Kia’s entry into India is likely to be a mix of main stream models and the Stinger GT, a sleek and futuristic looking four-door car. Aimed at the likes of the Audi S5 and the Mercedes-AMG C43, the Stinger GT debuted at the Auto Expo 2018, New Delhi, and grabbed attention. Despite flaunting four doors, the Stinger GT is unlike a sporty sedan. Its silhouette points at a sporting coupe stance, which when the rear falls in view, is modified to a sporting fastback.
No hint of bulkiness
Measuring 4.8m, the Stinger GT displays a nice muscular build with a tight skin. With no hint of bulkiness, the car, with the ‘tiger nose’ signature grille and nicely detailed wraparound head lamps, looks stylish. If the central air dam contributes to the stylish looks, the vertically oriented side vents add to the aggressive frontal appearance. The vents on the bonnet may be cosmetic, but the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol motor located underneath isn’t. It produces a healthy 365bhp and routes the power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed auto-box.
The gill-like vents that dot the sides are functional. While the 19-inch dia wheels fill up the wheel arches, the A-and B-pillar help the car look like a sporting coupe rather than a sedan. The thick C-pillar is about showing muscles even as the shoulder line gently disappears into the rear deck. The tail lamp extensions are unique. The high set LED tail lamps, the quad exhaust pipes and a spoiler add a touch of sporty look to the rear.
Get inside, and the cabin gives the impression of being stylish and well built. The driving position is comfortable, and offers a good view of the surrounding region. Laced with a slew of features like blind spot indicator, lane assist (that produces a strong tug at the steering wheel when lane changes are attempted without signalling), the Stinger is pretty close to its German competitors. There’s a good amount of soft-touch plastics. If a combination of metal inserts and exposed stitching give the vehicle a premium touch, the dash looks a bit plain. The floating 7.0-inch touchscreen is set a bit high. There’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay apart from sat-nav. Spacious than its competitors, the Stinger feels quite refined and plush.
Engaging to drive
Keeping up with city traffic without any complaints, the car feels quick and responsive. The V6 produces a snarl as it revs, but may not be in the same league as an AMG. Red lining at 6000rpm, the engine is not exactly the most revving; it is therefore good to shift early. The paddles may not always follow the command to shift, the auto-box, left to its own, is not the most quick or responsive. The option to shift manually via the gear shifter is not there in the Stinger.
Capable of clocking 0 to 100kmph in 4.7 seconds, the car can hard charge as much as cruise at good speeds. Offering different drive modes that alter the engine, steering and damper response, the Stinger makes for an engaging driving experience, feeling quite agile yet stable.
Powering out of corners without stepping out of line, the Stinger inspires confidence with the way it drives and handles. The ride feels plush on ideal, well-paved surfaces. However, there is a stiff edge to the ride although not overly stiff as to spoil the pliant feel the ride displays.
Expected to be priced in the region of Rs 70 lakhs as a ‘completely built unit’ import, the Stinger GT is not just a stylish fastback that turns heads, it also delivers a performance to match.
The best part is, it gets close to its German competitors on almost all counts and even gets better in some areas.