Those who like to cook know that it is rare to get a new dish right at the first try. To achieve perfection, it usually takes some optimization, no matter how good the base recipe is.
That's the case with the much-vaunted Kia Stinger. Kia has never built a Grand Touring sports sedan, so the brand essentially started from scratch. That might explain why the stinger we've been hearing about for ages is very good, but not as big as I had hoped.
Full disclosure: Kia flew media to North Hollywood, California and fed us several excellent meals while we settled in a retro-themed luxury hotel. They gave us designer sunglasses, dinner entertainment, screenings of classic movies in a private theater, and kept us in a room full of arcade video games, pinball machines, a pool table, and a skee ball machine. [19659003DerStingerwirdmitzweiMotorenangeboten-ein20-literturbochargedVierzylindermit255PSund260lb-ftDrehmomentundein33-litertwin-turboV6mit365PSund376lb-ftDrehmomentFahrzeugediemitletzteremMotorausgerüstetsindwerdenStingerGTsgenanntBeideMotorenhabeneinsanftschaltendesAchtgang-AutomatikgetriebeDerHinterradantriebistserienmäßigmitAllradantrieberhältlich
All this makes the car an interesting vehicle, was expected to that the high expectations Fulfills.
Let's start with the good. Acceleration from the V6 is thick and offers grins whenever you pour the gas. The exhaust has a nice baritone (yes, it's artificially spiced up) that breaks out and lets you know you're not optima. The punch is abundant and the Stinger could be the first Kia that becomes a magnet of law enforcement agencies.
Ride quality is solid and enjoyable, even in Sport mode, the only mode you should use. to). Whether on the highway or on the back roads, the Stinger felt comfortable and relaxed.
This translates to the handling. The car feels planted and the steering is really weighted. Center corner corrections are easy thanks to precise steering.
But even the bad news starts there. The positive qualities are almost compensated by lush body rolls – too much for a car of this kind and intention. Kia guys tried to defend that trait by saying a version of "well, it's a great touring", but these are the same people who suggested they sport sporty German and Japanese irons like the Audi A5 / S5 and the BMW Grand Tourer.
This defense does not sound hollow, at least not on the basis of some competing cars available for comparison purposes. But Kia did not even utter the words "Alfa Romeo" during the press letter, and almost every car mentioned offers either a sportier version that went unnoticed or will not be crossed against the Stinger. Above all, the Porsche Panamera will prove with the new Kia not as a model buyer – only the price differences are enough to turn a Ford Fusion.
Regardless of the Comps, a "Grand Tourer" does not apologize for the body roll displayed by a car with sporting intent. The Stinger is said to be more than an attractive road tripper, which means Kia has something to do here.
Kia has less to do with design – it's an eye-catcher. The exterior is clean and clean, and the interior is airy. Some of the aero bits are not just pinned to the look – for example, the vents on the front fenders send cooling air toward the brakes.
mostly pretty. The cabin is damaged by another of these attached infotainment screens (please, car manufacturers, stop) and there are many buttons clustered together in different rooms. As far as the materials are concerned, most are common in the class, but cheaper plastic is used in many places.
Kia tries to point out that the Stinger has a longer wheelbase than the Audi A5 Sportback, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS and GS. and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe leading to a larger interior. There is plenty of space in front and in the back – Kia has the part about great touring that four adults must haul properly. The cargo hold is also roomy, at 23.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 40.9 with the seats down.
Part of our day by car included an uncovered autocross. We were to use this part of the afternoon to drive Stinger GTs with both drives against an Audi A5 S Line to Compare an Audi A7, a BMW 440i, a BMW 650i, an Infiniti Q50, a Lexus GS F Sport and a Porsche Panamera
Attentive readers will notice that the deck for Kia was slightly stacked – not an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoligo (or even Ti) in sight, no Audi S5, no M4 or M6 – you have the idea. Of course, most of these cars are pure performance vehicles, while the current versions are designed to balance performance and daily driving – indicating that Kia is likely to see the Stinger GT as slightly more than one, at least as it is currently being built. pure performance vehicle.
There's nothing wrong with that, of course. I offer most of it for the context as Kia is likely to get performance in his Stinger marketing.
