Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • 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 T-GDi petrol engines

The petrol engine range begins with a 247hp 2.0-litre T-GDi turbocharged unit capable of 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 149mph. Torque is rated at 353Nm.

It's a smooth, refined engine - if not terribly exciting - capable of launching the Stinger up to serious speeds in little time. There's less outright torque than the 3.3-litre V6, but should you wish there's enough incentive to rev it to the red line and extract maximum performance. 

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: 2.2 CRDi

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 smooth on upshifts and provides reasonably swift manual override down-changes.

There can be a bit of a delay when suddenly pressing hard on the throttle, but pulling away from a standstill brings about reasonable responses. 

Be aware, however, that the transmission 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.