Kia Stinger GT 3.3

T-GDI GT S

Kia Stinger, front
Kia Stinger, front
Kia Stinger, front
Kia Stinger, side
Kia Stinger, rear
Kia Stinger, rear
Kia Stinger, rear
Kia Stinger, interior
Kia Stinger, interior

CAR makers spend a fortune employing "experts" to dream up suitable names for new models.

It's a tricky business. What sounds perfectly fine in one country can be offensive in another.

And while some names have little or no meaning others really describe the cars they are destined for.

No one can argue with Land Rover's Discovery or Range Rover, for example, both befitting the jobs they were designed for and while the Skoda Superb's moniker is a little pretentious it's also arguably accurate.

And now we have the Kia Stinger GT.

On the face of it the Stinger is a super sleek, curvaceous grand tourer with a luxurious interior and a plethora of hi-tech gadgetry.

But, as it's name suggests, there is a sting in its tail as you soon discover when you put your right foot down hard.

For the Stinger is the fastest accelerating Kia ever made and with a 3.3-litre twin-turbo charged engine it will hit 60 miles per our in just 4.7 seconds on its way to a top speed just short of 170 miles per hour..

Yet it's not designed as a sports car, more a Grand Tourer par excellence that manages to blend a superbly high level of comfort and luxury with massive reserves of power to melt away the miles on long journeys.

It's also an elegant car with beautifully curvaceous lines, distinctive cuts in the metal and classic body kit to add that sporting look, not to mention the tell-tale quad exhausts dominating the rear.

The smoked chrome detailing of the exterior mirrors, around the grille and on side embellishers all add to this car's glamorous look.

On the inside too it‘s packed with desirable features including a glass sunroof and 15-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. The upholstery is in Nappa leather, the front seats have eight-way power adjustment with a memory function on the driver's side and - like the rear seats and steering wheel - are heated.

And as temperatures hit 32 degrees I was delighted to find it had cooling ventilated seats too.

High on the dashboard there's a touch screen for the satellite navigation system and onboard controls which doubles as the monitor for the reversing camera which gives a 360 degree view of the car as well as the rear aspect making manoeuvring simple.

As you close the door on the Stinger the seat and steering wheel automatically move you to your pre-set position and a quick jab on the starter button on the dashboard brings this big V6 to life.

It's mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and there are paddles behind the steering wheel for hands-on driving.

There's no sport setting on the auto box but having said that the Stinger offers a selection of five driving modes, eco, smart, comfort, sport and sport+ and if you switch to either of the latter two you don't really need one.

A head-up display means you don't have to take your eyes off the road and with a car like the Stinger it's an essential.

On the road this is a car which really cossets you. It's quiet, smooth and superbly comfortable capturing, as Kia puts it "the style and character of cars from the golden age of grand tourers" when the destination was often Cannes or Monte Carlo.

Use your right foot gently, however, or you will get stung as it takes off like a contender at Le Mans, with blistering acceleration to satisfy the most demanding of speed-freaks.

FAST FACTS

Kia Stinger GT 3.3 T-GDI GT S

Price: £41,145

Mechanical: 361bhp, 3,342cc, 6cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 168 mph

0-62mph: 4.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 27.7

Insurance Group: 41

C02 emissions: 233g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles

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