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Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Kia’s flagship model doesn’t disappoint

Kia Stinger Coupe Review Video
Enlarge 1 videos Enlarge 51 photos

PROS

  • Striking exterior styling
  • Involving and fun to drive
  • Huge standard kit list
  • Good driving position
  • Rapid and muscular GT-S model

CONS

  • High emissions and fuel consumption on most models
  • Interior quality not as good as a VW Arteon's
  • Rear headroom is tight for tall passengers
  • No sport override or proper manual mode on gearbox
  • Can be pricey on PCP finance

At a glance

New price £39,620 - £39,620
Lease from new From £452 per month
Used price £18,720 - £34,430
Used monthly cost £462 - £849
Fuel economy 29 - 48 mpg
Road tax cost £145
Insurance group 32 - 41 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Striking exterior styling
  • Involving and fun to drive
  • Huge standard kit list
  • Good driving position
  • Rapid and muscular GT-S model

CONS

  • High emissions and fuel consumption on most models
  • Interior quality not as good as a VW Arteon's
  • Rear headroom is tight for tall passengers
  • No sport override or proper manual mode on gearbox
  • Can be pricey on PCP finance

Kia Stinger Coupe rivals

Kia Stinger review

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 comes with a choice of two petrol and and one diesel engine, including a rapid GT-S model with some impressive performance figures and more than a whiff of traditional muscle car. 

Kia Stinger GT-S grey front

Add to that its striking looks and flagship model status, and the Stinger is an intriguing prospect, but does it really have the substance to compete with the best that its established high-end rivals have to offer?

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 the best in class, and – in most respects – it’s succeeded. No matter which Stinger you buy, all come with rear-wheel and a limited slip-differential as standard.

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.

Kia Stinger engine range: one diesel and two petrols, including rapid GT-S

There’s currently no concrete plans for a hybrid or pure electric Stinger, meaning customers have to make do with a choice of just three engines. The 200hp 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel is set to be the biggest seller in the UK, with both petrol motors likely to split the remaining sales.

Kia Stinger GT-S badge

The top-of-the-range 370hp 3.3-litre T-GDi V6 is the crown jewel of the line-up, launching the Stinger from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 168mph. Thankfully, it feels as fast as the figures suggest, even if the engine noise and eight-speed automatic gearbox could be improved.

Making up the rest of the range is a 247hp 2.0-litre T-GDi.

Kia Stinger running costs and emissions

Unfortunately, the Stinger is unable to back-up its excellent performance figures with stellar efficiency ratings. It can be forgiven for producing 225g/km of CO2 from the 3.3-litre twin turbo V6, but 181g/km and 147g/km from the 2.0-litre T-GDi petrol and 2.2-litre CRDi diesel are both distinctly average returns.

Kia logo

It’s the same story with fuel economy. The 370hp V6 manages a claimed 28.5mpg on average, while the 247hp petrol is also mediocre at 35.8mpg. Thankfully, the 200hp turbodiesel puts in a respectable 50.4mpg claimed average figure.

Huge kit list across all Kia Stinger trim levels

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.

This means that even the base GT-Line model gets autonomous emergency braking, 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.

Kia Stinger interior

Higher spec GT-Line S and GT-S models get additional standard kit such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a 15-speaker Harmon/Kardon premium sound system and an electric tailgate. All the customer needs to choose is the exterior paint shade and colour of the leather.

Interior quality lags behind German rivals

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.

Kia Stinger dashboard

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.

Mixed bag of practicality

While the Stinger boasts a nice, wide load bay and an impressive boot capacity of 406 litres accessible via an electronic tailgate on all but GT-Line models, rear seat passengers could end up feeling a little cramped.

Legroom is fine, yet headroom is tight for those over 5’9”, plus the middle seat is really only usable for smaller adults or kids on short journeys. The rear side windows are also quite high, meaning young kids will likely have a hard time seeing out.

Kia Stinger rear seats

Kia Stinger Coupe rivals