The Stinger stun­ner

Lancashire Life - - FRONT PAGE - WORDS: Andy Rus­sell

Kia’s stun­ning Stinger sports fast­back is a true grand tourer loaded with driv­ing ap­peal, kit and charisma, a truly win­ning com­bi­na­tion

Most peo­ple’s re­ac­tion to the Stinger fast­back flag­ship was that it was a Kia – a dark horse that will bring the Ko­rean brand to peo­ple’s at­ten­tion for all the right rea­sons.

LOOKS AND IM­AGE

This fab­u­lous fast­back looks po­tent, pow­er­ful and pur­pose­ful from any an­gle with strong, sculpted lines, swoop­ing curves, large side and body vents and quad ex­hausts. Put a pre­mium brand badge on it and most peo­ple would be none the wiser – and pay con­sid­er­ably more to own one.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

Launched with a 365bhp, 3.3-litre, twin turbo V6, there are also 244bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 197bhp 2.2-litre turbo diesel engines all with eight­speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The 2.0-litre petrol has bags of top-end power and, with peak torque from 1,400 to 3,500rpm, you don’t need to work it hard for good progress, hence 35mpg over­all. Smart, eco, comfort, sport and sport+ driv­ing modes al­ter the char­ac­ter.

HOW IT DRIVES

The ride is fine-tuned for UK roads – firm enough for well-honed han­dling but not un­yield­ing, while good damp­ing cush­ions pas­sen­gers from se­ri­ously-scarred roads.

Com­bine the Stinger’s lon­g­legged per­for­mance and cruis­ing comfort and you’ve got a true gran turismo – a gen­uine tourer.

SPACE AND COMFORT

It seats only four, but large adults will en­joy the head and legroom in the shapely rear seats. The vast boot is more about length and width than depth, but at

406 litres takes a good load of lug­gage. Rear seats split 60/40 and fold flat.

The cabin feels un­der­stated, com­pared to the ex­te­rior, with lots of dark trim, but no com­plaints about qual­ity, fit and fin­ish.

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