This is a 365bhp, rear-drive sports saloon with something to prove. After spending five months with one, did the Stinger manage it?

Why we ran it: To get fully familiar with the dynamic successes and foibles of an alluring driver’s car. And to see if the UK public can ‘get’ the idea of a truly desirable Kia

Month 5Month 4Month 3Month 2Month 1 - Prices & Specs


Life with a Kia Stinger GT S: Month 5

The 365bhp GT S offers a lot of go for £40,000, but were we sorry to see it go after five months and 7000 miles? - 1st August 2018

Spending four months and 7000 miles in a new car is always likely to change how you feel about it – but in the case of the Kia Stinger GT S, one of the most interesting introductions that the sports saloon market has seen in recent years, it felt like an important part of getting to know a really alluring and significant car.

So now that our long-term test is over, how should we view Kia’s bold attempt to take on Europe’s premium-brand elite car makers at their own game? Not that differently in some ways, probably, than we did when this exercise began.

That the Kia is a car of real ambition and clear dynamic sophistication is clear before you’ve driven it more than a couple of hundred yards. In first drives, the car impressed us widely; and in a group test against a BMW 440i M Sport and Jaguar’s now defunct XE S, the Stinger GT S really held its own – its punchy powertrain, pliant ride and balanced handling all easily bearing comparison with those of its rivals.

Back before our real-world testing exercise began, therefore, we knew that Kia had got so many ‘big picture’ things absolutely right with this car. But living with it did reveal that some of the finer detail of the driving experience isn’t quite as good as it needs to be to ram home the advantages of its 365bhp turbo V6 and its balanced rear-driven chassis.

Luc 1765

Selectable drive modes have become so common among today’s best super saloons that I’m sure some people couldn’t take one seriously without them. However, they’re also a sure-fire way to annoy an interested driver if they complicate the driving experience but fail to deliver the finely tuned result you’d like. In the Stinger GT S’s case, there are things to like about its various Comfort, Sport and Eco modes but no single one of them quite combines the ideal settings for the engine, gearbox, steering and adaptive damping.

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This doesn’t prevent the car from adopting a convincingly laid-back touring stride when you want it to and it doesn’t stop it being an entertaining steer at other times. But what you find, after a while, is that Comfort suspension is a bit soft for cross-country roads; and Sport adds unhelpful weight to the steering and makes the gearbox a bit hyperactive. So it was frustrating to find that, in other markets, the Stinger does get the Custom drive mode that would have allowed us to mix and match steering, damping and gearbox settings, and also to dial down the rather contrived artificial engine noise the car’s speakers produce when you’re in Sport mode. Why Kia left it off European examples is mysterious, to say the least. Ah, the details.

Now I think about it, there were a couple of others that often threatened to spoil an otherwise enjoyable drive and that Kia needs to address if it wants to hold the interest of the sports saloon faithful. There is little point, after all, in lavishing an enticing, 365bhp engine on a car like this if you’re not also going to include a properly obedient manual mode for the gearbox through which you can fully engage with that engine.

There may be paddles on the back of the GT S’s steering wheel, which momentarily allow you to select a lower gear, but the car will only hold your desired gear for six or seven seconds before reverting to auto and shifting up. And that’s really annoying. Because you either want to control that eight-speed gearbox yourself or you don’t. Likewise, there seems little point in giving us a balanced, expensively engineered rear-driven chassis, and fitting a limited-slip differential as standard, if ‘ESC off’ doesn’t mean ‘fully off’ on the car’s traction and stability control systems. If the Stinger GT S’s electronic aids were worthy of the car, they’d not only be properly switchable but they’d also work less intrusively when active.

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There is better news about the apparent quality of the Stinger, which, for some, might have been an area of concern at a £40k price point. Evidence of wear around the Kia’s generally solid-feeling, pleasant cabin was almost non-existent on the day we gave it back – even on its light, stone-coloured leather seats.

From day one, we’d been aware of some squeaking from the seals around the sunroof, but it tended to be noticeable at low speed only and wasn’t bothersome enough to book into dealer service for. And we’d have preferred a less ‘soft’, more robust set of 19in alloy wheels, having had to shell out nearly £1700 on replacement wheels and tyres after a nasty run-in with a pothole. Funnily enough, Kia’s seven-year warranty didn’t cover that – and there were no proper reliability gremlins to trouble it otherwise.

