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2018 Kia Stinger GT review
OWNER RATING 9.5 /10
  • Looks
  • No full-manual gearbox
PRICE N/A
ANCAP RATING
10

by Ray Pooley

Generally being a Calais V/Statesman owner, amongst others, I recently sold my 18-month-old current-model Audi A4. A lovely car with heaps of added extras and magic to drive, but it was too old-fashioned for me, even at 66 years of age. Just nothing extra to look at, and like driving a box on wheels.

As soon as I saw a review of the Stinger late last year, I started my research. I am a bit of a fuel miser and was a little disappointed with the V6’s, which I have, consumption. It shouldn’t worry me, as I am a country driver and can manage low sevens the way I drive and only travel around 5000km per year, as I have another vehicle for work and this for play. I usually only have my ‘good car’ for 2–3 years or until I get sick of them – aka the Audi.

Everyone calls the Stinger quiet, but I’m not sure after the old Calais/Statesman lack of road noise. I am not a big fan of the low-profiles, but they seem to be the norm these days on a half-reasonable-looking car. They offer a pretty good ride on whichever drive setting one uses, although there appears little between settings except when in Sports mode.

The car goes, and does it go, like a rocket ship. Having driven many fast/quick cars in my previous profession for over 32 years, I would say this is the quickest I have driven. I have given it ‘the stick’ a few times and had my fun, and am now back to how a 66-year-old should drive.

On owning the Audi and walking to it in the street, it was just another car. When approaching the Stinger it is ‘wow’, even after having owned it for three months. You see people stare and obviously wonder what they are staring at. That’s what I like, something different.

I have the pearl white and the Audi was dark grey – never again dark. I don’t know what I was thinking, as I generally go white or silver.

A few niggles, and the main one was they couldn’t get my car to steer straight even after three alignments. They said there was no more adjustment to stop it pulling left. My Kia dealership in Echuca, Victoria, were unbelievable in how they helped. It was found to be a K-frame out of alignment. It was fixed to within Kia’s specifications but still a little out – it is livable with!

Another gripe I believe Kia will correct with the next series is the lack of being able to use it as a full manual. Yes, pull it down or up a gear with the paddles, but it won’t hold long – it then goes back to auto mode and is something to be aware of. No big deal, but I drive a 2011 Holden auto that can be driven like an auto. Helloooooo…

A big miss is the fact one can’t make a phone call without looking for the phone number on the screen. iPhone’s Siri does not work, and to have everything fully functional, one must have the lead from the USB port in a phone. It must be in the front port where my USB stick with music on it lives, but has to come out for the phone. Helloooooo… I thought this was 2018.

I love driving the car, along with its looks, except for the extra-long red reflector down each rear guard. Shorten it by half and then maybe… The rear is a little rounded, but most other angles are great, especially front side-on.

My biggest problem is that when I sell this (it is already sold when I’m ready), what do I go up to next? For $65K on the road, one gets the works with the V6 Stinger GT. Maybe I will just have to win Lotto, buy the company and make the changes myself…



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KIA STINGER BREAKDOWN

2018 Kia Stinger GT review Review
  • 9.5
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