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Kia Stinger review

2017 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 53.9
” Kia’s flagship model doesn’t disappoint “

At a glance

Price new £31,620 - £43,195
Used prices £11,004 - £36,190
Road tax cost £190 - £600
Insurance group 32 - 42
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Fuel economy 27.7 - 40.9 mpg
Range 383 - 634 miles
Miles per pound 4.1 - 5.2
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types

Petrol

Diesel

Pros & cons

PROS
  • Involving and fun to drive
  • Huge standard kit list
  • Rapid and muscular performance
CONS
  • High emissions and fuel consumption
  • Interior quality not as good as a VW Arteon's
  • Rear headroom is tight for tall passengers

Written by James Dennison Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 2 August 2021

Overview

Is the Kia Stinger any good?

No longer the budget brand, Kia has premium aspirations with this flagship model – the Kia Stinger – taking on class-leading premium offerings like the BMW 4 Series Gran CoupeAudi A5 Sportback and Volkswagen Arteon.

Designed to be an executive grand tourer, the Stinger blends comfort with some impressive performance figures from its relatively large petrol engine. There’s a hint of traditional muscle car about it. 

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Kia Stinger GT-S 2021 front
Kia Stinger GT-S 2021 front

Add to that its striking looks and flagship model status, and the Stinger is an intriguing prospect.

Read the Kia Stinger verdict

What’s it like inside?

Kia has clearly tried hard to impress with the Stinger’s cabin quality, but the overall effect is distinctly hit and miss. On the outset, it looks a great improvement over lesser models in the Kia range but once under closer scrutiny, many of the buttons and materials start to feel distinctly un-premium.

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Kia Stinger 2021 dash
Kia Stinger 2021 dash

The driving positon is excellent however, and there’s plenty of toys to play with, yet some of the buttons – include the drive-mode selector knob – have been placed in awkward positions.

Read more about the Kia Stinger interior

What’s the Kia Stinger like to drive?

Kia has made no secret of its ambition to make the Stinger drive and handle as well as its rivals, and – in most respects – it’s succeeded, with its rear-wheel drive layout and standard-fit limited slip-differential.

The result is a car which feels far nimbler than its substantial kerbweight would suggest and one which is genuinely fun-to-drive on a tight, twisting country road. Progress onto wider, faster piece of carriageway and the ride comfort and refinement levels remain impressive – the Stinger holding its own against far more established rivals.

There’s currently no concrete plans for a hybrid or pure electric Stinger, meaning customers have to make do with a single petrol engine. The 365hp 3.3-litre T-GDi V6 feels as fast as the on-paper performance figures suggest, even if the engine noise and eight-speed automatic gearbox could be improved.

Read more about how the Kia Stinger drives

What models and trims are available?

Kia has always been generous with standard equipment levels and, as the Stinger is the flagship model in the range, it’s helpfully gone and thrown just about every piece of kit it can at it.

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Kia Stinger 2021 rear
Kia Stinger 2021 rear

There’s only one model to choose from, badged GT S, which comes with sat-nav, adaptive cruise control, electrically adjustable memory-function heated leather seats, a head-up display, dual-zone climate control and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity, a 15-speaker Harmon/Kardon premium sound system and an electric tailgate. All the customer needs to choose is the exterior paint shade.

What else should I know?

The engine range used to include a 200hp 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel and a 247hp 2.0-litre T-GDi entry-level petrol, but since these were taken off sale in 2020, you’ll have to seek a used example for either of them. These were also offered in a lower-spec GT-Line trim level, too, but remained generously equipped.

You can also read how the Stinger fared against the Audi A5 Sportback and VW Arteon

Continue reading about the Kia Stinger, including its practicality and how much it costs to run.