New Kia Stinger vs used BMW 5 Series: which is best?

Kia’s striking new Stinger has been causing quite a stir in the new car market, but is it good enough to tear you away from a used BMW 5 Series?...

New Kia Stinger vs used BMW 5 Series: which is best?
Author Avatar
Max Adams
25 Nov 2018 08:00

You’re a manager or an executive for a large company and you need to buy a new car. You earn a decent salary and you want something a bit more exclusive. This usually means heading straight for a premium brand such as Mercedes, BMW or Audi, but these days there are a number of interesting and sleek looking alternatives to consider, the most surprising of which is the Kia Stinger – an executive car price-point winner in the 2018 What Car? Awards.

The new Stinger is maybe at its heart a practical five-door hatchback, but its slinky low roofline and swanky style means it’s much more desirable than any Kia of old. Plus, it’s still stuffed with equipment and, of course, has the famous seven-year warranty for added peace of mind.

However, our favourite Stinger is the fastest GT S V6 version that lists for over £40,000, which means you can get not just an entry-level BMW 5 Series, but a 540i that’s less than a year old and has lots of equipment for similar money, possibly less.

True, the BMW won’t have the fizzy V6 petrol of the Kia and it’ll be lumbered with four-wheel drive, but it does have a more desirable brand image. Which one should you go for? Read on to find out.

Kia Stinger GT S List price: £40,535 Target price: £40,535 Official fuel economy: 28.5mpg (NEDC) Emissions: 225g/km CO2 Power: 365bhp 0-62mph: 4.8sec Top speed: 168mph

BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Price new: £52,525 Price today: £35,000* Official fuel economy: 40.9mpg (NEDC) Emissions: 149g/km CO2 Power: 335bhp 0-62mph: 4.8sec Top speed: 155mph

*Price today is based on a 2017 model with average mileage and a full service history

New Kia Stinger vs used BMW 5 Series – interior & equipment


If getting the most amount of equipment for your money is a major concern, then the Stinger walks this section. Driver and front passenger enjoy full electric seats that are both heated and cooled, heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors as well as a 360deg camera, upgraded 15-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo, sat-nav… basically, everything (including the kitchen sink) has been thrown at it. Mind you, you’d hope it would be that way considering the amount of money you're spending on it.

BMW has often been a bit stingy with standard equipment on previous models, but the current 5 Series has all the bits you really want thrown in such as sat-nav, LED headlights, parking sensors and reversing camera – you even get a digital driver information display, which you cannot have on a Stinger. Lumbar support was still an option when it was new, along with adaptive dampers – a necessity on an M Sport car with larger alloy wheels.

The major difference between these two concerns the overall interior quality. Kia has put plenty of effort into the Stinger with fine nappa leather seats and plenty of brushed aluminium surfaces, but the cheaper plastics used on surfaces further down and the faux leather used on the dashboard spoil the ambience. The 5 Series, by comparison, doesn’t suffer from any of these issues and certainly cements its premium status every time you go to use one of its well-damped buttons.

New Kia Stinger vs used BMW 5 Series – interior & equipment

New Kia Stinger vs used BMW 5 Series – space & practicality


Both of these are big cars and should have no trouble at all taking four adults on long trips and swallowing their entire holiday luggage. In terms of which one is best, it's a bit like watching a really great rally in tennis: the Kia is easier to load taller items into because of the hatchback rear door and standard split folding rear seats, but the boot in the 5 Series is bigger overall, despite its awkward shape. The 5 Series is better for head room in the back and because it doesn’t have the swoopy, fastback roofline of the Stinger, and it has a little bit more leg room overall. Seating three across the rear is a struggle in both, though.

There are few complaints for those sitting up front in either car. As mentioned previously, the Stinger has more standard adjustment than the 5 Series and should, therefore, be easier for you to find your desired driving position in. Fortunately, lumbar support on the 5 Series wasn’t an expensive extra, so it should be easy to find a used example with it fitted.

New Kia Stinger vs used BMW 5 Series – space & practicality

Related cars