Kia’s performance-leading Stinger has been refreshed and revised with a raft of new and enhanced safety and convenience features as it continues to gain street cred.
Since its global launch in 2017 the Stinger has carved out a solid niche in the high-performance rear-wheel drive sedan market, a segment many believed was on its final legs.
With the inclusion of new and upgraded safety technology, including Blind Spot View Monitor as pioneered in the recently launched Sorento, and AEB Junction Assist the new model Stinger becomes an even more compelling option for anyone seeking sports performance in a family-friendly package.
“Since launching the Stinger into an uncertain market the results have been consistently pleasing,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said. “Australians have always loved and desired a performance edge to their family transport, and in the Stinger they have the joy of driving enthusiastically and the confidence of safe family touring.
“With the inclusion of new technology and upgrading of existing safety and convenience features, buyers looking for that rare combination of enjoyment and practicality have even more reason to consider a Stinger.”
Mr Meredith said that while the performance credentials of the 3.3-litre twin-turbo had been quickly recognized including within police forces around Australia, there had been a steady increase in interest in the 2.0-litre model.
“While it is no surprise that it is the performance engine which garners the most interest and excitement, the 2.0-litre variant is a slow burner with growing interest in an increasing number of areas.”
In addition to its refreshed design, the enhanced Kia Stinger includes Kia’s latest driver assist and safety features.
Thomas Schemera, Head of Product Division at Hyundai Motor Group, said: “The Stinger remains the standard-bearer for the Kia brand, almost a decade after we first revealed the Kia GT Concept in 2011. It remains our most driver-focused car and is capable of covering great distances in comfort and style.
“The upgraded model builds on the Stinger’s well-established grand touring ethos, with a renewed sense of design flair, new technologies, and greater usability enhancing its appeal for buyers in markets around the world.”
Design changes to the upgraded Stinger are best described as evolutionary rather than revolutionary with each subtle revision enhancing the Stinger’s undeniable charm.
One of the most outstanding styling changes is the new rear LED combination taillight (across the range) with a distinctive light signature extending the full width of the car mimicking the subtle spoiler integrated into the boot lid.
There is also a playful touch with the turn signal now designed with 10 individual LED units on each side arranged in a grid pattern to represent the chequered flag used in motorsport.
In line with the new bi-modal exhaust and increased power output the GT and 330S models will feature noticeably larger quad exhaust tips while the 200S and GT-Line models will carry over the current designs.
A pair of new alloy wheel designs further enhance the exterior look of the car with the thinner spokes of the 19-inch GT-Line and GT models styled to further highlight the high performance Brembo brake package which is standard on the V6 range.
From the front the most obvious change is the new multifaceted reflector LED headlights with integrated daytime running lights which will be standard on the 200S and 330S. While appearing dark and sleek with the lights out, they spring to life with sharp slashes of light angled towards the front of the car when illuminated.
The clever Dynamic Bending LED headlights will be retained on GT and GT-Line models.
On the safety front the improvements are widespread and significant, building on the Stinger’s 5-Star ANCAP safety rating awarded at launch in 2017.
In scoring the 5-Star rating the Stinger came with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), rear view camera, rear parking sensors, driver attention alert and seven airbags.
Already featuring Autonomous Emergency Braking across the range, the improved AEB will now add Cyclist Detection and Junction Assist to its already existing car and pedestrian capabilities. Junction Assist uses the front camera and radar to apply the brakes if danger is detected while turning across oncoming traffic.
The improved Lane Keeping Assistance will also feature Road Edge Detection ensuring that when the car is detected wandering from its lane or towards the road edge the steering will automatically assist in returning the car to the lane. Lane Following Assist performs a similar function in using the front view camera to determine the position within the lane and keep the vehicle centred.
To further enhance the richness of the GT-Line and GT models they will benefit from the inclusion of Rear Cross Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist which monitors and if necessary brakes to avoid traffic from either side of the vehicle when reversing.
The top-grade models will also get Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist which uses the Blind Spot Detection and Electronic Stability Control to prevent collisions with cars in the adjacent lanes. The Blind Spot View Monitor is linked to the turn signal operation and displays a camera view of the blind spots in the 7” supervision cluster.
Passenger safety is further enhanced even when the Stinger is stopped with GT and GT-Line models gaining the Safe Exit Warning (SEW) feature which alerts passengers with a sound and visual warning if there is an attempt to open the doors with traffic approaching from the rear.
The most notable upgrade to the interior is the inclusion of the 10.25-inch touchscreen with inbuilt navigation and smartphone connectivity. The dash-mounted screen allows users to control and monitor a range of vehicle functions simultaneously.
As part of the technology upgrade the Stinger now features Bluetooth Multi-Connection allowing multiple smart phones to be paired at the same time for greater convenience and functionality, such as using one phone for communications and another for streaming music.
The Smart Key Remote Engine Start offers the opportunity to remotely start the car and have the climate conditions reach their optimum settings before entering the cabin.
For the 200S and 330S models the 3.5-inch mono-TFT cluster has been replaced by the more advanced 4.2-inch colour-TFT cluster with improved visual clarity and a wider range of information displayed. For GT and GT-Line models the high-resolution 7.0-inch supervision cluster is retained, albeit with the Blind Spot View Monitor.
On GT and GT-Line models the Smart Power Tailgate can now be set to four pre-determined opening heights through the in-car menu, allowing for an optimal setting to suit the user’s height.
The interior ambience of the GT and GT-Line cars can be tuned by the choice of 64 colours in the Mood Lamp to subtly alter the character of the cabin. The steering wheel also features a new metallic finish while the dashboard and doors are trimmed with a new stitch pattern design.
The Stinger engines have always been at the heart of the hero discussions and remain largely unchanged in the upgraded model. The Lambda 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 retains its awesome 510Nm of torque across a huge rev range but the inclusion of a factory-developed Bi-model exhaust system has found an additional 2kW of power, lifting the output to 274kW.
The turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder Theta II engine remains unchanged with 182kW and 353Nm.
Both engines are paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, matching the car’s long-legged gran turismo personality.
Stinger is available in nine colours _ Hichroma Red, Neon Orange, Deep Chroma Blue, Micro Blue, Snow White Pearl, Panthera Metal, Silky Silver, Panthera Metal and Ceramic Grey _ with an additional colour, Aurora Black Pearl, available only for GT and GT-Line models. The Premium Pearl paint finish is an additional $695 rrp.
The interior seat materials are Black Sports Premium Trim for 200S and 330S models; leather appointed black or red for GT-Line and the new Nappa Leather appointed in black or red for GT models.
PRICING RRP D/AWAY
200S $49,550 $53,090
GT-Line $57,230 $60,690
330S $53,330 $56,890
GT $63,260 $66,690