2020 Kia Stinger GT review

Does the priciest Stinger variant justify its un-Kia-like cost through its performance and sporty image?

2020 Kia Stinger GT review

Emma has been on our television screens for more than a decade. She spends most of her time at racetracks reporting on Touring Car Racing and Shannons Nationals, and also hosts Australian Superbikes. She brings her passion for cars and unique perspective to this space.

What is it?

The Kia Stinger GT is a stylish, high performance four door sports sedan which comes with a choice of a 2.0 litre four cylinder turbo or 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engines. They really have nailed their target demographic of professional males in their 30s and 40s. And, with a spacious boot and roomy interior, there’s no reason why this can’t also be considered as a great family car.

What's it like to drive?

The Kia Stinger GT is a weapon to drive! I actually had a lot of fun behind the wheel of this car and like all rev-heads would do I clicked it straight over to sports mode and made full use of the paddle shifters.

From the moment I hit the start button I was surprised by the sound of the throaty exhaust and could immediately feel the power of that engine which can only make a car enthusiast feel one thing: happiness! With five different driving modes it’s easy to feel comfortable in this car whether you’re cruising down the freeway trying to stick to the speed limit or stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Be careful when you put your foot down though as it’s quicker than you may think and has plenty of rear end mumbo. Fair to stay I kept the traction control on.

2020 Kia Stinger GT review

I stuck to sports mode for the bulk of my trips to maximise the thrills-per-kilometre rating, but if that’s not your style the options are endless.  With the choice of comfort, eco, smart and a mix n’ match custom mode you get to choose the way you roll in the Kia Stinger GT.

All in all, I love knowing that I’m about to get into a fast car. Compared to my daily driver, which is a Volkswagen Tiguan, the Stinger feels super fast, but also safe. And there’s a feeling that it’s always got your back. For example, in sports mode when you’re using the paddles shifters, if you get lazy the car will take over for you and kick back into auto mode after a while. Also, I don’t like to rely on reverse cameras and sensors but they are always a handy tool to have.

2020 Kia Stinger GT review

What's it like to live with?

Without sounding too superficial as a 30-something female who loves fast cars but also loves her style, the first thing I care about when I see a car (the only thing really), is its looks. I have to say the exterior not only impressed but also surprised me. I actually didn’t believe it was a Kia at first glance. It’s very different to any Kia I’ve seen on the road before. The front almost resembles the Ford Mustang with its tough looking bonnet vents, and the rear is less serious and quite stylish. The Kia Stinger GT makes a great first impression with its handsome good looks.

Now to the interior. There are some very good looking European inspired elements in the Kia Stinger GT, but some are a little tacky for my liking, like the metallic heating vents. Even so, the interior’s colour scheme and finishes fit with the Stinger’s sporty positioning. Compared to my Tiguan the Stinger puts you in a very low seating position, but there’s no loss of comfort. I like the red leather bucket seats, high-mounted infotainment system and subtle red background lighting throughout. Everyday essentials like having enough room for my coffee, gym gear in the boot, being able to easily connect my phone, play music are all covered.

Another cool feature I wasn’t expecting is the head-up display. It makes sticking to the speed limit in Victoria much easier. Forward collision warning and AEB is handy to have, as are dusk sensing headlights.

2020 Kia Stinger GT review

Is it worth the money?

I reviewed the 2019 Kia Stinger GT Automatic 3.3L 4D Sedan, which is the top-spec version priced at $60,790. While this is certainly a lot pricier than what you’d expect from Kia it is on par with its competitors.

Does the Kia Stinger GT have everything a buyer would want? I can’t really fault it, although the price tag takes a little getting used to. In my mind Kia is a brand associated with sharp value and affordable passenger cars and SUVs.

I don’t readily associate it with sports sedans, so if you gave me a $60K sum I’d be more likely to lean in the direction of a BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz showroom. On the flipside, you won’t get anywhere near the Stinger’s performance for that sum of money from any of those brands. Decisions, decisions…

Pros: Powerful, Spacious Interior, Functional, Fuel efficient

Cons: Not cheap

Rating: 4/5


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Emma Notarfrancesco

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