But, to bring us back to where we started, the killer question about a long-term test car always seems to me to be about how you feel about it on the day you wave goodbye to it – and how that’s different from the way you felt on day one. To a man, every member of the Autocar road test team said their esteem for the car had gently grown over time, for a car that combines style, comfort, practicality, driver appeal and value in a way that’s genuinely rare to find.

There is certainly more than meets the eye about the Stinger; and considering how often you catch people looking at it, that’s saying something.

Love it:

STYLING AND COLOUR Sunset Yellow paintwork makes a hell of a combination with the car’s appealing Italianate styling.

POWERTRAIN Offers abundant power and torque for the money. Smooth and sweet-sounding, most of the time.

CHASSIS Laudably balanced and fluent on the road. Makes a slightly better GT than a sports saloon, though.

Loathe it:

ALLOY WHEELS They look okay but experience suggests they’re prone to deforming over bumps and going out of balance.

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WELCOME CHIMES It plays different jingles to you on entry and exit. They’re both awful. Thankfully, you can turn them off.

Second Opinion

“Care to give me your views on the Stinger? I’ve heard you prefer this to the BMW M5, you weirdo,” said the email. In a way, I do. I think it rides and steers more deftly than the BMW. It has a lovely balance. Just not, sadly, 600bhp.

Matt Prior

Luc 1684

Final mileage: 8106

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Life with a Kia Stinger GT S: Month 4

South Korea driven back-to-back with German rivals - 4th July 2018

A recent comparison between the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes CLS in Wales served to highlight the appeal of our Stinger. Neither of the pricey Germans covered themselves in glory, but there also came the realisation of our long-term the Kia would have been even more fun on the Elan Valley’s roads and barely any less refined on the motorway schlep back home.

Mileage: 7754

Kia stinger gt s longterm review wales

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Passing its first service with flying colours - 4th July 2018

The Kia is back from its first service. It needs a check-up every six months or 6000 miles for three years, but you can pay for the whole 36-month service package up front (£1019). The car’s just had a change of oil and filter, a check of the security of the induction pipes and any outstanding updates and recalls (of which none were due). Fighting fit, then.

Mileage: 7062

Kia stinger gts lter

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Life with a Kia Stinger GT S: Month 3

These two look like a right pair - 20th June 2018

‘Big Yellow’ has a new little yellow friend in the office car park. James Attwood’s Suzuki Swift Sport looks almost exactly the same shade; and I reckon most would say it looks better on the little ’un. Either way, we must agree never to go anywhere in convoy, for fear of causing accidents. Meanwhile, it’s service time for the Kia. Details in the next report.

Mileage: 6432

Kia stinger gt s longterm review swift sport

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We’ve been stung by a Stinger, but it’s hardly the car’s fault. Blame that big pothole - 6th June 2018

Just over three months after we first picked up our Stinger GT S from GWR Kia in Brentford, London, Big Yellow was back there, in need of some fairly serious work.

If you’ve been following our time with Kia’s striking new sports saloon, you’ll have read how a colleague recently had a rather unfortunate encounter with an exceptionally large pothole on a late-night run back from the airport. The encounter turned out to be an expensive one.

In the days after this episode, after new tyres had been sourced and normal service was thought to have been resumed, it became apparent that something still wasn’t right. You see, there was a shudder. An annoying one, from the nearside front wheel that had squared off against said pothole. It became more intrusive under braking.

Unsure of the source of the shudder – it could have been a warped alloy or an alignment issue – we decided to send the Stinger in for a proper diagnosis. It was partly to fix the shudder but also to establish if that pesky pothole had caused any damage to the suspension or any other part of the car.

So I delivered Big Yellow back to GWR Kia in Brentford on 9 May so the diagnosis could be made and the issue fixed. Unfortunately, no courtesy cars were available, so I ordered an Uber and went back to the office.

The following day, a video from Kia’s servicing department appeared in my inbox. This free vehicle health check video, recorded by one of the technicians, gave a brief but insightful look at the car and the damage that the pothole had caused.

Kia stinger gt s longterm review alloy fix 2

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Thankfully, there was no damage to the front suspension (phew), but the nearside front alloy had been buckled by the impact, which in turn had damaged the tyre. So that’s what was causing the shudder.

The technician’s prescription? A new alloy would have to be sourced, as well as a new tyre, and a wheel alignment would have to be performed. No drama. Then our man continued down to the nearside rear wheel, which had suffered the same fate as the front.

So that meant we were now looking at two new wheels, two new tyres and wheel alignments all round. It was quickly becoming apparent that this wasn’t going to be a cheap job.

