The new Kia Stinger Gran Turismo boasts one of the best names for a car ever, and fortunately, it’s as exciting as it sounds. Arguably the Korean brand’s sexiest car to date, the Stinger is looking to put the cat among the pigeons in the sporty exec sector.
If you’re keen to look past the established names this time around, this little upstart has plenty of pedigree.
It’s a rear-wheel-drive five-door sports car that challenges preconceptions of what Kia is all about. It looks aggressive, entertains on the road and even feels a bit luxurious. And despite how all this sounds, it’s actually aimed at families.
Kia was founded in 1944 and has an interesting history. Read our brief history of Kia.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Kia Stinger Gran Turismo review.
Overview of the Kia Stinger Gran Turismo
On the Road
The Stinger certainly looks the part, so it was important that it drives well. It does. It’s fun and performative, and there’s a lot to like about its driving experience.
Its chassis copes well with what is a hefty car, and the Stinger manages to feel agile and even nimble on the move. The steering is probably a bit too light, but you can flick between driving modes to add a bit of weight. It could have also done with a bit more feel, while the Audi S5 – which we take a look at below – has more composure in bends.
Ride quality is decent and the car even feels fairly supple at times. This only encourages you to get as much enjoyment as you can out of the car. Meanwhile, limited slip differential and a rear-wheel-drive layout further enhance your enjoyment.
It’s worth remembering, though, that this is a heavy car. Adaptive dampers are available, and they’re definitely worth considering as they help to shore things up.
In terms of its engines, the entry level GT-Line model is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine. It develops 244bhp and has a 0-62 time of 6.0 seconds. That makes it a lot faster than the diesel version of the Stinger, but it’s not as jet-heeled as the GT-S model. This range-topping variant is powered by a twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine that develops as much as 365bhp. That’s enough to rocket its way from a standstill to 62mph in just 4.7 seconds.
If you switch to Sport or Sport+ mode, the engine sound is artificially ramped up and it sounds pretty damn good. It’s nowhere near as intrusive as it sounds, too.
Kia Stinger Gran Turismo Interior, Design and Build
The Stinger is a bit of an extrovert but it’s a five-door sports car-come-saloon that’s aimed at families. To this end, its cabin is tasteful and nicely finished.
It’s also not found lacking when it comes to quality. Although it’s no Audi, it’s hard to argue with what’s on offer at this price level.
All models come with an 8” touchscreen that takes pride of place in the dashboard, while sat-nav is also standard. The overall design isn’t as exciting as the car’s interior but it’s attractive enough.
Is the Kia Stinger Gran Turismo practical? The low-slung driving position doesn’t compromise visibility, while the seat and steering wheel offer lots of adjustability.
This is a long car – one of the longest in this class – and as such cabin space is good. The sloping roofline doesn’t intrude on rear headroom, while legroom is good up front and in the rear.
The boot meanwhile, measures 406-litres, which makes it one of the smallest in this sector. The entry-level model is the only model to miss out on an electric-powered tailgate and folding 60:40 seats.
Is Kia reliable? Read our honest assessment of the manufacturer.
Equipment and Safety of the Kia Stinger Gran Turismo
Standard kit is good across the range, with the entry-level model coming with 18” alloys, an 8” touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav, limited slip differential, a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, Bluetooth, heated leather seats, and a 9” speaker sound system.
The GT-Line S adds a 15 speaker Harman Kardon sound system, heated outer rear seats, LED headlights, a powered tailgate, and heated and ventilated front seats.
Topping the range is a GT-S model that comes with 19” alloys, adaptive dampers, stronger brakes and Nappa leather upholstery.
Safety wise, the Stinger enjoys a 5-star safety rating. Its standard safety kit includes speed-limit warnings, driver fatigue warning, lane keeping assistance and emergency braking. The higher spec models add rear cross-traffic alerts and blind spot monitoring.
Costs of the Kia Stinger Diesel Gran Turismo
Prices for the new car start out from £31,995 and rise to £40,495. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the 2.0-litre petrol engine is the most frugal and can return as much as 35.8mpg on a good day. Its emissions are pegged at 181g/km of CO2.
Meanwhile, the bigger V6 3.3-litre petrol unit that tops the range is good for returns of 28.5mpg at best. It’s not cheap to run and it emits a whopping 225g/km. It has a BiK rating of 35% and sits in insurance group 42 out of 50.
Pros and Cons of the Kia Stinger Diesel Gran Turismo
Affordable to buy
Its entry-level model trumps its major rivals in the price wars.
If you want a sports car from a totally left field brand, this Stinger is a fine choice.
When you look at it, all you can think is “please drive well, please drive well.” Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint.
Expensive to run
It’s cheaper than its rivals to buy but a lot more expensive to run.
It’s a Kia
It’s got zero badge appeal or heritage, and that’s often key in this sector.
