Kia Stinger 2.2 CRDi GT-Line S (Price £37,395)


YOU know that company that used to do boring little run-arounds...


THIS is a car the name for which you either mumble or declare with unabashed pride.

It sounds like something from Thunderbirds or Captain Scarlett and will no doubt lead to people having preconceived ideas about both the car and its driver.

Personally, I'd urge you not to make any assumptions until you have got behind the wheel, because juvenile name aside this is a very grown up machine which aims to do battle with the best of what Audi, BMW and VW have to offer.

Kia say the five-door, five-seat 143mph Stinger 'evokes memories of the golden age of beautiful grand tourers'. Well, I must be a bit younger than I thought because I can't remember too many cars that look like this.

Far from being something with one foot in the past, it is instead very much of its time.

There are three turbo-charged engines to choose from, a 244bhp 2.0 litre turbo and a 197bhp 2.2 litre turbodiesel, both badged GT-Line and a 365bhp 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 badged GT-S - the fastest accelerating Kia ever going from nought to 60mph in 4.7 seconds.

Rear-wheel driven, all cars come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The Stinger is terrific to drive. Firstly, the steering is light and accurate, enabling you to simply drift around bends. It's also very well balanced so when you are on the twists and turns it remains its poise, as a tourer should.


THE Stinger falls a little short of its more illustrious competitors in terms of quality, but not by much. In fact, I think you'd have to be a bit of a nit-picker to not be impressed by your surroundings. The dials are clear and serve their purpose, while the touchscreen deals with the pretty much everything else, save for the air conditioning. It's a good size and easy to navigate and I didn't have a problem using it while on the move, certainly in comparison with some other systems. The layout has been fashioned around the driver, so you are not forced to reach to far for anything and there's plenty of storage and like close at hand.


OUR car came with, among other items, 18ins alloys, tinted glass, LED daytime running lights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual automatic air conditioning, electronic parking brake, smart power tailgate, 60:40 split folding rear seats, wide sunroof, twin exhaust, rain sensing wipers, engine start-stop button with smart entry, leather finish dashboard, customisable head up display, USB and Aux ports, Bluetooth with music streaming, front and rear parking sensors, wireless mobile phone charger, reversing camera, 8ins touchscreen satellite navigation system, 15-speaker harmon-kardon premium sound system, ABS, hill-start assist control, gear shift indicator.


GIVEN this is billed as long-distance tourer, you'd expect it to be practical and, to a large extent, the Stinger is. Firstly, there's plenty of room in the front for driver and passenger. There's a good level of seat adjustment and, given your left leg is going to be largely redundant, you can stretch out.

The rear is not quite as generous in relative terms, but you could easily carry out a couple of friends in comfort, falling into the cosseting seats which offer a good deal of support during lengthy schleps.

Boot capacity stands at 406 litres with the rear seats up, increasing to 1,114 litres with them lowered.


KIA say it should be possible to get 48.7mpg from our Stinger - I managed 43.7mpg. CO2 emissions are 154g/km


A HEAD turner with sights firmly set on the establishment


Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe, Volkswagen Arteon