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 – driving
Surprisingly, it is the Kia that could take BMW’s famed strapline of the ultimate driving machine since it is the one that’s more fun overall. At sensible speeds, its more playful chassis will put a wider smile on your face and you can tailor the ride to suit your mood (and the road conditions) using the standard adaptive dampers. The 5 Series was also offered with adaptive dampers as an option, and it’s worth finding a 540i with it since it deals with knobbly roads much better in comfort mode than the Kia can.
The steering is the weak link in the 5 Series. It’s accurate enough for you to keep the car straight on the motorway and maintain the right path through corners, but it’s slow and vague off-centre and doesn’t provide enough feedback as to what the front wheels are up to. If you’re into driving, you’ll want the Kia because of its precise and accurate helm that gives you plenty of information about how much grip is left.
The engine in the Kia also sounds a bit more purposeful when you’re pressing on – particularly in Sport + mode. In comparison, the engine in the BMW has a much more restrained tone, and it’s not quite as powerful as the Kia at 335bhp. The deficit in power is made up for by the xDrive four-wheel-drive system that helps the 5 Series launch much harder because of the additional traction it provides. In the dry, the Stinger is more than capable of maintaining traction and delivering impressive acceleration, but in the wet, it’ll struggle to put down the full 365bhp without intervention from the car’s electronic safety systems.
New Kia Stinger vs used BMW 5 Series – costs
Neither of these cars is going to be particularly cheap to run because they have large six-cylinder petrol engines. However, it’ll be the Stinger that will relieve you of the most money in terms of daily running costs. A gallon of fuel is guzzled every 28.5 miles, according to the combined NEDC figure, whereas the 5 Series should be able to go further because it has a better overall figure of 40.9mpg. You’ll also have to lay down more money to buy the Stinger outright and there aren’t any discounts on at the moment.
When new, a 540i M Sport topped out at £52,525 but, a mere 12 months on, it has dropped to £35,000. However, before you get too excited, this does mean that it falls foul of the highest rate of vehicle excise duty, so you’ll be spending £450 (£140 standard rate plus a £310 surcharge) to tax it every year until it's six years old (the charge starts from the second time the car is taxed and lasts for five years). While the Stinger has an on-the-road price of £40,595, when you take off the first-year VED cost and registration fee that aren't included in the £40,000 and above rule, it drops below this threshold – even if you add metallic paint. You will have to factor in the cost of more frequent 6000-mile or six-month servicing intervals, though.
The Kia should be more reliable overall than the BMW, according to our most recent What Car? Reliability Survey. Kia, as a brand, achieved a fourth-place finish, whereas BMW was down in 16th out of 31 manufacturers. Then there’s the seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty you get with all new Kia cars for additional peace of mind. BMW only provided a three-year warranty when the car is new, so you’ll just have two years of cover remaining if you go for a similar year old example.