It is ironic that elsewhere on this page Kia is introducing more eco-friendly cars and giving us more electric propulsion offerings. The alternative fuel may not, ultimately, be electricity with Hydrogen touted as the car's, and the planet’s, saviour so to be getting Kia’s first full blooded sports car now is flummoxing. A of bit flummoxing is OK by me as the Stinger is a proper performance/sports car. I mean, come on, that name alone means the Stinger gas got to be a fast car, doesn’t it?
There are two Stingers available a 3.3l petrol version and a 2.2 l diesel one. I got to drive one of the first diesel models to land in Ireland and it may tempt buyers away from the petrol version but they’d be wrong. The performance figures for the back in vogue petrol Stinger are 0-100 km/h in 4.9s topping out at 270km/h – the reason why you buy a performance car. The diesel figures, expectedly, are not as good but still meet performance car expectations.
I’ve always believed that the Korean manufacturers needed a talismanic car that can showcase their engineering ability. The Stinger is Kia’s coming of age moment. It lays down a strong foundation for future premium competing cars and slayed the “fast Kia” dragon. The next performance Kia will be about its ability and not Kia’s reason for doing it.
The diesel Stinger in the correct driving mode is pacey enough and handles quite tidily. I was expecting it to be a bit more lairy and in your face to put it up to the Germans but maybe that was unrealistic, for now. It is a very well made, quality and sensible sports car. I’d have preferred a little less sensible though.
The Stinger looks fabulous and gets the stares. It also gets the “well done” comments as most people were not expecting it to wear a Kia badge. The guy who services my car insisted on the keys to sit inside it and he was genuinely blown away by the overall quality of the car. It is a premium product with, of course a premium price tag.
The Stinger inhabits a price space of €52,995 for the diesel and €66,895 for the petrol model and for that you can get into one of the big 3 German makes.
A lot of tempted buyers will take the safe route, for now. Next time it’ll be different.