Kia’s come a long way to get here

CAR (UK) - - Our Cars -

DRIV­ING OVER 1000 miles in a Kia would once have struck the fear of God into me, but I’m en­joy­ing the Stinger GT S. The ride qual­ity par­tic­u­larly im­presses, with a sup­ple, long-legged stride that more than de­liv­ers on the GT cre­den­tials Kia prom­ises. The trade is body roll and a lack of ul­ti­mate fo­cus, but all move­ments are nicely con­trolled. And be­cause V6 Stingers get adap­tive dampers as stan­dard, you can quickly tighten up the body con­trol.

Front grip and rear trac­tion are lower than the BMW 440i I’ve just handed back (see left), but the Kia felt nicely bal­anced when I chucked it about for pho­tos – it’s length is an ad­van­tage in that re­gard. It’s very much a road­op­ti­mised saloon, and quite right too, but I’m plot­ting a Nür­bur­gring trip – I’ll be fas­ci­nated to see how the Stinger copes with those crests and dips.

Last month I men­tioned Kia’s o¢icial mpg £ig­ures were a way o¤ the 440i (41.5mpg ver­sus the Kia’s 28.5mpg). So far, re­al­ity looks slightly bet­ter, with the BMW just stick­ing its neck out of 29mpg ter­ri­tory and the Kia al­most reach­ing 24mpg. This sug­gests the Kia will cost over £500 ex­tra in fuel every 10,000 miles, though – and need three ser­vices to the BMW’s one – so £in­gers crossed the fuel econ­omy im­proves as the V6 beds in.

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