Kia Stinger: Candlelight vigil for driver favourite


What is it?

It’s the arse kicking, stand up and brawl with a bear, twin turbo V6, rear wheel drive coupe/hatchback from Kia.

Well into a need for an update, the Stinger has been released with a couple of limited edition packs, including the Carbon Edition.

There’s been no mechanical upgrades, rather there have been a few exterior and interior changes in an effort to keep it fresh and appealing to buyers.


What’s it cost?

Kia’s call sheet puts the Carbon Edition at $68,190 driveaway.

For some, that’s a solid ask for “just a Kia” but a generous feature list underpins the additional body and interior parts.

Outside the extras start in the form of inlays for the bonnet vents.

These, by the way, are non-functioning at any time, which is a bit . . . well . . . silly.

The grille surround gets the fibre treatment as do the fender vents and sill plates.

The wing mirrors and rear diffuser are also carbon-fibre. This is the real deal, not the faux stuff normally stuck inside.

Speaking of inside, the steering wheel gets the Alcantara treatment and it makes a genuine difference to how the wheel feels on the go.

The transmission tunnel can be optioned with the look-a-like product.

Otherwise it’s standard Stinger GT, which is to say it’s roomy, comfortable, ergonomic to a T and a hoot to drive.

The touchscreen includes a display that shows which drive mode the car is in (or selected to be in) via a graphic of the car with different colours to reinforce the mode. Eco is, of course, green, Sport is a fiery red, etc.

It also shows the Custom screen, which allows a driver to select Comfort for the suspension but Sport for the engine and transmission.

Powered, heated, and vented front seats cosset those lucky enough to occupy them. The rear pew is a three seater, but best suited to two, as the design of the bolstering clearly indicates.

Rolling stock contributes heavily to the presence and handling.

The rubber is Michelin Pilot Sport 4, with 225/40 ZR19 at the front and 255/35 ZR19 at the rear. The spare however is only a temporary.

The cargo section has no additional features, with a cargo net standard. Something in a contrasting or complementary colour would be nice.

Safety is, of course, not a problem, as the GT is packed to the gunwales with active and passive features such as the Active Hood (Bonnet) Lift System, Rear Cross Traffic and Blind Spot Alerts, seven airbags, and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Warning.

The Carbon Edition comes in just five colours, in comparison to the GT’s eight.

The review vehicle was finished in the familiar Micro Blue, with the options being Neon Orange, Hichroma Red, Aurora Black, and Snow White Pearl.


What’s it go like?

A launch control system is fitted to the Stinger GT.

It disables traction control and allows the engine revs to be raised before the accelerator gets mashed to the floor.

Kia claims 4.9 seconds to 100km/h. On a closed road, with all safety precautions enforced, we saw 4.8 seconds.

With 272kW of power and 510Nm of torque across a table top flat 1300 to 4500 rpm via an 8-speed, super slick, auto make the Stinger twin turbo V6 one of the most delightfully tractable cars going.

At any road velocity, the torque is but a thought away. Normal driving, and in Sport mode, has the suspension super tight, yet not so that it’s painful.

Customise the settings so the suspension is in Comfort but the steering and engine/transmission are in Sport, and you can exploit the chassis while wafting along in a bump absorbing ride. 

It’s a car and engine combination that demand  the Stinger GT be driven properly. Do so, however, and you’ll easily exceed the 10.2L/100km fuel consumption figure.

The tank size is 60 litres, and with a figure of 14.9L/100 for the urban cycle, that’s just 400km of range.

They’re the official figures; we gave the Stinger GT some real stick and still clocked a figure of 9.8L/100km.


What we like?

  • Classy interior look and finish
  • The sheer exhilaration of the engine and transmission package
  • Customisable ride


What we don’t like?

  • The additional panels really don’t add to the package
  • fuel consumption is a concern
  • Having to give it back


The bottom line?

At the time of writing, Kia is yet to confirm one way or another, what the future holds for the Stinger.

It would be an absolute shame to see it come to an end after just one model run here in Australia, as there are so few true multi-purpose cars of its type at the price point.

Stinger can be a brutal machine to drive when asked, and sublimely simple to pedal when needed as well.

It’s spacious, comfortable, and looks good from any angle thanks to its mix of Euro influences.

Bring on the next one, please.


CHECKOUT: Carbon dating the Kia Stinger

CHECKOUT: Kia cop car a screener


Kia Stinger 3.3 V6 GT Carbon Edition, priced from $64,990
  • Looks - 7.5/10
  • Performance - 9/10
  • Safety - 9/10
  • Thirst - 6/10
  • Practicality - 8.5/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
  • Tech - 8/10
  • Value - 8/10