A follow-up phone call to GWR Kia also revealed that we’d be without our Stinger for about a week, too, because there was an issue sourcing replacements for the Kia’s ContiSport Contact 5 tyres. A courtesy car was still out of the picture, but one would be available after the weekend.

By the following Wednesday, that courtesy car was there waiting for us, but another phone call later that day also revealed that the Stinger was, in fact, ready to be collected. Joy of joys. So it was back to GWR on Friday (we’re an organised bunch, honest) to collect the Stinger and discover the cost.

Now, although the Stinger is covered by Kia’s excellent seven-year warranty, that obviously doesn’t cover damage caused by potholes. The subsequent bill read: nearside front alloy, £442.14; nearside rear alloy, £649.94; wheel alignment, £120; wheel fitting, £36 per wheel. A grand total of £1284.08. Yikes.

Kia stinger gt s longterm review alloy fix 5

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We could have saved a substantial amount of money by having the wheels refurbished rather than replaced. Our technician thought that was the way to go and it would have cost around £70 per wheel. But given we want to test the Stinger in as good a condition as possible (and our snappers want cars with shiny, tidy wheels), we opted for the full work.

Overall, the service went without a hitch. A loan car might have been nice, but that’s our only complaint. Let’s just hope we avoid any further interactions with potholes.

Love it:

COOL SEATS With the weather starting to get warmer, ventilated seats are hard to go without. Good thing the Kia’s got them.

Loathe it:

CHIME TIME The irritating welcome chime has returned. Looks like we’ll have to delve into the sub-menus to switch it off yet again.

Mileage: 5781

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Kia stinger gt s longterm review garage

Life with a Kia Stinger GT S: Month 2

There's no escaping the appeal of the V6 engine - 23rd May 2018

Having had a go in the cooking petrol and diesel versions of the Stinger in recent weeks, it was great to finally get back behind the wheel of our GT S long-termer. While those more sensible models maintain the rear-driven handling balance and stylish looks of their V6-engined range-mate, without that 365bhp powerplant under their bonnets they feel a bit, well, pedestrian.

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Mileage: 5505

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If you don’t want to know the score, look away now: Kia Stinger nil, pothole two - 9th May 2018

How many British drivers have found out how costly and inconvenient a meeting of 19in alloy wheel and ominously deep pothole can be over the past six weeks? It must be in the thousands – and two Autocar road testers are certainly among their number.

It was one particular pothole found by m’colleague Matt Prior late at night on his way home from the airport that befell the nearside Kia Stinger GT S recently. The pothole had been cut out for repair but left unfinished – and, Matt reported, made him very glad he hadn’t taken the motorbike to Heathrow on that occasion.

The meeting burst the car’s front nearside tyre, and so Matt spent a goodly chunk of Easter holiday time that should have been dedicated to chocolate egg consumption sourcing a particularly elusive Continental ContiSportContact 5 tyre on a bank holiday weekend.

Bless him, he succeeded, though, and returned the car to the office the following Tuesday sorted. Or so he thought.

A few days later, however, yours truly stopped to buy fuel on a Friday night commute home to find a bubble blister the size of a tennis ball in the sidewall of the Stinger’s nearside rear tyre, having already been somewhat perturbed by a slight but detectable wobble emanating from the car’s front axle under braking.

All was clearly not well. So I sourced the car’s second replacement tyre in a week and booked in to my nearest fitter, which was inundated with demand already from people, many of whom had probably been similarly unlucky with potholes, and so couldn’t squeeze the car in for three days.

When the fitting was finally done, having taken the opportunity to have both nearside wheels rebalanced, I discovered the source of the wobble on that front axle: a front rim sufficiently altered by its run-in with a Northamptonshire crater that it needed 125g of balance ballast strategically sticking to it – and it still doesn’t feel quite right on the car, even after that.

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Kia stinger gt s longterm review ballast

Good news? There’s no warped disc, as I suspected there might be when last I wrote. The nice bloke at the fitters even let me check that much for myself.

Either way, the inevitable main dealer service appointment will now have to made, I fear – and I worry it’ll be expensive; because Kia’s seven-year warranty might be good, but I doubt it extends to cover the fallout of shoddy road repairs. Replacement 19in rims can’t be cheap, can they?

And I’m also told (by the same nice chap at the fitters, since you ask) that I should get the tracking checked by Kia while I’m at it.

“Don’t leave it too long,” he said. “Bad tracking gets set in its ways and becomes harder to fix with use. It’s a bit like breaking in a new shoe with the tongue out of place. After that, you know that tongue will never sit straight on the bridge of your foot, where it should, no matter how many times you adjust it.” Somebody give that man a TV show on Discovery.

