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Korean carmaker KIA since its inception is known to manufacture reliable, safe, feature packed and comfortable vehicles. Things were going great for the company but they wanted to cater to the young automobile enthusiasts hence at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, the manufacturer dropped a bomb in the form of the Stinger. The design and looks of the Stinger turned many heads and the buzz started. So, let us drive it and find whether it is worth the hype or not.
Exteriors – The design of Kia Stinger GT is very alluring. From the side profile, one can see the sloping roofline which gives this GT a very unique appeal. The Kia signature Tiger Nose grille along with twin projector headlights and LED DRLs looks very menacing. There are air curtains for aerodynamics, the bonnet has two ducts for air vents, the ORVMs are finished in dark chrome and the car sits on 19-inch dual-tone alloy wheels. The rear gets a tail-light which runs across the width of the car. The rear bumper comes with a black treatment and houses quad exhausts.
Interiors – The dashboard of the Kia Stinger GT is all-black in colour and it looks very sporty. The materials used on the inside are very premium. The seats are wrapped in scarlet red colour upholstery. The dashboard houses a display which gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. There are some aluminium highlights on the centre console. The instrument cluster is a colour MID display.
The car comes equipped with an electric sunroof, dual zone climate control, Harman Kardon sound system, heated and ventilated front seats with memory function, power adjustable driver's seat, push-button start and stainless-steel foot pedals. There is a good amount of legroom and under-thigh support but the headroom is a little tight for tall passengers mainly due to the sloping roofline. Due to the transmission tunnel, accommodating three passengers in the rear seat is quite difficult.
Performance – In the international market, Kia Stinger GT is available with 3 engine options – one diesel and two petrol. Out of the three, our test vehicle is the most powerful one. Under the hood, it gets a 3.3-litre twin-turbo Lambda II V6 petrol engine that churns out 365 BHP and 510 Nm of torque. The V6’s growl is melody to the ears. As it’s a twin-turbocharged vehicle there is some amount of lag at low RPMs but as the revs build up the performance from the engine is next to none.
There is an 8-speed torque converter unit mated to the V6 motor and it changes gears very efficiently but if you wish to change gears manually it can be done with the help of steering-mounted paddle shifters. Power delivery is linear, the 100 km/hr mark from standstill comes in just 4.7 seconds and if driven sanely the car returns a fuel efficiency of 6-9 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – The Kia Stinger GT is a great handling vehicle; the steering is light and it weighs up as the vehicle speed increases. The steering offers a great amount of feel and feedback. There are five driving modes on offer – Smart, Comfort, Eco, Sport and Custom. The responsiveness of the engine, transmission, steering and suspension are altered depending upon the mode you choose to drive. The ride quality is good but due to low profile tyres, the level of ride quality decreases on bad roads. The vehicle is very stable at high speeds and the tyres offer great hold on the road. The brakes are strong and offer good anchorage.
Safety and After Sales Service – Safety-wise the car is loaded with technologies which include electronic parking brake with auto hold function, ISOFIX mounts, multiple airbags, ABS with EBD, lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking and tyre pressure monitoring system. The launch of the Kia Stinger GT is not yet confirmed and the dealership network of the company is expected to be as expansive as Hyundai.
Verdict – The Kia Stinger GT is a good overall package, it is packed with features, it looks good and offers great performance. Kia has not yet confirmed about the launch of the Stinger GT in India but if launched, we expect the pricing to be in the range of Rs. 60-65 lakhs (ex-showroom).
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