Driven: 2018 Kia Stinger GT-Line Review

We got the opportunity to test the exciting new executive GT: the Kia Stinger GT-Line. Here is what we think about the brand’s new model.

What is the Kia Stinger GT-Line All About?

It’s very exciting to drive the new vehicle from the Kia range. The all-new Stinger model comes in three trim levels with three types of engine. The trim levels are the GT-Line, GT-Line S and GT S. We have previously tested the performance version of the Stinger, the GT S with the V6 engine.

Here we are trying out the Kia Stinger GT-Line. The price range starts at £31,995 and to my surprise, it looks almost identical to the V6 performance version. Therefore, making the GT-Line model a bargain to begin with.

The look of this vehicle is simply incredible. It looks like no other Kia we have seen. It is a full-fat GT car. The front is very aggressive, including lots of grilles, vents and curves. From the side, you will notice a nice set of 18″ alloys, which are a perfect fit for the wheel arches.

The rear of the car features rear light clusters which are joined in the middle by a wide red reflector strip and there are quad exhausts at the bottom, giving it a stylish GT coupe look.

The Kia Stinger GT Line is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine that creates 244bhp and 353 Nm of torque. This power is conveyed to the rear wheels using an 8-speed automatic gearbox. This means that the vehicle can accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds and has a top speed of 149mph. Impressive! This same model is also capable of a combined economy figure of 35 mpg and creates 181 g/Km of CO2.

How Does it Drive?

On paper, the performance certainly seems powerful. The 0-62mph acceleration is only one second slower than the V6 GT S version of the car. The 2.0-litre engine in this model shouldn’t be underestimated.

Getting into the Stinger, you must admit, this is an exciting time for Kia. The interior is top notch and the seating position is bang on. When you hit the start button to fire it up, the 2.0-litre engine is very muted and gentle. Then you drop the electric park brake and use the large leather-covered gear selector to put the car in drive and you’re off! You’re in the vehicle’s default drive mode – Comfort.

Now, let’s get straight to that 2.0-litre engine. You’re braced at the wheel, then you hit the accelerator. The 244bhp from the engine is formidable and the car thunders along using the 8-speed automatic gearbox. It sounds pretty decent in sport mode also. Of course, it is less fiery than the V6. But on its own terms, it is a credible engine to have in a car of this size and it works well.

The Kia Stinger GT Line has a selection of drive modes to allow you to get the most out of the car and optimise it for your current environment. The drive modes can be set to Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Smart will change the dynamics of the vehicle as it senses what the driver is looking for, then provide the correct mode at the right time. Eco is designed for maximum efficiency. Comfort lightens the steering, optimises dampening, and balances the throttle. Sport quickens the steering, optimises the throttle map for more power, and hardens up the dampens for advanced handling. Sport+ adds to this. It tunes back the ESP, allowing for less interruption from the car’s management system, thus allowing more slip.

In Comfort mode it certainly does its GT credentials proud. The ride quality feels as good as the car looks and creates a comfortable travelling experience. The comfort setting is the default drive mode for the car. It is a great all-round option that is suited to daily use and is comparable to the Gran Turismo.

The car’s handling inspires you with confidence. It feels planted in every corner and gives a good amount of feedback to the driver. The vehicle grips well and all the bhp is put to good use without spinning any of it away.

The Kia Stinger GT-Line features 18″ alloy wheels covered in Continental SportContact tyres that have been specifically designed for this car and they work well.

As with any modern vehicle, there are lots of driver assists including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Blind Spot Detection, which enable the driver to keep safe.

What is it Like Inside?

At just over £30,000 for this engine and exterior, I thought that there wouldn’t be much left to spend on the interior. How wrong I was! Even in the lowest GT-Line trim, the inside is incredible. The interior is very spacious and includes a cocooned cockpit with room for five people and their luggage in the boot.

The switchgear is still more Korean than German, but I don’t mind it at all. It’s true to the Kia brand, well laid out, practical and the quality belies the low cost.

My favourite part of the interior is the central console that fills the wide gap between the two passengers. It houses two large cup holders and is surrounded by more controls.

In classic Kia style, the infotainment system is user-friendly with a responsive touchscreen loaded with features. The Stinger comes with a powerful nine-speaker sound system that’s a pleasure to listen to.

The Experience

The all-new Kia Stinger GT-Line with the 2.0-litre engine is an affordable large GT car with solid performance credentials. Testing the 2.0-litre against the bigger V6, I had thought it would not compare, but I prefer it. It has the same looks, has better mpg and is significantly more affordable.

Verdict

I got to drive the GT S before I drove the GT-Line 2.0-litre version of the car. I thought the V6 version was a bargain, which makes this model a steal at £31,995.  The vehicle has premium looks, GT comforts and the performance will satisfy most. And as it’s a Kia, it will come with a seven year/100,000 miles transferable warranty. What more could you want?

Specification

2018 Kia Stinger GT-Line Review

  • Price: £31,995
  • Engine: 2.0-litre Petrol
  • Power: 244 bhp
  • Torque: 353 Nm
  • Transmission: 8 Speed Automatic
  • 0-62mph: 5.7 seconds
  • Top speed: 149 mph
  • Weight: 1,642 kg
  • Economy combined:  35.8 mpg
  • CO2: 181 g/km
2018 Kia Stinger GT-Line 2.0-Litre Review was last modified: March 17th, 2018 by Paul Hadley