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Kia Stinger fastback lives up to its name

Coupe-like Kia Stinger sports fastback is a halo model for the Korean marque. Picture: Kia

Coupe-like Kia Stinger sports fastback is a halo model for the Korean marque. Picture: Kia

Kia

Kia's new coupe-like Stinger fastback is a halo model designed the show the Korean car-maker in an exciting new light.Simon Davis puts it through its paces.

Kia Stinger is more grand tourer than sports car. Picture: KiaKia Stinger is more grand tourer than sports car. Picture: Kia

Kia’s Stinger is an all-new car for the South Korean manufacturer, as well as its first attempt at a proper performance fastback.

Developed under the watchful eye of Albert Biermann – the former head of BMW’s M Division and the man responsible for the cracking new Hyundai i30 N hot-hatch.

Known for its sensible family cars, the Stinger is a brave move with the pinnacle being a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 sending 365bhp and 510Nm of torque to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Under the bonnet

While the GT S gets that stonking V6, the more popular models will be GT-Line and GT-Line S with 244bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 197bhp 2.2-litre turbo diesel, four-cylidner engines, again both mated to an eight-speed auto box.

Kia Stinger's fascia adds to the dynamic appeal. Picture: KiaKia Stinger's fascia adds to the dynamic appeal. Picture: Kia

Even with the smaller petrol engine, the Stinger is no slouch, reaching 60mph from rest in 5.8 seconds and going on to a potential 149mph

while offering 35.8mpg combined and CO2 emissions of 181g/km.

How does it drive?

Kia is adamant that the new Stinger is a gran turismo, and not a sports car.

Regardless of how you define the Stinger, though, as a first attempt at a proper performance-orientated vehicle it’s seriously impressive.

Kia Stinger's 406-litre hatchback-style boot. Picture: KiaKia Stinger's 406-litre hatchback-style boot. Picture: Kia

Twisty roads won’t cause the Stinger to break a sweat, either. While the steering doesn’t provide a huge amount of feel, it’s nicely weighted and allows you to place the car with confidence. Pop the car into sport with the drive mode selector and it becomes a bit livelier.

Move away from twisty back roads and out on to a dual-carriageway or motorway, and the Stinger settles down to become a comfortable, relaxing long-distance tourer – a true ‘gran turismo’.

How does it look?

The Stinger pulls the fastback-style image off rather well. It’s not the prettiest car in the world but its proportions are handsome and that swept-back roofline adds to its visual appeal.

Space and comfort

Kia has really stepped its game up as far as the Stinger’s interior is concerned with no cheap and nasty materials on display and classy circular air vents in the middle of the dash.

Interior space is generous, too. Front-seat occupants get plenty of head and elbow room but, while that swooping roofline eats into rear headroom, the 2,905mm wheelbase means there’s no shortage of legroom.

The 406-litre hatchback-style boot easily swallows a couple of suitcases or large weekly shop.

Final say

The Stinger is a fast, comfortable, long-distance cruiser and an exciting sports fastback with impressive dynamic abilities.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: Kia Stinger GT-Line S £35,495 (range £31,995 to £40,495)

Engine: 1,998cc, 244bhp, four-cylinder turbo petrol with eight-speed automatic gearbox
Performance: 0-60mph 5.8 seconds; top speed 149mph

MPG: 35.8 combined

CO2 emissions: 181g/km

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