The Kia Stinger model range has received a refresh for 2021, taking this already stylish vehicle and making it even more impressive. Improved safety features headline the updates and on the inside you now get a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth Multi-Connection allowing multiple smart phones to be paired at the same time for greater convenience and functionality.
This time around in the Stinger I drove the GT-Line, which is powered by the smaller turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. This engine produces 182kW and 353Nm, compared to 274kW and 510Nm of the larger 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine in the Stinger GT. This power is driven through the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission in both vehicles.
I liked that you can turn off the active engine soundtrack if desired and of the five drive modes Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom, Sport mode was my go-to choice. Under the Custom mode the Powertrain and Steering can be set to your personal preference, but for me. The 2.0 litre engine offers decent power and the official combined fuel consumption for the 2.0L Stinger I drove is 8.8L/100km and for my week I used 10.0L/100km. Looking back at the last time I drove the 3.3L Stinger GT I used 12.0L/100km for the week.
The Kia Stinger model range already has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and the safety improvements introduced for MY21 have enhanced these. The ANCAP Adult Occupant Protection score is 34.9 out of 38 (91%) and the Child Occupant Protection score is 39.7 out of 49 (81%). Dual frontal, side chest, side head-protecting (curtain) and driver knee airbags are standard across the range.
Already featuring Autonomous Emergency Braking across the range, the improved AEB now adds Cyclist Detection and Junction Assist to its already existing car and pedestrian capabilities. Junction Assist uses the front camera and radar to apply the brakes if danger is detected while turning across oncoming traffic.
GT-Line and GT models benefit from the inclusion of Rear Cross Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist which monitors and if necessary brakes to avoid traffic from either side of the vehicle when reversing. The rear view camera on these models also displays two images on the main touchscreen, a standard rear view on the left and a 360o view on the right combined with front and rear sensors.
For GT and GT-Line models the Blind Spot View Monitor is displayed on the high-resolution 7.0-inch central display on the driver’s dash between the analogue taco and speedo. So when you indicate either left or right an image from the side view camera is displayed on the driver’s dash.
I have always been impressed with the interior of the Kia Stinger, but the MY21 refresh has enhanced this even further. The dashboard and doors are trimmed with a new stitch pattern design and the three central Merc-esque air vents are retained. I like the brushed aluminium centre console because it looks great and you don’t get finger marks on it like the gloss black look that many car manufacturers favour at this time. The Stinger has two different sized cup holders with the smaller holder being slightly higher as well. Under the power sliding cover at the front of the centre console there is wireless charging for compatible devices, one 12V outlet and one USB port.
The most notable upgrade to the interior is the inclusion of the 10.25-inch touchscreen with inbuilt navigation and smartphone connectivity. The dash-mounted screen allows users to control and monitor a range of vehicle functions simultaneously and to connect your smartphone through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Media options include DAB/FM, AM radio, Bluetooth, USB music, USB video and Sounds of Nature. The interior ambience of the GT and GT-Line cars can be additionally tuned by the choice of 64 colours in the Mood Lamp to subtly alter the character of the cabin.
I liked the use of perforated and non-perforated appointed leather on the flat-bottom sports steering wheel, but this is let down with the plastic paddle shifters as I thought these should be metal. The steering wheel is heated and has numerous wheel-mounted controls including voice control that is designated with a masculine-looking silhouette of a face. The voice control only works however when your phone is connected via USB to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
The leather appointed seats are available in black or red for GT-Line and I thought they were comfortable they had a nice smell. Both front seats are heated and cooled, with the heating being good and the cooling adequate. They are also both have power adjustment for recline, height, forward/back and 4-way lumbar support and the driver gets additional power adjustment for the height at the front of the seat, side bolstering and two memory positions. When you select Sport mode the side bolstering on the driver’s seat automatically tightens.
The rear seats are comfortable and I found there was ample head and leg room, but taller adults may suffer from a lack of head room back there. There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but in reality there is only enough space for two car seats due to the width of the cabin. This allows you to fold down the central seat as an arm rest with two rigid drink holders in it.
Rear passengers get central air vents with individual on/off and direction controls and manual temperature control and below the air vents there in one 12V outlet and one USB port. There are rear carpet mats, but no mat over the transmission tunnel so this may wear over time from children stepping across it.
The boot is power operated for open and close and you can do this from the key fob, the boot latch or using the button in the cabin. On GT and GT-Line models the Smart Power Tailgate can now be set to four pre-determined opening heights through the in-car menu, allowing for an optimal setting to suit the user’s height. The boot is big and would easily accommodate a pram and the weekly shop and it is at a height that makes it easy to reach all the way back into the boot.
To secure items there are four tie down points and a cargo net and under the boot floor there is a temporary use spare tyre. If you need more storage space the rear seats have a 60/40 split fold mechanism. The one thing in the boot that bothered me was the different colours of the carpet on the back of the rear seats; one was darker than the other.
Overall I really like the exterior styling of the Kia Stinger and even though it has been on Australian roads for some time now and I still find myself turning my head to look at one when it drives by. There is just one external part that I do not like and that is the black chrome on the mirrors and side vents because this material doesn’t age well and even on the Stinger I drove which only had 800km on the odometer the chrome already looked tired and worn.
All new Kias come with a 7-Year Unlimited Kilometre Warranty and one year of complimentary Roadside Assist. Owners can renew their Roadside Assistance package yearly, for up to eight years, by simply returning their vehicle to an Authorised Kia Dealer for its annual scheduled services. Membership will remain valid for one year following your scheduled service, and will be renewed if an Authorised Kia Dealer completes the vehicle’s next scheduled serviced within one year. For the Stinger, service intervals are every year or 10,000km, whichever comes first, and the total service costs for the seven year period are capped at $3,549.
The 2.0-litre engine in the GT-Line may make this the little Stinger from an engine power perspective, but apart from that the GT-Line upholds the Stinger name honourably. The drive-away price for the Stinger GT-Line model that I drove is $59,990, plus $695 for the Snow White Pearl premium paint colour. Visit your preferred Kia dealer to test drive the refreshed Stinger range or head to our Go Configure page to configure your Stinger GT-Line.
|Interior and infotainment upgrades||Black chrome mirrors and side vents|
|Improved safety technology||Voice control only work when Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is connected|
|Large boot||Different colour carpet on reverse side of rear seats|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.