In better news, I’ve come across the function, buried a couple of menus inside the trip computer, to deactivate the dreaded ‘welcome chimes’ the car plays as you enter and exit. They make it sound like a 10-year-old Windows laptop computer.

Although they’re minutely different ditties, they’re about as ‘welcome’ – by the time your 99th rendition comes around, at any rate – as a jab in the ear with a cotton wool bud. Suffice it to say I’ve disabled them for the foreseeable – or at least until just before the next time I see fit to lend the car to Mr Prior for an airport run.

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Love it:

BRIGHT PAINTWORK The recent sunshine really makes the paintwork zing. I’m currently too afraid to look directly at it for fear of retina damage. But in a good way.

Loathe it:

LIMITED SET-UP CHOICES No ‘custom’ driving mode. Sorry, Kia: ‘smart’ isn’t the same thing if you want to pick steering, damping and powertrain maps à la carte.

Kia stinger gt s longterm review warranty

Mileage: 4158

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Stinger isn’t short of storage space - 25th April 2018

Photographer Luc Lacey and I have different priorities in a car but the Stinger keeps us both reasonably happy with its old-school dynamics and immense practicality. You wouldn’t believe the amount of kit required for a three-car photoshoot, but the cavernous boot swallows it all with ease. The hatchback opening is handily shaped too.

Mileage: 5144

Kia stinger 25 april

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Life with a Kia Stinger GT S: Month 1

Every Autocar staffer is keen to learn what it’s really made of, which is good. Except… - 11th April 2018

Our Kia Stinger GT S may be becoming a victim of its own success.

If it had met with a bit less praise when first introduced, it might not have this problem. But when fellow Autocar staffers get their first taste of the car, I’m getting the impression they’re giving it what we might politely describe as ‘a pretty thorough workout’. Makes sense, given that there are no predecessors from which to get a guide on exactly how good a driver’s car it might be. What else is there for a car reviewer to do but be sure to find out for himself?

The grounds I have for this conclusion aren’t exactly indisputable, but the car’s fuel economy has certainly taken a slight turn for the worse. I’m also told, by the chap who’s spending a few days in the Stinger as these words are being written, that it might have a developing brake problem. It hasn’t been figured or track-tested, yet there are signs that the front discs may be warped or need skimming. See what I mean? The Stinger’s clearly being put to good use right now.

Meanwhile, I’ll take the chance to update you on what seem to be the detailed pros and cons of the car’s driving experience, which I’m now privy to, having, well… you know… given it more than one pretty thorough workout myself.

A V6 engine that’s responsive, torquey and free-revving and a chassis that does rear-driven handling purity, fine cornering balance and a nicely fluent kind of body control still strike me as the Stinger’s chief dynamic assets. I think both are good enough to bear comparison with the various ‘performance’ BMWs, Audis and and in a group test, where it took on the BMW 440i and a Jaguars available for north of £40,000.

The outright authority of the car’s handling composure, meanwhile, and the weight, feel, positivity and self-centring of the steering – come to think of it, the whole textural and sensory richness of its driving experience – aren’t quite at the same level. As a rule, when you ask the really probing questions of the Stinger, there’s a certain lack of attention to detail about its answers. The car has driving modes, but its close body control becomes a little bit recalcitrant at the very firmest, Sport+ end of the spectrum, and its steering picks up weight with little discernible improvement in feel.

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More frustrating, though, is the refusal of Kia’s in-house eight-speed gearbox to stay locked in manual paddle shift mode. If you select fifth gear, for example, and dig fairly fast and deep into the accelerator travel but make sure not to hit the pedal’s kickdown switch, the gearbox often still shifts down to fourth or third – just because it thinks that’s probably what you want it to do. It’s not what I want, though. I’ve been very clear about what I want: manual mode. The transmission also has no S mode. And when you flick a paddle to select a gear manually – usually the left one, since you’ll likely want to change down – it typically takes two or three paddle squeezes to get to the ratio you’re after when surely the ECU could just give you the optimum ratio straight away.

To blot its copy book still further, the ’box then reverts to automatic shifting in D unannounced and entirely of its own accord, and after what seems like only 15-20sec. That effectively means you have to swap cogs very frequently to keep the gearbox in the mode you want it in. It’s annoying, too, when you find that the Stinger’s electronic stability control system isn’t really fully off even when it tells you so. There are separate stages to negotiate to turn off both the traction control and the ESP, but even having achieved both, you’ll find there are braking and throttle interventions to contend with if the car decides you’re driving too aggressively. But it shouldn’t be deciding anything, should it? Grrr.