Since the autocross was not a timestamp, I set out to drive like a donkey to slip around each vehicle a little. Using terms like "at the limit" is a bit silly when referring to an autocross, but I still wanted to get a sense of how each car behaved when driven too hard. The A5 and the Lexus were my favorites of the day, with the Stinger (and both Drivetrains) finishing third in my mental ranking.
The rear-wheel drive Stinger had a propensity to plow in corners before slipping into a tail-happy snap while the AWD car was more stable under heavy acceleration. At a distance, I could feel the torque vectoring system working to turn the AWD car around – a feeling I could even see on public roads.
Kia bragged about Stinger's brakes, and with good reason. .. The automaker has introduced a system that is supposed to fade the brakes, but I can not say for sure whether autocrossing or driving through the mountains produced enough hard braking to require the intervention of the system.
On the street, perhaps the biggest mistake is something that is also a strength – it often seemed too good to have an engaging personality. Sometimes I felt that I drove too slowly, just to look down and see if I was traveling at the appropriate speed or cornering – the Stinger's rest and the sans body roll squeezing it Drama, and maybe a bit of fun, out of the process.
Kia offers you five driving modes to choose from (Comfort, Eco, Sport, Smart and Custom) and I found sport the best for all situations, not just driving. Even on city streets and the highway, it offers better steering and throttle response than the slightly sloppy comfort and eco modes.
I got a short turn in the four-cylinder Stinger, but since my time was limited and I navigated city traffic, my stint was not very instructive. I can say that the four have some courage, but how much more I'm not sure – the mix of traffic and pedestrians has prevented me from behaving badly.
With an extremely small sample size I suspect that Kia will sell more four-cylinder than planned. That's because the car seems to have enough punch for the city-duty, and some buyers just will not care about the power of the V6 – they'll want the look at a cheaper price. So a Kia dealer will run an Optima Intender in a four-banger stinger.
Stinger buyers have a choice of five fairings – Base, Premium, GT, GT1 and GT2. Since all V6s are GTs, this means that the last three trims only apply to the V6. Every car to drive was a top-trim GT2.
Available features on the various fairings include Apple CarPlay, Android Car, Navigation, Head-up Display, Power Tilt / Telescopic Steering Wheel, USB, Nappa Leather Upholstery, Heated Front Seats, Chilled Front Seats, Heated Steering Wheel, Bluetooth, Premium Audio, UVO infotainment, reversing camera and a variety of driving aids (parking assistance, collision avoidance assistant, collision warning, lane departure warning, departure warning, driver warning, blind spot warning with lane change assistant, rear cross track detection and Smart Cruise Control). You can even have subwoofers under your butt.
Evaluating the overall package, it feels like Kia to build a pure sport sedan with a touch of luxury and ended up building a luxury sedan that is damn sporty.
Not only sporty, but also relatively cheap. A Base Stinger will only pay you back $ 32,800, including the D and D charges. To raise a GT, $ 39,250 is required, while a GT2 costs $ 50,100. Four-wheel drive adds $ 2,200 across the board. So, a loaded stinger with AWD is $ 52,300.
While this price makes it equivalent (give or take options / trims) with the Infiniti, the Giulia Ti, the A5 and the GS F Sport (only when compared to The GT2, in the case of the Lexus, brings the top End Stinger also around the price of 440i / 440xi – and before the BMW still offers options.The Stinger presents a value selection, depending on the options, for those who are not wrapped in the brand identity, if you do not need a BMW To feel good, the Stinger is a damn good alternative.
What's strange is that the Stinger's competitive set is not clear cut Infiniti are limousines, not hatches, for one.On the other, the Audi and BMW should not have crossed much against the Kia.The Chevy SS sedan is dead. That leaves the Dodge Charger / Chrysler 300, which are muscle-car big sedans, not Grand Tourer, and the Giulia. This brings the stinger to a unique place in the market.
I'm curious to see if in a year or two a "cleaner" performance level will emerge, or whether Hyundai / Kia will leave that to the coming Stinger-based. Genesis G70. In the meantime, the Stinger is a solid first effort that tweaks a bit to highlight his personality and reduce body roll in cornering.
The GT is the enthusiast's choice, but even in four-cylinder build, the Stinger is a spacious, sleek grand touring hatch that offers enough luxury and driving thrill to satisfy even some obvious flaws. It takes work to be perfect, but the dish is still delicious.
[Images ©2017 Tim Healey/The Truth About Cars]
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