Owner Review

2018 Kia Stinger GT review

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Okay I am two years into my Stinger GT experience and I thought it may be time to sit and pen a review. Of course a mind numbingly boring Melbourne lockdown and three weeks of annual leave may have also contributed.

So it's mid-2018 and I'm looking at a performance sedan; a bit of an all-rounder that won't break the bank. Being a Ford man I'm instantly attracted to the Mustang. Okay so it's not an all-rounder, but that engine! Sadly 20 seconds of looking at the rear seats, I realised that asking my two teenage daughters to sit back there (albeit occasionally) was tantamount to child abuse. With Ford and Holden out of the picture that just left the VW Arteon and the Stinger. The Arteon wasn't for me, so Stinger it was.

After much research I placed an order for a Hi Chroma Red GT. At the time the MY19 had not been released, so I chose to wait. MY19 brought some minor cosmetic changes but most importantly it brought Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, which by all accounts were far superior to the Continentals fitted to the early Stingers.

Onto my experience. The Stinger seems to be one of those cars that owners will modify. Full disclosure, I had a Unichip performance chip added early on. I didn't change the badges (which most owners seem to do), nor add the bi-modal exhaust, or change the rims. Performance is best described as strong - actually very strong. I recently read a fellow Stinger owner clocked a 4.4 sec 0-100km/h, and 11.99 quarter mile with the Unichip, which feels about right. Whilst grip is good, it is noticeably twitchy under acceleration. This was noticeable prior to performance mods, so I can't blame that. You definitely need to hang onto the wheel!

It's best described as a great GT car. I'd imagine its size and weight wouldn't make it all that suitable for track work but I know some owners do it. The 8-speed torque converter auto is competent, but it can't match a dual-clutch for speed and smoothness. It can be rather indecisive in peak hour traffic as well but that's really nitpicking. Fuel economy for me sits in the mid to high 11's (litres per 100 kilometres), that will drop into the 7's on the highway. I'll let you guys decide whether that's reasonable or not.

Inside the Stinger is a nice place to be. I'm 6-foot-5 so getting in and out is no easy feat. If you're getting on in years or have back issues, that's something to consider. The sunroof also robs valuable headroom. Unfortunately for me it's not a delete option on the GT. Regarding the panoramic roof they can be prone to creaking and rattles, particularly in hot weather. For some owners this has been a chronic issue that Kia are constantly trying to fix, and for me I have noticed it but it's not really an issue. Yet.

A small thing that is a bit annoying is that you can't get your feet under the front seats when sitting in the rear. This comprises rear legroom a bit. Luckily I don't sit there. Overall the Stinger's interior is a very nice place to be.

Tech-wise the Stinger comes with a full suite of safety and convenience features. I can't really think of anything that may be missing. The 8-inch info screen may be a bit small by today's standards, but that has been addressed in the soon-to-be-released update. Kia's newly released 8-speed dual-clutch would fit nicely behind the 3.3-litre twin turbo V6, but I see Kia have avoided doing that.

In conclusion I think the Stinger is a good car, and it might even be a very good car. For some people it will always just be a Kia, and they would never part with $60k for a Kia. People's perceptions are changing, and considering this is a ground up design, it's a very good start. Will the Stinger live to see another generation? I hope so. If not I'll be content that mine might be a bit more exclusive.