Kia Stinger GT
We’ve been stung by a Stinger, but it’s hardly the car’s fault. Blame that big pothole
Counting the cost of pothole woes
WHY WE’RE RUNNING IT To get fully familiar with the dynamic successes and foibles of an alluring driver’s car. And to see if the UK public can ‘get’ the idea of a truly desirable Kia
Just over three months after we first picked up our Stinger GT S from GWR Kia in Brentford, London, Big Yellow was back there, in need of some fairly serious work.
If you’ve been following our time with Kia’s striking new sports saloon, you’ll have read how a colleague recently had a rather unfortunate encounter with an exceptionally large pothole on a late-night run back from the airport. The encounter turned out to be an expensive one.
In the days after this episode, after new tyres had been sourced and normal service was thought to have been resumed, it became apparent that something still wasn’t right. You see, there was a shudder. An annoying one, from the nearside front wheel that had squared off against said pothole. It became more intrusive under braking.
Unsure of the source of the shudder – it could have been a warped alloy or an alignment issue – we decided to send the Stinger in for a proper diagnosis. It was partly to fix the shudder but also to establish if that pesky pothole had caused any damage to the suspension or any other part of the car.
So I delivered Big Yellow back to GWR Kia in Brentford on 9 May so the diagnosis could be made and the issue fixed. Unfortunately, no courtesy cars were available, so I ordered an Uber and went back to the office.
The following day, a video from Kia’s servicing department appeared in my inbox. This free vehicle health check video, recorded by one of the technicians, gave a brief but insightful look at the car and the damage that the pothole had caused.
Thankfully, there was no damage to the front suspension (phew), but the nearside front alloy had been buckled by the impact, which in turn had damaged the tyre. So that’s what was causing the shudder.
The technician’s prescription? A new alloy would have to be sourced, as well as a new tyre, and a wheel alignment would have to be performed. No drama.
Then our man continued down to the nearside rear wheel, which had suffered the same fate as the front. So that meant we were now looking at two new wheels, two new tyres and wheel alignments all round. It was quickly becoming apparent that this wasn’t going to be a cheap job.
A follow-up phone call to GWR Kia also revealed that we’d be without our Stinger for about a week, too, because there was an issue sourcing replacements for the Kia’s Contisport Contact 5 tyres. A courtesy car was still out of the picture, but one would be available after the weekend.
By the following Wednesday, that courtesy car was there waiting for us, but another phone call later that day also revealed that the Stinger was, in fact, ready to be collected. Joy of joys.
So it was back to GWR on Friday (we’re an organised bunch, honest) to collect the Stinger and discover the cost. Now, although the Stinger is covered by Kia’s excellent sevenyear warranty, that obviously doesn’t cover damage caused by potholes.
The subsequent bill read: nearside front alloy, £442.14; nearside rear alloy, £649.94; wheel alignment, £120; wheel fitting, £36 per wheel. A grand total of £1284.08. Yikes.
We could have saved a substantial amount of money by having the wheels refurbished rather than replaced. Our technician thought that was the way to go and it would have cost around £70 per wheel. But given we want to test the Stinger in as good a condition as possible (and our snappers want cars with shiny, tidy wheels), we opted for the full work.
Overall, the service went without a hitch. A loan car might have been nice, but that’s our only complaint. Let’s just hope we avoid any further interactions with potholes.
Two wheels were damaged by a pothole on a late-night drive