Kia Stinger 3.3

T-GDi V6 GT S

Kia Stinger, 2021, front
Kia Stinger, 2021, nose
Kia Stinger, 2021, front
Kia Stinger, 2021, side
Kia Stinger, 2021, side
Kia Stinger, 2021, rear
Kia Stinger, 2021, interior
Kia Stinger, 2021, rear seats
Kia Stinger, 2021, dashboard
Kia Stinger, 2021, tail
Kia Stinger, 2021, rear
Kia Stinger, 2021, boot

MENTION powerful and dynamic four-door saloons and thoughts immediately veer towards the German marques, but Kia has a rather tasty alternative that ticks all the boxes too.

The latest refreshed Stinger is now only available with a 3.3-litre V6 engine delivering 361bhp and 510Nm of torque and that translates into some rather tasty performance figures.

The Stinger GT S can sprint from 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds and tops out at 167mph. There is a beautifully-timed eight-speed automatic gearbox and steering wheel-mounted paddles for added driver engagement.

Admittedly, it's not cheap by Kia standards costing £43,330, but for that outlay you do get a whole lot of car that's very easy on the eye, packed with technology and delivers outstanding driving dynamics.

When viewed from any angle, the Stinger looks drop dead gorgeous with its muscular and athletic streamlining, metallic-effect stamped grille, LED headlights, a wide one-touch sunroof, quad exhaust pipes, 19-inch alloy wheels and Brembo brake calipers to complete the styling.

Move inside and it's pure class throughout with premium Nappa leather upholstery, powered front seats that can be heated or ventilated, dual automatic air conditioning, heated rear seats and a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel that can also be heated.

There is high-end technology at every turn with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and navigation, a reversing camera, Kia Connected Services with TomTom traffic updates, speed camera alerts and weather updates.

The 15-speaker Harman Kardon premium audo system delivers pitch perfect sound and there is full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth with music streaming plus a customisable head-up display.

Kia models have certainly moved upmarket in more recent years, but the Stinger takes elegance and sophistication to a whole new level. And when it comes to performance, it's certainly not a car for the faint-hearted.

The acceleration out the starting blocks is blisteringly quick and the road-holding is ultra-confident meaning tight bends can be attacked with confidence. There is ample power on tap for rapid pace acceleration to overtake slower moving vehicles and the handling of the rear-wheel drive Stinger is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

It cruises at 70mph on motorways and is deceptively agile in busier town centres where it constantly draws attention from bystanders.

There are drive modes called Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ that alter the manner in which the Stinger performs and, in the Sport settings, the side bolsters move inwards on the driver's seat for added support.

Despite its impressive performance ability, the Stinger remains a comfortable car to drive with efficient suspension that smooths out the bumps and dips, along with excellent insulation to keep occupants protected from any noise intrusion.

The GT badge on the steering wheel is a hint at the car's ability and it delivers on all counts. Admittedly the combined 28.0mpg and carbon emissions figure of 229g/km will mean hefty fuel and tax bills, but that would be the same or higher on any rival performance car.

Comfort levels up front are excellent and there is room for a couple of adults in the back too, although the tapering roof design means head space is a tad limited for taller passengers.

The boot is accessed via a powered tailgate and it can swallow 406 litres of kit, a limit that increases to 1,114 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped down.

Throughout the cabin, there are lots of convenient storage options, including a lockable glovebox, front cup holders, rear cup holders in the fold-down central armrest, door bins, a deep central cubby box, sunglasses holder and seat back nets.

The Stinger was awarded a maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating and is packed with kit to protect occupants and other road users alike.

Features include anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, hill start assist, blind spot monitoring, rear blind spot collision avoidance, emergency stop signalling, intelligent speed limit assist, Isofix fittings and a full suite of airbags.

FAST FACTS

Kia Stinger 3.3 T-GDi V6 GT S

Price:£43,330

Mechanical: 361bhp, 3342cc, 6-cylinder, petrol-driven engine with 8-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed: 167mph

0-62mph: 4.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 28.0

Insurance Group: 42

C02 emissions: 229g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles

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