A Stinger in the Tail
A few short years ago Korean brands were looked down on by car buyers who saw them as inferior. And, to be fair, who can forget the dodgy Daewoo Nubira or the Hyundai Pony? But in recent years brands like Kia and Hyundai have skilfully turned around perceptions by building decent, if not overly exciting, cars. And then Kia got cocky and took on the Europeans with the Stinger. Is it any good? You betcha. Read on...
The domain of the performance luxury sedan has traditionally been dominated by the Germans. If you wanted comfort, muscle, prestige and something the family could fit into then you bought a BMW M5, an Audi RS6 or a Mercedes AMG E63. All these cars are high quality, ferocious performers with price tags to match. But if those price tags are barriers to many then Kia has cheekily muscled in with its very fine, very fast and very well-equipped Stinger.
Sure it doesn’t have the horsepower of the big three Germans and the badge doesn’t carry the same weight, but it does have presence, premium looks, drives brilliantly and costs an awful lot less. It has also achieved that rare feat in these bland styling times of being instantly recognisable.
To say it doesn’t have the power of the dominant Germans possibly masks the fact that the Stinger’s twin turbo V6 slams out 365hp and has a sub 5 second 0-100kph time. It’s no slouch and all that power through the rear wheels doesn’t make the Stinger an angry beast to drive, either. It’s smooth, refined, comfortable and very well spec’d. It also has 5 doors making it that little bit more practical without looking like an oversized hatchback.
The Stinger is perfect for the buyer who misses the V8 Commodore or Falcon. Or maybe even a Mustang buyer that really needs more doors. If these buyers could bring themselves to switch to a Kia they would be very happy and no doubt converted.
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