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16 Apr 2018

What We Dislike
The 3.3-litre V6 version is the one you really want

It may not be as powerful or exciting as its big brother, but the Kia Stinger 2.0 still thoroughly delivers a comfortable, practical and premium experience.

When we drove the Kia Stinger earlier this year, we were blown away by its combination of outright performance, dynamic excitement and overall polish. The car manages to upend everything you know and come to expect from the Korean brand.

There's also a slightly more 'affordable' variant of the Stinger, the GT-Line powered by a 2.0-litre engine. Can it deliver a similarly stunning experience?

The Stinger will no doubt turn heads with its distinctly bold looks


Visually, the two variants will be pretty much indistinguishable to most casual onlookers. All they are going to notice is a striking and bold-looking car. It'll turn heads and get tongues wagging everywhere you go. The only differences between the two variants, at least from the outside, are the rims and the brakes.

Inside, again you will be hard pressed to spot any differences, other than the lack of the 15-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Everything is well laid out and well-built in a way that is very German. There's also a wealth of equipment as standard - head-up display, ventilated front seats, sunroof, 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, as well as a wireless smartphone charger. All in all, this is a car that's extremely comfortable and easy to live with.  

The GT-Line variant comes standard with 18-inch alloy rims

Show and go

One of the main reasons why we enjoyed the Stinger so much was its surprising dynamic excellence. This GT-Line version isn't as well equipped as the 3.3-litre GT variant - you don't get the Brembo brakes, the electronically-controlled suspension, the mechanical limited-slip differential, and most obviously, you don't get the 3.3-litre V6 engine.  

What you do get is a 2.0-litre turbocharged GDI engine. With 244bhp and 353Nm of torque, the engine is perfectly usable, with a kind of decent pace you could safely expect from a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine (though not shockingly fast like the V6).

Ample leg room at the rear makes the Stinger a highly practical family car

Dynamically, the 2.0-litre variant may not have the exact sharpness and agility of the GT, but it still certainly holds its own. It's pliant and comfortable on highways, whilst still thoroughly capable through corners. And because the steering is well-weighted and delivers good feedback, you can still place this rather long car well through corners.

Simply put, it possesses a dynamic behaviour that is far superior to most cars in its price range.
Little brother syndrome

The Stinger 2.0 is an accomplished car, no doubt about it. Strip away that performance of the V6 engine and what you're left with is a very practical, comfortable and usable car with legitimate dynamic credentials. It encroaches on German car territory, not something we thought we could ever say about a Kia. Whatever your expectation of this car, it will certainly exceed it.

The equipment, materials and built-quality of the cabin certainly rival more expensive German cars

However, the biggest issue the GT-Line has is the fact that its bigger and badder 3.3-litre brother exists. 'Little brother syndrome', as it were. 

This car is good, but in a way that's just rather normal. With a 2.0-litre engine, its harder for the Stinger to stand out. After all, there are a ton of other turbocharged 2.0-litre sedans in the market, many of which are more luxurious and upmarket. 

The GT-Line doesn't deliver the intense excitement and unique specialness that the 3.3-litre variant does. It's more practical, more sensible, and arguably the better car to buy for daily use. But it just lacks that sense of wonder, and that ability to really set itself apart from the rest of the competition. 

The 2.0-litre engine delivers 244bhp and 353Nm of torque, urging on the Stinger from 0-100km/h in six seconds

For under $170,000, there are very few cars that offer the same combination of space and pace. Only the new Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat come to mind. However, there is a particular VW Golf GTI that costs just about the same money, and it's perhaps hard to cast your eye past that car and choose a Kia instead.

The Stinger 2.0 is a highly accomplished and well-rounded car, but the one you would go for is the 3.3-litre GT variant

See, to us, if you were going to buy a Kia Stinger, you would want the car with the entirety of its intent and performance. Yes, an extra $40,000 for the 3.3-litre is no small sum, but think about it this way - it's like the Hemsworth brothers. Liam and Luke are handsome actors in their own rights, but the one Hemsworth you really want is Chris, Thor himself.

That's the one that people will talk about and remember. That's the one to have. What we're saying is that if you want a Kia Stinger, go the full Hemsworth. 
Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


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Engine Type


Theta II T-GDI

Engine Cap





182kW (244 bhp) / 6200 rpm



353 Nm / 1400 rpm



8-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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