Kia’s Stinger is one of the more riskier moves the company has made in recent years - probably ever - in a very good way. A relatively affordable and sporty rear-wheel drive saloon; and from the same folks who brought you the Picanto. Such is the world we live in.
The Stinger will be available in local showrooms starting in late September with three trim levels for the two engine options (for 6 permutations in total), kicking off at $45,990 including ORCs. Now, that’s for the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo model which will output a respectable 182kW and 353Nm. Stepping up to the beefier 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 to enjoy its 272kW and 510Nm, though, will bring the starting price up to the previously announced $48,990 for the 330S.
Sticking with the smaller engine for a moment, that range is comprised of the entry-level 200S for that aforementioned start price, but will offered in better specified 200Si ($52,990) and GT-Line ($55,990) guises as well. Every Stinger will be equipped with seven-airbags, and the usual raft of stability control, traction control, two ISOFIX anchoring points, and anti-lock brakes. Meanwhile, the V6-powered Stingers move upward from that said figure up to $55,990 for the mid-tier 330Si and tops out at $59,990 for the range-topping Stinger GT.
Still, the 200S, 200Si, and 330S grades receives 18-inch alloys. On other fronts, the each S grade receives cruise control, climate control, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Unfortunately, the 200S does miss out on Kia’s active safety suite, but at least they don’t put it too far out of reach as the step-up 200Si and beyond receive Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keep Assist, and even a Driver Attention Alert.
Grades such as GT-Line, 330Si, and GT also grants access to the larger 19-inch wheels that do lend the car a noticeably more aggressive aura. In addition to that, the larger 8-inch touchscreen replaces the smaller unit in size and effective resolution, but not functionality.
Finally, the GT-Line and GT respectively represents the top-tier Stinger with the 2.0-litre four-pot and 3.3-litre V6. Both, just like other two grades, are separated by their different lumps under the bonnet but share a near-identical equipment list.
Paying top dollar will add even more convenience features, luxury trim, and safety capabilities into the mix. First of all, 3.3 V6 GT receives a cabin that’s had its seat upholstery (artificial leather in the S, black leather in the Si and black/red in the GT-Line) swapped out with more luscious Nappa leather while both the GT and GT-Line also gain blind spot monitoring, a 360-degree camera, dynamic cornering lights, high beam assist, a head-up display, and 15-speaker Harman-Kardon audio system to top off the feature count.
Both engines generate an equal amount of power and torque regardless of trim level, sending thrust rearward through a standard 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters mounted on the steering column. Even more encouraging is how Kia avoids playing favourites with driver-focused features as each V6-powered Stinger comes standard with a mechanical limited slip rear differential as well as ventilated disc brakes from Brembo with quad-piston callipers up front (350mm rotor) and dual-piston callipers at the rear (340mm rotor), and a variable-ratio power steering system.
Kia is confident that, with launch control enabled, the 3.3-litre V6 Stinger can accelerate to 100km/h from a standstill in 4.9 seconds even without the aid of all-wheel drive. Mind you, the less powerful 2.0-litre variant is also equipped with launch control. It’s no slouch a slouch either, reaching that century mark in rather respectable 6.0 seconds.
- Stinger 200S - 2.0-litre turbo, 8-speed automatic - $45,990
- Stinger 200Si - 2.0-litre turbo, 8-speed automatic - $52,990
- Stinger GT-Line - 2.0-litre turbo, 8-speed automatic - $55,990
- Stinger 330S - 3.3-litre V6 bi-turbo, 8-speed automatic - $48,990
- Stinger 330Si - 3.3-litre V6 bi-turbo, 8-speed automatic - $55,990
- Stinger GT - 3.3-litre V6 bi-turbo, 8-speed automatic - $59,990