- Small selection of engines
- Each provide strong performance
- Standard eight-speed automatic gearbox
There are only three engines on offer in the Kia Stinger, but all provide strong levels of performance. Most drivers will be satisfied with the 2.2-litre CRDi diesel, however both petrols offer a step up in terms of outright speed.
Kia Stinger petrol engines
Those after the top-of-the-range Stinger will want the 3.3-litre T-GDi twin-turbocharged engine. It produces 370hp and 510Nm of torque, launching from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 168mph.
It’s a strong, effortless engine which gains speed with alarming ease and refinement. The downside of this is that it’s not particularly sporty-sounding or exciting, at least compared with its BMW and Audi rivals.
However, this does mean that it’s relaxing and smooth when cruising around gently, offering up power when needed and staying quiet unless the accelerator pedal is depressed hard.
Kia Stinger diesel engines
There’s just the one diesel engine available in the Stinger – a 2.2-litre CRDi unit producing 200hp and 440Nm of torque. That means it’s good for 0-62mph 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 143mph.
Kia Stinger gearbox options
If you’re after a manual gearbox in the Stinger then the bad news is that you can’t have one. The good news is that the standard fit eight-speed automatic is a decent transmission with smooth up-changes and reasonably-swift manual override down-changes.
There can be a bit of a delay when suddenly pressing the throttle hard, but pulling away from a standstill brings about crisp, sharp responses.
Be aware that it is plagued with an annoying flaw: despite the Stinger’s obvious leanings towards being a premium performance car, it doesn’t have a proper manual mode on the gearbox.
Sure, you can override the automatic gearbox and change gear manually using the paddles behind the wheel, but leave it in the same gear for too long and the car switches back to automatic mode. Frustrating.
- Assured but lively handling
- Hides hefty weight well
- All models come with rear-wheel drive
One of the Stinger’s strongest facets, Kia has made its halo car handle like no other car it has ever made. Traction levels from the standard rear-wheel drive setup are strong, yet there’s a playful agility to the car which belies its significant kerb weight.
Turn into a corner at low speed and the steering feels nicely-weighted and well-judged, giving the driver confidence to carry more speed through if they wish. Push on harder and the rear-end of the Stinger will slide out in the right conditions – although in regular comfort mode the myriad safety systems will cut the power and subdue the car, stopping it from getting out of shape at inopportune moments.
All-cars come with a limited-slip differential as standard which helps with performance driving and enables the car to be more precise when travelling quickly through bends. The switchable drive modes do make a notable difference to the way the vehicle goes, handles and rides – tweaking engine, gearbox, steering and power delivery settings to the driver’s preference.
When it comes to parking, the Kia Stinger is a sizeable car with a small rear window and large blind spots around the rearmost pillar. Not a great start, but it does make up for it with a range of parking aids such as the standard-on-all-models all-round parking sensors and rear-view camera, plus a 360-degree surround view monitor on GT-Line S and GT-S models.
- Good standard driving position
- Plenty of adjustability from electric seats and wheel
- Materials, buttons and dials don’t feel particularly high quality
Kia has clearly made an effort to lift the Stinger’s interior beyond its usual fare. Sadly, it’s only partially succeeded. On the plus side the driving position, clarity of dials and head-up display are excellent, plus there’s plenty of storage space dotted around the cabin.
However, while some of the materials used in the cabin look impressively-premium it’s a different story once you interact with them. Many of the buttons feel plasticky, while the materials used on the top of the dashboard and major control panels are a downgrade on the Stinger’s German rivals.
And while overall interior layout is acceptable, it’s far from perfect. The disappointingly-understated drive mode dial is too far back and forces you to contort your hand awkwardly in order to reach, with the same problem also affecting the heated/cooled seat and parking camera controls.
The standard-fit memory-function electric seats are a welcome addition and come in exceptionally-handy if you’re regularly going to have two different drivers using the Stinger.
However, position the seat base up too high and the roof headlining comes into view and makes the windscreen appear narrower than it actually is. Also beware of the small rear window and chunky rear pillars when parking.
- Impressive ride comfort
- Good refinement levels
- Comfy, electrically adjustable front seats
It’s hard to make a definitive judgement on Kia Stinger comfort levels without first driving the car in the UK, however early impressions on smooth Spanish roads have been promising.
We’ve driven the top-spec GT-S model with adaptive suspension and can say that it feels well-damped and fleet-footed when it needs to be, but calm and pliant-enough if you’re on a long drive.
The 19-inch wheels (standard on GT-S cars) do mean there is a noticeable edge to the ride if you run over sharp bumps or cracks in the road, however nowhere near enough to make the car feel uncomfortable or unsettled.
Road and wind noise levels are pleasantly-low (if not quite the best in class), while the standard-fit electrically-adjustable leather seats are both squashy and supportive, offering an excellent driving position, too. Heated front seats are also fitted as standard, while GT-Line S and GT-S models get heated and cooled front seats, plus heated outer rear seats.