Kia has in recent decades improved by leaps and bounds in build quality, reliability and image and I can almost confidently say that in the family sedan sector, the Cerato K3 has a significant market share as seen on the roads but thats a discussion for another day.
Enter the Kia Stinger GT. Kia’s first foray into the premium executive/sports sedan market with all guns ablaze, not sparing every attempt to usurp the market held largely by the premium German manufacturers.
With a striking and beautiful exterior, 2 turbocharged engine choices, a rear wheel drive drivetrain, a high quality interior with a multitude of standard equipment it’s clear that the competition has to treat this newcomer seriously.
The first words that came to my mind when I saw the Hi Chroma Red Kia Stinger GT was “Wow!”
It just looks expensive and good-looking from almost every angle with a long swooping bodyline of a fastback sedan with a 0.30Cd drag coefficient. LED headlights and taillights, air vents behind the front wheel arches, rear diffuser with quad exhausts, 19″ alloys with Brembo brakes complete the “sports car” image. At 4830mm long with a 2905mm wheelbase, it has the right ingredients for a plush GT.
The test car came in a matching premium looking dark red and black interior that adds a touch of class and sophistication.
On the tech front there was a Heads Up Display, wireless charging and an 8 inch centre console screen with Apple Carplay and Bluetooth connectivity and an electrically operated tailgate are all standard equipment.
Further enhancing its plush interior are Nappa seats with electrical adjustment and ventilation controls, a premium 720 watt Harman Kardon sound system and a large sunroof.
Kia in its marketing strategy of the Stinger is always quick to point out this is not a track car for ultimate lap times but a powerful gran tourer for covering vast distances in comfort with minimal effort and fuss.
With 370ps and 510Nm of torque from 1300rpm, the Stinger GT has loads of performance potential and would surprise even proper sports cars in traffic light sprints. Equipped with an 8 speed auto on a rear wheel drive platform, the stinger promises pure handling characteristics and the 5 driving modes cater to different driver moods and situations.
Note, this car oversteers quite easily thus its always important to keep a watchful eye on your steering and throttle inputs lest you have a close encounter of the curb kind.
Watch a video on the Kia Stinger GT here:
Equipped with Blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, 7 airbags and the now almost standard ABS and ESC, safety is never compromised together with an extra stiff bodyshell compromising of 55 percrnt advanced high strength steel.
Again, DSDC is Kia’s electronically adjustable suspension which is able to spread the load reduce understeer and oversteer and is available in 5 preset settings from comfort to sport+ to unleash your dark side.
For the self confident and those who know what they want and whom badge snobbery is a distant consideration, at $208,999 at press time, there is nothing in the market that can offer more horsepower and value per dollar than the Kia Stinger GT.
A close competitor would be the infiniti Q60 Red Sport with 400hp with a fancier badge but at a more than $50k premium. If this is the start of finer things to come from Kia, then may the dark side of Kia prevail!