Craig spends a day with Kia and test drives the brand new Stinger
After a short flight from Gatwick airport, myself, fellow bloggers and motoring journalists arrived in Cornwall for a day with car giant Kia to check out the brand new Kia Stinger Gran Turimso.
We didn’t have to wait long before we got our first look at this sleek new motor, as no sooner were we on the tarmac, than three Stingers came hurtling down the runway at great speed with a blur of shimmering red and a gutsy roar of 6 cylinder engines.
After an initial welcome, a much needed cup of coffee and a customary bacon sandwich it was our turn to drive! My driving partner was Renata, Editor of Five Star magazine, and in gentlemanly fashion it was ‘ladies first’ and she took the wheel for the first leg of our journey, from the airport to Rick Steins seafood restaurant in Padstow.
I think it’s fair to say that Renata fell in love with this car instantly and shared her appreciation frequently and enthusiastically during the drive to Padstow. After a great lunch with the team it was time for me to take the mantel. Already impressed by the reversing display and birds eye view, I knew it wouldn’t be too onerous to get out of the packed car park, and before long I was flying down country lanes.
This family saloon is a speedy and sporty addition, and with it being so quiet and comfortable it was easy to get the speed up without any impact on the driving experience. Stinger is the most adventurous model in Kia’s history, the company’s first classic grand tourer and the first rear-wheel-drive model it has introduced to Europe. In range-topping twin-turbo V6 guise, it is also the fastest-accelerating Kia ever, with a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds.
There are five different versions of this new Kia available. The GT-Line and GT-Line S offer the choice of a 2.0-litre 244bhp T-GDi petrol engine or a 2.2-litre 197bhp CRDi turbo diesel, while the range-topping GT S has exclusive use of a 3.3-litre 365bhp twin-turbo V6. The GT S, as the fastest and most powerful model in the range, also has adjustable electronic suspension damping and Brembo brakes, and all come with that Turbocharged injection engine.
Inspiration for the design of this new car came directly from the Grand Tourers seen by Head of Design Gregory Guillaume in France in the 70’s. “The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive,” says Gregory Guillaume. “This car is all about the journey. It’s about passion.” There’s a feeling of elegance with this car and it evokes images of of a past era when travel was new and exciting and journeying to foreign climes was a real adventure.
The body is well proportioned and with it’s nipped in waist and long bonnet it’s a real departure from other models in the Kia family. There’s a look of determination and masculinity about this car which Guillaume describes as “sleek and sharky”
Inside it’s roomy and can escort five people very comfortably in its low slung heated leather seats. The leather dashboard continues the feeling of luxury and it comes with all the mod cons that you could need. With an 8 inch touch screen display for the sat nav and everything else that your heart desires from DAB radio, MP3 functionality, Bluetooth, voice recognition and music streaming. With up to 15 speakers and a subwoofer under the front seats the sound is great quality and you can crank up the rock ballads and sing your heart out while on your jaunt.
If you want all the geeky spec, pop over to the Kia website where you can get every single detail imaginable. Available from £31,995 you’re getting a lot of car for your money, so if you’re interested, book a test drive now!