Kia has been smart in pricing the Stinger to undercut its key rivals and in doing so limit the loss of badge appeal for not driving something with four rings or a three-pointed star on its bonnet. And it works if you buy privately: for the money you'd spend on an Audi A5 Sportback in 2.0 TDI S line S tronic form, you could drive this Stinger and spend the difference on two weeks in Benidorm.
The numbers don't stack up well if you're a company car driver, though – which the vast majority of Stinger drivers will be. Let's take the aforementioned A5 as an example. It claims 64.2mpg and emits 112g/km of CO2, and the value of the Stinger pales in comparison when you consider how much more time you'll be spending at the pumps and how more much of your salary you'll be sacrificing (24% against 34%).
And there's a more fundamental issue here, too. A sleek executive car like this needs to be comfortable and economical enough to handle your daily commute, yet ready and able to deliver smiles and punchy performance when the mood takes you. And in this form the Stinger doesn't deliver; it's just too mundane.
There is still a lot to like here; the interior is well built and comfortable, the boot is large enough to carry a few suitcases and the Stinger corners well for such a large car. But our advice is unchanged: for the best experience, choose the V6 petrol GT S.
What Car? says...
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Kia Stinger 2.2 CRDi GT-Line S
Price £37,725 Engine 4cyl, 2199cc, diesel Power 197bhp at 3800rpm Torque 325lb ft at 1750-2750rpm Gearbox 8-spd automatic 0-60mph 7.3sec Top speed 143mph Official economy 48.7mpg CO2, tax band 154g/km, 34%
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