So the Stinger gets most of the big-picture stuff right on the road but sells itself short on some finer points. And much as I’d never deny anyone the chance to find these things out first hand, I’ll be relieved when my colleagues have worked that out as I have – and the Stinger can look forward to a slightly easier time of it.

Love it:

BOOT ACCESS Liftback hatch means loading cases, buggies and bags right up to the seatbacks is easy.

Loathe it:

KIA’S ‘WELCOME’ CHIMES They make it sound like an old Windows laptop. Thankfully, I’ve found the off button.

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Stinger 3997 0

Mileage: 5818

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Finding the Stinger's comfort zone - 28th March 2018

A blast down Hampshire’s B-roads made me realise just how large our Stinger is. Couple this with a gearbox that doesn’t offer a dedicated manual option and it makes for a driving experience that’s not quite as exciting as you’d hope it to be. Still, it’s proving a competent motorway cruiser. A proper long-distance drive is definitely on the cards.

Kia stinger gt s longterm review action side

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Mileage: 2245

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Welcoming the Stinger GT S to our fleet – 14 March 2018​

You’ll have perhaps seen those large, glass-walled, ritzy-looking showrooms just off London’s Great West Road. Imagine being dropped off outside one of them on your way to collect your new three-hundred-and-something-horsepower, luxury sports saloon. It’s a good day, obviously – but an otherwise ordinary Monday morning on the likes of which three-hundred-and-something-horsepower sports saloons are quite commonly handed over to their new owners in the dealerships around these parts.

Funny thing is, you’ve already driven past the nearby Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar and BMW showrooms to get to where you’re going – and you’ve done it without a single twinge of regret.

As you enter the building through huge sliding panes, you’re aware that this showroom stretches for another two storeys above your head and far enough to your left and right to accommodate more gleaming new cars than you can count. You find yourself in a white-walled, pristine handover area, greeted by a sharp- suited ‘relationship manager’ with textbook customer service patter.

He brings you coffee and then walks you around a car with knockout styling, 19in alloy wheels, quad pipes, heated nappa leather seats, masses of standard equipment, a turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine, driven rear wheels and a limited-slip differential nestling purposefully in between them. It looks every inch an authentic, sporting, premium product and, as you’ve already found out on an earlier test drive, it behaves like one, too. You are a happy bunny.

Kia stinger gt s longterm keys handover

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Shortly thereafter, the man in the sharp suit hands over your keys, and away you drive to set about drawing admiring glances for your new acquisition. You’ve received what you can only conclude has been a f lawless premium-brand customer service experience. And it was brought to you by a brand that, just a few years ago, you’d never have thought capable of any of it: Kia Motors.

That’s pretty much how the road test team assumed custody of Autocar’s latest long-term test car, the Kia Stinger GT S. And what a fascinating prospect this car is turning out to be. We’ve reported on it in first drives Jand came very close indeed to upsetting the form book in quite spectacular fashion.

In case you missed the test in question, the Stinger certainly didn’t lose out because its 365bhp turbo V6 engine isn’t gutsy enough, its ride supple enough, or its rear-driven handling engaging enough. In all three respects, the sports saloon mustard was well and truly cut by this car.

Now, we plan to spend six months living with this intriguing alternative to one of the obvious German or British-made, rear-driven performance executive options. We’ll be digging more deeply into the car’s dynamic capabilities to put our fingers on exactly where, if anywhere, Kia already surpasses the likes of Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar; where it can easily improve; and where progress may prove harder.

Moreover, though, we’ll just be using the Stinger – on long trips, short commutes, weekend errands and in every other way we can – to find out how well it stands up to the scrutiny of the everyday. We expect premium-brand cars to tackle this stuff well, after all; to be slick and easy to operate yet technologically rich and sophisticated too. But, for a car maker new to the luxury fold, will the necessary depth and attention to detail be evident? Time – and extended familiarity – should tell.

Kia stinger gt s longterm review road tester

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There’s something deliciously simple about the prospect of a top-of-the-line saloon that comes so laden with kit that you could hardly find a single optional item worth adding to your order. Kia has been trading on this fully loaded appeal with its bigger cars for years, but it’s particularly telling to me that, even now that it has created a four-door as stylish as almost any other on the market, the firm is still offering the flagship V6 turbo version of its newbie with only a handful of footnote options.

