $59,900. Appealing features such as the eight-way powered driver’s seat can be found in all models, while our top-end GT comes with a comprehensive equipment list, including a matching powered passenger seat, heated and cooled front seats, leather trim, seven-inch colour instrument cluster, wireless phone charging, a 15-speaker premium Harman/Kardon sound system and a powered sunroof.
From our experience at Stinger’s launch, the 2.0-litre models impressed with their combination of performance and agility. It’s a notably well-balanced and dynamic car with similar torque to the superseded Commodore V6. That said, the effortless performance delivery of Stinger’s V6 was a standout. Outright acceleration easily matches traditional V8s, while equally impressive is the strong, V8-matching mid-range torque, which meant a smooth and flexible response in every situation.
Our average fuel consumption of 9.9L/100km is impressive given the performance, and both engines run on 91-RON fuel. Enthusiasts typically favour a traditional rear-wheel-drive configuration, and the Stinger is aided by a full suite of electronic controls which ensure maximum traction and stunning acceleration, as seen in our performance figures. Despite the power and rear-wheel-drive platform, it has a modest 1500kg towing capacity, with a ball load of just 75kg.
In keeping with other Kia auto models, Stinger has had the benefit of local suspension tuning, effectively targeting ride and handling control over a mixture of our less-than-perfect back roads at highway speeds. Low-profile tyres on the GT’s 19-inch wheels are prone to delivering a short, sharp thump over bumps around town, but once Stinger is flowing, the comfort, the body control and the feel of the electric power steering are excellent.
Stinger’s eye-catching design is derived from the long 2905mm wheelbase, wide stance and a notably low roofline and seating position, all of which affect some aspect of what should be a large and accommodating four-door hatchback. Its overall length of close to five metres can be an issue in some parking spots, ducking your head is a requirement when getting in, particularly in the rear, and the low seating will be awkward for many.
Once inside, the seating is snug and comfortable. Drivers will enjoy the tactile wrap-around cockpit, the smart, functional layout, and controls and instrumentation that are easy to identify and use. Driver vision is better than expected and aided by multiple cameras, while the GT also provides a head-up display. But the large centre console restricts width up front and limits seating in the centre rear, in effect making Stinger a good four-seater, with exceptional front and rear legroom, rather than matching the overall space of a typical mid-size sedan. The sunroof in the GT also forces the seating position lower, and the tapering roof line limits rear headspace.
There is, however, a modest limousine feel for rear-seat passengers, stretched out with a large centre armrest, air vents and access to USB/AUX sockets. The sloping rear glass and self-powered tailgate reduce boot space, notably for square boxes and the like, yet overall there is a reasonable load capacity for multiple smaller bags and a 60/40 split-fold rear seat for long items. The boot is well lit, there’s a temporary-use spare wheel under a solid flat floor and the Stinger has ISOFIX child-seat mounts along with top tether points on the seat back. Overall cabin fit and finish is first class.
Stinger’s sweeping body style and nicely crafted cabin wrap well-engineered driveline and suspension components that underpin this engaging high-performance grand tourer.
The 2.0-litre model is a gem of balance and refinement, but it’s the V6 that truly steps up in the performance stakes, with comprehensively equipped high-end models delivering the best value for money.
These comments are from RACV’s experienced team of vehicle testers.