Kia Stinger review

Category: Executive car

Section: Performance & drive

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Kia Stinger 2021 rear cornering
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RRP from£42,655
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

As we mentioned in the introduction, the Kia Stinger is available only with a 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine with a mighty 361bhp. We managed 0-60mph in a rapid 4.8sec during testing at our private test track, and you certainly won’t feel short-changed by the way it gathers pace on the road. 

There’s plenty of power from well below 2000rpm making for effortless progress, while short motorway sliproads and brief overtaking opportunities should hold no fear. With its four-wheel drive, an Audi S5 Sportback is quicker off the line but no faster once you’re rolling.

We’ve driven the Stinger on a test track as well as on the road and it’s very capable in both environments. That could have something to do with a certain Albert Biermann, who was the boss of BMW’s M division, being part of its development team.

For a start, the steering is precise and accurate, feeling nicely weighted and pretty informative at sensible road speeds – more so than in the S5 Sportback, BMW M235i Gran Coupe and Mercedes-AMG CLA 35.

Adaptive dampers that allow you to stiffen things up for sharper harding are fitted as standard. Even in the softest Comfort mode there’s little body roll, so you never feel the car heaving from side to side too much through corners.

The car feels nicely balanced, too, but because it's rear-wheel drive, you can always provoke the back end into sliding playfully with a deliberate jab of the accelerator. It’s much more fun than a four-wheel drive S5, M235i or CLA 35, although those rivals feel more stable, especially in wet conditions.

Ride quality is more of a mixed bag. At speed, the suspension works well, but the Stinger has a firm edge, especially over heavily scarred urban roads. A CLA 35 is a little softer but isn’t as tightly controlled over undulations and it thuds more through potholes, while an M235i has a stiffer ride.

The Kia Stinger makes for a decent long-distance cruiser. At speed, only particularly coarse surfaces whip up much road noise, while wind noise is kept to a minimum. You’ll find the V6 is a smooth operator that is unobtrusive most of the time, although we’d prefer a slightly sportier tone when you’re really going for it.

All versions come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s slick and responsive if you shift manually using the steering wheel-mounted paddles, but a tad hesitant in auto mode. The brakes, meanwhile, are effective at shedding speed, with enough pedal progression to avoid any jerkiness in stop-start traffic.

Kia Stinger 2021 rear cornering

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