Sporty driv­ing dy­nam­ics im­press

The check­list Stinger is one of the most sur­pris­ing cars of the year

StarMetro Toronto - - Sponsored Content Continuing Education - Jodi Lai Au­to­gu­

ROAD tested

Value pric­ing, high­end ex­pe­ri­ence, con­fi­dent and sporty driv­ing dy­nam­ics, all the fea­tures you need/ want, ex­cel­lent build qual­ity Leave it: Non-func­tional hood vents, trac­tion con­trol a bit too ea­ger, adap­tive cruise con­trol could be smoother


You need to drive this car (and drive it hard) to get that the 2018 Stinger de­liv­ers on its prom­ise to sur­prise you. Maybe the nov­elty of do­ing tire-shred­ding drifts with a Kia is still new, but the car dis­played a pure and tactile feel­ing that is in­creas­ingly rare.

Much of that feel comes down to the hy­draulic steer­ing setup, which is per­fectly weighted. The steer­ing on the Stinger is sportier than the steer­ing in the new Porsche Panam­era.

The GT model is the only Stinger avail­able in Canada, mean­ing the V6 and AWD will come stan­dard and RWD will not be of­fered. The twin-turbo V6 GT model is the much more ex­cit­ing op­tion any­way.

The V6 has a ton of hus­tle and puts down power in a smooth and lin­ear man­ner with only a whis­per of turbo lag. The eight-speed trans­mis­sion doesn’t harshly slam into gear and also doesn’t suf­fer from the slow-speed is­sues that du­al­clutch trans­mis­sions do.

The sus­pen­sion is also a thing of beauty. Chucked into a tight cor­ner, the car stays nice and flat, but driven over rough roads, it also doesn’t beat you up. And Brembo brakes are stan­dard on GT mod­els.

In­side, al­most every touch point feels high-end. The dash­board and cen­ter stack have log­i­cal lay­outs and ev­ery­thing is where you’d ex­pect it to be.

As far as tech and driver as­sis­tance fea­tures go, the adap­tive cruise con­trol would ben­e­fit from be­ing smoother, but it was ap­pre­ci­ated that it works in stop-and-go traf­fic.

Some other avail­able fea­tures in­clude adap­tive high­beams, bend­ing head­lights, a top-down 360-de­gree park­ing cam­era, blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, rear-cross traf­fic mon­i­tor­ing, for­ward col­li­sion avoid­ance, lane-keep as­sist, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steer­ing wheel and more. Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto are part of the pack­age, but Kia’s in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is quick and user-friendly.

The com­fort­able and sup­port­ive front seats have ad­justable bol­ster­ing and the rear seats are roomy with plenty of leg and head room. The trunk is mas­sive with 660 litres of space with seats up and 1158 with seats down.

Prac­ti­cal, le­git­i­mately sporty, com­fort­able, and lux­u­ri­ous, the Kia Stinger is loaded with tech and fea­tures, and looks every bit as dra­matic and stylish as a rear-drive car should.

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