Kia Stinger Gran Turismo vs Audi A5 Sportback vs Volkswagen Arteon
Let’s see how the car compares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Kia Stinger Gran Turismo review.
Kia Stinger Gran Turismo vs Audi A5 Sportback
The new Audi A5 Sportback is as handsome as they come. It’s also comfortable and quiet – a very relaxing proposition!
That said, the A5 is also quite agile and there’s a certain finesse about the way it goes about its business on the road. Artificial steering aside, there’s a lot to like about it. It’s smooth, deals with poor road surfaces well, and it’s composed in bends.
There’s plenty of grip available too, and body lean isn’t an issue. Four-wheel-drive is available but the truth is that front-wheel-drive models are just as capable.
In terms of its engines, a 2.0-litre petrol is available with either 187bhp or 249bhp. The latter will be too pricey for most buyers but it’s a cracking engine. The 187bhp variant, meanwhile, is easier to recommend because of its price, and it has a 0-62 time of 7.5 seconds.
Rounding off the range is an explosive 3.0-litre petrol engine that powers the S5 Sportback model. It develops 349bhp and can motor its way from a standstill to 62mph in 4.7 seconds.
Running costs? The 187bhp variant is the most frugal petrol engine in the range but you’ll struggle to return over 50mpg. The 249bhp variant is good for 44.1mpg at best and emits 144g/km of CO2. That qualifies it for a BiK rating of 27%, which is impressive.
Inside, Audi have delivered another impeccable, A++ cabin. It’s quiet and very well-insulated, handsome and supremely comfortable.
The quality of the materials is as high as ever, with our only criticism being a poorly positioned infotainment screen.
The dashboard is minimal and easy on the eye, but it is a shame that the brand’s excellent Virtual Cockpit isn’t standard on all models.
Is the Audi A5 Sportback practical? It does reasonably well on this front. The sloping roofline is perhaps the biggest compromise and it limits headroom. Rear seat space is overall a bit cramped and you’ll need to try before you buy.
However, those who sit up front will be perfectly happy with the amount of legroom on offer.
The boot meanwhile, measures 480-litres, which is good for this class.
Kia – £31,995 – £40,495
Audi – £33,840 – £48,850
Kia Stinger Gran Turismo vs Volkswagen Arteon
The new Volkswagen Arteon is a stylish exec car that’s hard to find fault with.
On the road, it’s not quite as aggressive as it looks and it works best as a motorway cruiser than as a sports car. It’s refined, quiet and comfortable, and it eats up the miles with ease.
Buyers might prefer a bit more feel from the steering but adaptive dampers allow you to keep body roll in check by switching to Sport mode. Doing so means the ride is less comfortable, however.
In terms of its engines, a 1.5-litre petrol engine sits at the bottom of the range. It develops a healthy 148bhp and it’s light enough to cover the 0-62 sprint in 8.9 seconds. It’s quiet and makes for a largely hassle-free experience.
A bigger 2.0-litre petrol engine tops you up with 187bhp and adds a turbocharger. It dusts off 0-62 in 7.7 seconds and will satisfy most buyers.
However, if you want even more pace and power, you’ll want to take a look at a 276bhp variant of the same engine. It has a 0-62 time of 5.6 seconds and comes with four-wheel drive as standard.
Running costs? The 1.5-litre petrol engine comes with cylinder deactivation technology which helps to keep fuel consumption as low at 54.3mpg. Emissions are pegged at 119g/km of CO2 and this qualifies it for a BiK rating of 24%. The bigger 187bhp variant of the 2.0-litre petrol can manage returns of 47.1mpg on a good day, while the range-topping engine returns 38.7mpg at best.
Inside, there’s hardly anything to criticise about the Arteon. It’s plush, feels suitably premium and build quality is excellent. It’s also smooth and well insulated while selecting the Comfort mode improves ride quality.
The actual design of the cabin and the dashboard is a bit understated and isn’t as exciting as the car’s exterior. However, it’s all tastefully done and the quality of the materials used is high.
Is the Volkswagen Arteon practical? It shares its underpinnings with the Passat but it’s actually bigger than its sibling. A long wheelbase ensures that interior space is good and those in the front and in the back should be more than satisfied with the room on offer.
Head, leg and knee room is all good, although those sat in the outer rear seats will be more comfortable than anyone sat in the middle.
The boot meanwhile, is considerably bigger than the Kia and measures 563-litres. It also comes with a very handy hatchback tailgate.
Volkswagen – £32,535 – £40,305
Verdict of our 2018 Kia Stinger Gran Turismo Review
Who’d have thought that Kia could be capable of producing such a hell-raiser (of sorts)? Okay, so it’s no Porsche 911, but for their first ever five-door sports car, this is a fine effort.
It’s also genuinely desirable and genuinely practical and should suit families down to the ground who want a sports-car-come-saloon that’s fun, sexy and exciting. The new Kia Stinger Gran Turismo might lack badge appeal, but it’s got everything else you need, and it could be about to herald an exciting future.
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