2018 Kia Stinger Review | Asian Car Guide
June 2, 2020

2018 Kia Stinger Review

2018 kia stinger

What a way to open 2018, with a drive of the Kia Stinger, one of the most hotly-anticipated cars we can remember.

It is an exciting car that is not expensive though that is not the same as being cheap either. The badge might be Korean but the car was designed in Europe by Europeans, although the Stinger mostly looks like someone took a stinger missile and added wheels.

That someone was Frenchman Gregory Guillaume, who heads Kia design centre in Germany, though his actual source of inspiration was the Maserati Ghibli coupe from the late 1960s.

As with the majority of the shapely “grand tourers” of the era, the Stinger has a seductive body with a low, flowing roof and elongated proportions with a wide stance to give it plenty of presence on the road.

kia stinger interiorDark chrome on the front grille and wing mirrors add a touch of menace, helping to convey the idea that this is not a car to be messed with.

The Kia Stinger has ample road presence even when viewed from the back, thanks to quad tailpipes and eye-catching taillights.

The Kia Stinger is a slender 5-door coupe that will hold itself well against the likes of the German trademarks.

From behind the wheel, the Stinger is immensely quick. The 2.0-litre gets to 100km/h in 6 seconds flat and the 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 in 4.9 second.

That is quicker than you would expect of most German and Japanese cars with the same engine size and when you want to overtake you do feel the Stingers exert themselves nicely.

Our test car 2.0Si is very refined on the move, with a ride quality that is firm yet super well resolved. The engine is quiet most times, unless you rev the heck out of it, in which case there is a nice, smooth twang to the sound.

Overall, the Stinger 2.0-litre is one of those cars that are athletic but good at masking how quickly it is going.

The handling is excellent.

The 2.0Si feels like it has extremely low centre of gravity and when you dive round the bends there is practically no body roll.

That does not come at the expense of ride quality which remains civilised at all times for such a well-planted car.

The steering is not particularly sharp but overall this is a car that makes fast cornering a breeze like something set up to reassure the driver at all the times.

It is worth repeating, though, that it is not a sports car it is a fast, stable cruiser.

The gear-lever controls an eight-speed auto, which also has steering paddles.

In Sport mode, the car manages to deliver sharp and confident handling.

It does give the green light to push the car hard around the twistiness areas and even harder on the long straight by stiffening the ride and varying the timing of gear changes, even if the well-weighted steering withdraws a little feedback.

Out on busy roads, the test car (2.0Si) is best left on Comfort mode. Even in this mode, the throttle remains fairly hair-triggered, the exhaust growling at a cruise, the steering quite leisurely and the engine pulls with smoothness and eagerness.

The Stinger is still very much a Kia kind of car and you sense it the moment you sit inside.

The quality of materials used here has obviously been upgraded but fails to convey the upmarket and premium feelings as compared to its German peers.

The car is simple and classy rather than sporty and cool.

The Kia Stinger is undeniably a superb family vehicle that will set the Korean brand in a positive light and direction. Driving the Stinger is never going to be dull.

As with any Kia, the ownership equation is a good one for the Stinger, thanks to the brand’s industry-leading seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, with free roadside assistance.

kia stinger rearThere’s seven years of capped-price servicing, too, with Kia extending the Stinger’s service intervals to 12 months/10,000km, compared with previous turbo models’ six month/7,500km schedule.

Capped service pricing for four-cylinder models is pegged at $249, $434, $317, $617, $281, $562 and $696 for each interval during the warranty period, while V6 models cost marginally more at $252, $436, $320, $635, $284, $565 and $785.

2018 Kia Stinger (four-cylinder) – Pricing and specifications:

  • Price: $45,990 (200S), $52,990 (200 Si), $55,990 (GT-Line), plus on-road costs
  • Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol
  • Power: 182kW at 6,200rpm
  • Torque: 353Nm at 1,400-4,500rpm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, RWD
  • Fuel: 8.8L/100km (ADR Combined)
  • CO2: 201g/km (ADR Combined)
  • Safety rating: Five-star ANCAP except 200S which is three-star rated

2018 Kia Stinger (six-cylinder) – Pricing and specifications:

  • Price: $48,990 (330S), $55,990 (330Si), $59,990 (GT), plus on-road costs
  • Engine: 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo petrol
  • Power: 272kW at 6,000rpm
  • Torque: 510Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, RWD
  • Fuel: 10.2L/100km (ADR Combined)
  • CO2: 239g/km (ADR Combined)
  • Safety rating: Five-star ANCAP except 330S V6 which is three-star rated