Kia Stinger GT-S review
The Stinger GT-S is Kia’s full-on sports version of its Stinger coupe and offers an impressive range of ability at a keen price point
The Kia Stinger is the Korean carmaker's entry into the four-door coupe market. This top trim level GT-S version is aimed squarely at already well-established prestige brands such as BMW and Audi, with the Audi S5 Sportback and BMW’s 440i Gran Coupe being its main rivals. Offering a similar blend of style, performance and high-tech gadgetry that you simply wouldn’t have expected from Kia a few years ago, the GT-S is an excellent offering.
In GT-S trim, the only available engine is the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 365bhp. Offering similar levels of performance to the Audi S5 and BMW 440i Gran Coupe, the GT-S goes from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds with a top speed of nearly 170mph. Most crucially, the Stinger GT-S will cost you around £7,000 less than its BMW and Audi rivals.
As a premium range-topping model, the Stinger GT-S offers an excellent drive. The engine is responsive to throttle inputs, and while it might not sound quite as sporty as the engines from rivals BMW and Audi, the GT-S is impressive as the marque’s first attempt at a sports coupe.
The GT-S features rear-wheel drive and a limited slip differential to improve handling, and overall it feels very agile, especially for a car of its size. The steering, while well-weighted and direct, does lack a little in feel but it’s precise enough to make full use of the available grip.
These levels of performance don’t come at the expense of ride quality as the GT-S comes, as standard, with adaptive dampers – an expensive option on a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe – and with three modes it ensures the GT-S is composed at all times. In Comfort mode, it’s nicely compliant, while in its more sporty settings the body control is improved without compromising the ride.
While the Kia Stinger GT-S performs, handles and rides with aplomb offering excellent interior space with plenty of room up front and in the back. Despite its fashionably swooping roofline, there’s still plenty of headroom for rear seat passengers. The boot is decently sized with a capacity of just over 400 litres, and its use is made easier thanks to the standard electric tailgate.
As standard, the Stinger GT-S comes with an array of interior upgrades including a Harmon Kardon stereo, eight-inch touchscreen, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated and ventilated seats and a heads-up display. It’s also packed with a host of safety features as well, including lane keep assist, blind spot monitor, autonomous braking and traffic alerts as standard.
The GT-S version of the Stinger is a very accomplished machine and in many respects an equal of more expensive cars from Audi and BMW. Its performance is closely matched with the class leaders and its ride and handling impress, too. With an extensive list of standard equipment, the GT-S could well tempt buyers away from the more traditional brands even if it might be lacking that ultimate level of finesse you get with an Audi or BMW.