Silky Stinger

by Petrol Mum

The Kia Stinger is a perennial favourite in our house and even more so when it’s the GT variant powered by the twin-turbo V6 engine. To start with, just look at the exterior design, it’s sleek and looks great. I regularly see a Deep Chroma Blue Stinger and every time I think to myself “there goes that good looking Stinger.”

On the inside the Stinger GT is equipped with pretty much every luxury option that you can think of. Heated and cooled front seats, tick, electric sunroof, tick, heated steering wheel, tick, and the list goes on and on. But what makes all of these features even more impressive is they come on a vehicle that costs less than $68k drive away.

I suggest you take a moment to look around the cabin and admire the Stinger GT. From the suede effect roof liner, to the stitched dash and door sills, brushed Aluminum centre console, the speaker covers, attractive gear lever, and even the key fob, there is just so much to appreciate in this sedan. The only downside of the brushed Aluminium centre console is if the sun hits it at the wrong angle, it reflects into your eyes.

Once you are behind the wheel it’s a synch to find your ideal driving position as the driver’s seat has power adjustment for recline, forward/back, front and rear seat cushion height adjustment, 4-way lumbar control, side bolster adjustment and manual front seat extension. Once you find your perfect position you can save it one of the two seat memory settings. In Sport mode the driver’s seat even automatically squeezes in the side bolster support, bracing you for the experience that is about to come.

The sporty looking flat-bottomed steering wheel with contrasting perforated/plain leather covering also has electric adjustment and the driver gets a head-up display that can be adjusted for height, rotation, brightness and content. The side mirrors are power adjusted, but one thing I don’t like about the mirrors is the chrome paint on them as it tarnishes and marks very easily.

From a practicality standard point, the Stinger has a lot of features that your family will appreciate as well from the good-sized drink bottle storage cubbies in the front and rear doors, to the removable rubber lining that is in the bottom of the cup holders in the centre console. For your power requirements under the sliding cover at the front of the centre console there is one 12V outlet, one USB port and wireless charging for compatible devices.

The 10.25” central touchscreen is your gateway to the infotainment system that comprises in-built satellite navigation that comes with 10 years of map updates and a link to traffic information. The Stinger GT still uses wired Apple CarPlay/Android Auto to connect your smartphone to the infotainment system. Like all other Kia models voice control only works when Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is connected and the voice control button has a masculine looking silhouette on it.

You can enjoy your music on the a 15-speaker harman/kardon sound system with your media sources including AM, FM/DAB, Bluetooth, USB music, USB video, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto or the relaxing Sounds of Nature. For a fully immersive experience your music can be combined with a selection of ambient lighting colours.

There is ample leg room for adults sitting in the rear seats and I found the headroom to be adequate, but taller people may find that it is a bit tight. My son told me that the rear seats are extremely comfortable and that the head rests are as nearly as soft as those found in the Rolls-Royce.

For younger passengers there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but due to the width it is most likely that you would only be able to fit two car seats in. The centre seat folds down as an arm rest with two rigid drink holders in the front of it. There are two central air vents with basic manual temperature control with open/close and direction control. Under the vents there is one 12V outlet and one USB port. There are rear mats, but these do not cover the transmission tunnel.

The boot of the Stinger GT is power operated and can be opened/closed from the button under the boot lid or in the cabin and from the key fob only when the Stinger is off. I have always been impressed by the size of the Stinger’s boot and I think if would fit a pram and the weekly shop. There are four tie down points and lights in the boot, but no hooks or 12V outlet. Under the boot floor you do get a temporary use spare tyre and if you need even more storage space the rear seats have a 40:60 split fold mechanism.

For the driver the V6 engine offers ample power, but I would not say that the engine is all that charismatic even with the active sound design turned on. There are five drive modes to select from, Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom. Under the Custom option you can adjust the Powertrain, Steering and Suspension settings and I think the goldilocks setup for me would be Powertrain and Steering in Sport with the Suspension set to Comfort as I found the ride was a bit harsh in Sport mode.

The 3.3 litre V6 engine produces a maximum of 274kW of power and 510Nm of torque and Kia recommends that you run the Stinger on regular unleaded petrol. The official combined fuel consumption is 10.2L/100km and for my week I used 11.7L/100km. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission with shift by wire technology and you can ‘manually’ change gears using the steering wheel mounted gear selectors.

The Stinger GT comes with the full suite of active safety technology includes autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, blind spot collision avoidance assist, blind spot view monitor which projects a video image from the side cameras on the driver’s dash when you indicate left and right, rear cross traffic collision avoidance assist, safe exit warning and adaptive cruise control.

ANCAP safety tests found the Stinger’s autonomous emergency braking is capable of operating at highway speeds and performed well in tests of its functionality. I found that the lane keep assist reacted to imperfections in the road surface and even with the steering assist engaged the system wanted to pull to the left of right.

Passive safety includes dual frontal, side chest, side head-protecting (curtain) and driver knee airbags and impact sensor auto door unlocking. Overall, all models in the Kia Stinger range have a 5-star ANCAP (2017) safety rating. Other safety/convenience features include front and rear parking sensors with a two camera views combined with a standard rear view and a 360o view displayed on the infotainment screen. You also get with auto lights, auto wipers and Brembo brakes.

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 GT, service intervals are every year or 10,000km, whichever comes first, and the total service costs for the seven-year period are capped at $4,243.

Even after more than four years since it’s release in Australia I still think the Stinger is a good-looking vehicle that is very pleasant to drive. As tested with no optional features fitted the Silky Silver Stinger GT that I drove costs $67,890 drive away. If you want to be impressed yourself by the Kia Stinger GT visit your preferred Kia dealer and take a look.

Great looking exterior and interior designChromed mirrors and vents
Comfortable rear seatsSunlight reflects off centre console
Big bootVoice control only works when Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is connected

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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