This asian hot shoe meets the european performance sedans head on
One year after the official Philippine debut, we finally get our hands on the famed Kia Stinger GT. It’s not because of lack of trying, mainly because situations arose that postponed our appointment, not to mention the droves of other drivers wanting to test the famed sedan. Well, now is the time to finally drive the icon.
The Kia Stinger is the Korean manufacturer’s first-ever rear-wheel-drive sports sedan. This turbocharged monster is a five-door hatchback that reflects the style and substance of performance legends, with its long hood, muscular curves and stylish spoked wheels. Hello, European Super sedans.
Since its global introduction in 2018, and subsequently making its Philippine debut in 2019, the Stinger made a leap forward by speeding head on to the more renowned European sports sedan level. Kia made quite a departure from offering econoboxes and minivans to performance cars. Although the Stinger finds it roots from the Genesis line, is a class on its own; a big sedan with a hatch- -and a big bad engine wit rear wheel drive. Maybe Kia is trying to tell us something.
Initially offered with two turbocharged powerplants; a 4-cylinder and a V6, Kia Philippines opted to go all out with the V6 Twin-Turbo. With an actual 3.3cc displacement, the twin-puffed engine gives out an astonishing 370hp and a muscular 510Nm of torque. You read right: that is super car territory- -in a sedan body. The Kia Stinger GT line is the More-Door King of the hill.
The 8-speed automatic transmission is seamless, with quicker gear shifting. The paddle shifter is also useful, but a tad slower in changing gears than expected. Straight line performance is unequaled, you can feel the power pinning you to your seat, however, on heavy cornering, body roll is evident, maybe because of the size and weight. But it could still smoke those lesser sedans.
The 19in. tires are huge and great to look at, but come at a price; road unevenness is felt coming up the suspension. There is no notable noise but a bit of vibration is felt. The 225s up front and the wider 255s at the back give the much-needed road adhesion from the engine torque. But high-speed stability is pronounced, and cornering is done with more confidence with nary a tire squeal. Traction is just no problem here. Still, if you want to play around, turn-off the traction control and let the tires squeal a little!
As for fuel economy, it makes an average 9km/L city driving. Not bad actually, considering the body weight and engine power.
Driver Centric , Passenger oriented
As stated before, the Stinger is a performance-oriented sedan, therefore the focus is on the driver. All controls are easy to use; the electronic shifter just needs a nudge to select gears, with the park brake automatically releasing. Vital controls are on the middle console; Driving modes dial is flanked by the traction control button and auto hold—all within reach. Down further is the 360º camera switch, which you can activate anytime when maneuvering or turning,
Inside the Cabin
The interior is subdued elegance. Although the upholstery is black, the material is quite exquisite and comfortable. The front sets boasts ventilated cooling, a boon on hot days, and memory settings for your favorite sitting position. The back seats tell a different story; generous leg space and comfortable sitting position is at par with its European counterparts…maybe even better. Charging ports and dedicated AC vents further spoils the passengers.
The hatchback configuration is a much-welcome feature. The loading capacity is greatly increased because of easy access and the cavernous space. There is a tray to cover the precious cargo from the outside, plus providing additional storage space for small items.
Drive Modes: By tuning the dial, you can pick your preferred setting om the Stinger. The different modes also alter the main gauge display to reflect the proper information.
Commonly used when driving on the highway, Sport Mode makes steering more responsive and performance-oriented by giving better handling and greater control at higher speeds.
It gives the steering a weightier feel, quickens throttle response and transitions the paddle-shift gearbox to provide a boost of sportiness.
Stinger’s default Comfort Mode makes steering easier and lighter and providing a smoother suspension feel. When driving around the city, Comfort Mode provides smoother acceleration, allowing for a more relaxed ride.
Eco Mode maximizes the vehicle’s fuel efficiency by adjusting the engine and transaxle operating considerations. In lieu for a slightly higher power output, Eco Mode improves gas mileage for both highway and city travelling.
The Stinger’s Smart Mode monitors your driving style and switches constantly through Sport, Comfort and Eco modes to provide the optimum balance between performance, fuel economy, and smooth operation.
The Custom Mode enables a personalized ride by allowing drivers to alter the suspension, throttle and steering characteristics in accordance with their preferences.
All these features and engine prowess is nothing without the overall design. Any enthusiasts will tell you that looks make the car. With that said, the Kia Stinger’s looks is nothing to scoff at.
The front boasts integrated air curtain bumper and an aero dfender garnish. The Rear is equipped with functional quad exhausts and integrated diffuser, while a pair of side skirts along the rocker panel complement the profile. Completing the look are the wide rim/tire combo (exposing the BREMBO calipers) and full-width LED taillamps.
Fact of the matter is the Kia Stinger GT is more than looks and power; it is a feat of engineering that will benefit the driver and passengers. Unseen technological marvels such as stronger underbody rail cage and stiffer subframe panel joints were developed to give you the whole package. Safety, Power and Comfort is what legends are made of, and the Kia Stinger GT has all that – -and more.
Specifications: 5-door Hatchback, 5-passenger, Rear wheel drive
3.3 liter V6, Twin Cam 32 Valve Twin Turbo Gas
- MAX. OUTPUT(PS/RPM) 370 / 6,000rpm
- MAX. TORQUE(NM/RPM) 510 / 1,300-4,500rpm
Wheelbase (inches) 114.4
Length (inches) 190.2
Width, without mirrors (inches) 73.6
Height (inches) 55.1
Front Track Width (inches) 62.8
Rear Track Width (inches) 63.7
Base Curb Weight (pounds): 4023
Front Suspension Type: Strut
Rear Suspension Type: Multi-Link
Brake Type: 4-Wheel Disc with Brembo Calipers
Front Wheel Size (inches): 19 X 8
Front Tire Size: P225/40VR19
Rear Wheel Size (inches): 19 X 8.5
Rear Tire Size: P255/35VR19
Wheel Material: Aluminum
Price as Tested: 2020 Kia Stinger GT PHP 3,235,000
For more information, visit https://www.kia.com/ph
Text/Images by Earl Manalansan