Would sir like chrome-effect door handles? Footwell illumination? A spare headlight bulb kit, perhaps? No, thanks. Not when we’ve got LED headlights, a head- up display, electric heaters for all four chairs, a powered tailgate, a wireless phone- charging pad, surround-view cameras and a 15-speaker premium stereo for sweet Fanny Adams, we don’t. The new Stinger GT S looks just fine to us exactly as it comes.

And, usefully, you couldn’t confuse it for the next style-conscious executive GT in the office car park in this Sunset Yellow paint, could you? The attention-grabbing hue serves our purposes well since gauging the reaction of the UK public to a 365bhp rear-driven sports saloon from Kia will be a key part of our long-term test. If you’re buying one of your own, however, it may be as well to note that the Stinger GT S comes with the choice of only one no-extra-cost colour – and it’s the one you’re looking at. There are two shades of grey, a white, a black and a red – but all cost £645 as ‘premium’ colours. And if you’re not engaged, like us, in some six-month public opinion temperature test experiment, I dare say having ‘premium’ paint would be money well spent.



The reactions of the public are already telling, by the way. Having been dropped at home by a cabbie just a few days after we’d collected the Stinger, the driver in question said he liked what he saw: “Wow, what an amazing-looking car. You could cover up those badges and easily pass that off as a Maserati or something. I love it; even though it’s a Kia.”

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A man who earns his living in 30-pence increments of 225 yards each can clearly be relied upon for a chastening dose of reality; and, glassy west London showrooms or not, it’s plainly a long way from his line of thinking to ‘I love it because it’s a Kia’. Still, it’ll be fascinating to observe first-hand how far the Stinger can take its maker along that particular road in a relatively short space of time.

Matt Saunders

Second opinion

My first outing in the GT S coincided with the so-called Beast from the East. Not that I should have worried – despite rear drive, modest tyres and big power, the Stinger took all that snow in its stride thanks to lazy torque, calm steering and an indulgent chassis balance.

Richard Lane

Kia Stinger GT S Prices and specification

Prices: List price new £40,495 List price now £40,535 Price as tested £40,495 Dealer value now £34,500 Private value now £32,250 Trade value now £30,500 (part exchange)

Options: none

Fuel consumption and range: Claimed economy 26.6mpg Fuel tank 60 litres Test average 28.2mpg Test best 33.6mpg Test worst 24.8mpg Real-world range 372 miles

Tech highlights: 0-62mph 4.9sec Top speed 168mph Engine 4 cyls, 3342cc, turbo, petrol Max power 365bhp at 6000rpm Max torque 376lb ft at 1300rpm Transmission 8-spd automatic Boot capacity 406-1114 litres Wheels 19in, alloy, mixed width Tyres 225/40 R19 (f), 255/35 R19 (r), Continental ContiSportContact 5 Kerb weight 1855kg

Service and running costs: Contract hire rate £428 CO2 225g/km Service costs £170 (6 mths/6000 miles) Other costs 2 replacement wheels and tyres, including alignment and fitting £1670 Fuel costs £1513 Running costs inc fuel £3353 Cost per mile 46 pence Depreciation £9995 Cost per mile inc dep’n £1.85 Faults None

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Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
FMS 6 September 2018

Pothole damage covered by warranty???

Surprised that Autocar staffers are expecting that pothole damage would be covered by the warranty.


If it was a fault with the wheel, it would need an expensive engineers report to prove the weakness caused the wheel to fail. Most of us know that wheel/tyre vs pothole is pretty much a win for the latter, so drive within the road conditions and at least glance at the road surface ahead?.

Marc 6 September 2018

FMS wrote:

FMS wrote:

Surprised that Autocar staffers are expecting that pothole damage would be covered by the warranty.


If it was a fault with the wheel, it would need an expensive engineers report to prove the weakness caused the wheel to fail. Most of us know that wheel/tyre vs pothole is pretty much a win for the latter, so drive within the road conditions and at least glance at the road surface ahead?.

It could be a question of whether the part is fit for purpose. Potholes are relatively common on most roads.

toptidy 14 August 2018

Kia - Well it's yellow!

Sorry, but I really can't see the point of this!

It may have a 6-cylinder petrol engine and RWD, but auto only with limited options for "driving modes" seems like another missed opportunity IMO.

They might as well have just stuffed a big turbo on a 4-pot - nobody would notice the difference so long as it had around 300 bhp! 

JohnSnow 2 July 2018

Looks just amazing!

Oh, she look just amazing! Great specs for good price! Kia develops very quickly! I remember what their cars were and what they are now!