2018 Kia Stinger reader test team review

Kia already produces some good small hatchbacks and family cars, but making an impact in the executive market is a tough ask. The Stinger is its answer

Words By Kris Culmer

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Tom Saunders

Age: 33 Job: IT sales manager Drives: Saab 9-5

β€œI need a new comfortable cruiser for work – a big car that I can cover lots of miles in.

β€œFortunately, fuel economy isn’t a big worry, so whether I go for petrol or diesel will depend on monthly payments and which is best to drive.

β€œI was very taken with Kia’s Optima saloon, but I like the GT feel of the Stinger. I’m also considering the Alfa Romeo Giulia and BMW 4 Series. I have to say I would worry about depreciation with the Stinger.

β€œI like the presence and styling at the front; I’m underwhelmed by the back. I like the chrome-effect door mirrors and the β€˜fish gills’ on the front doors.

β€œI find the interior quality very impressive; there are no overly hard, scratchy plastics.

β€œThe driving position is quite sporty and, at 5ft 11in tall, I have loads of room.

β€œThe infotainment is good, but touchscreens are distracting to use, so I’d rather have a rotary dial controller. I’d also prefer if the centre console were angled towards the driver.

β€œThe boot isn’t as big as I had expected, but it’s big enough.

β€œI’m not sold on the name β€˜Stinger’; it sounds gimmicky.”

Rated 4 out of 5

Phil Glover

Age: 37 Job: Development specialist Drives: Kia Cee'd Sportwagon

β€œThis is a fantastic-looking car. It has the β€˜tiger nose’ grille, so you know it’s a Kia, but the rest of it is more adventurous. Kia has stuck closely to the 2011 GT concept car that inspired the Stinger.

β€œI can imagine doing a long drive in the Stinger and still feeling all right when I got out. The driver’s seat is comfortable and adjustable and has good side bolsters. I think it’d be supportive even for a spirited drive.

β€œHowever, a car like this has to be honest, and how it drives will be the be-all and end-all.

β€œI like these five-door coupΓ©s that are becoming popular in the executive car market now. Having a big hatchback is so much more practical than the separate boot of saloons. I also think the rear end looks better. My old Mazda 6 was a prime example of that. Still, although you could use it with a family, it’s not a β€˜family car’.

β€œThe infotainment system isn’t the best I’ve used, but by no means is it the worst. I like that it has physical shortcut buttons below the touchscreen.

β€œThis car is a gamble for Kia, but it’s a sensible one, because it has a broader appeal than an actual sports car.”

Rated 4 out of 5

Read more - the best (and worst) executive cars

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