Here are five of the Kia Stinger's rivals | Top Gear
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Thursday 30th November
Top Gear series 25

Here are five of the Kia Stinger's rivals

The Kia Stinger GT is a rear-drive sports saloon, with some big names to overcome

  1. Audi S4 – £46,050 (saloon)

    Yep, for about the same money as a Kia, you can have an Audi S4. That is, of course, before you have had a crack at the options list, but that’s on you.

    For the new A4, Audi focused on comfort, quietness and technology. Luckily, the S4 combines it with serious pace – zero to 62mph in just 4.7 seconds, thanks to a turbo V6 with 349bhp and 369lb ft of torque. This, if you can believe it, will make an Audi S4 less powerful than a Kia. 

    That said, headline figures are just that – and we’re doubting that you’d ever notice the 26bhp and 7lb ft deficit, thanks to the Audi's flat torque curve from 1,300 to 4,500rpm. Now, the Audi is all-wheel-drive only, so rear-drive oversteer enthusiasts should look elsewhere. But, if you’re a Labrador enthusiast, you can get the S4 as an estate with a 1,510-litre boot.

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  2. BMW 440i Gran Coupe M Sport – £45,490

    We still think the 3 Series is the best junior executive car – even if the margins are getting smaller and smaller these days. So, a four-door 4 Series, based on the 3, makes for quite a good thing. 

    It has frameless window glass in the doors, which makes it instantly cooler, the steering is sharper than the 3 Series, and there’s a huge, 1,300-litre boot with the rear seats folded down, thanks to its hatchback rear end. 

    The BMW straight six is quite down on power compared to the Kia (yes, you just read that sentence), with 326bhp and 332lb ft, which we imagine would be beyond depressing if you lost a head-to-head to a Korean family saloon.

  3. Jaguar XE S – £48,045

    The 3 Series rival from Jaaag is certainly a lovely thing. With a lightweight, 75 per cent aluminium body, exceptionally engineered suspension and a supercharged, 3.0-litre V6, it’s definitely an attractive proposition.

    The XE is available with all-wheel-drive, which we’d advise against, because you can only get it with a 178bhp diesel. Boo. 

    The one you want, the XE S, comes with 340bhp and 332lb ft from a force-fed V6, but unlike the turbo Kia, the Jag is supercharged, for low-end grunt. And low-end grunt – not power – is what you use every day, unless you’re a race driver (and no, Sunday sessions at Brands Hatch don’t count).

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  4. Mercedes-AMG C43 – £45,830

    Finally, something with more power than a Kia.

    It makes sense that the same people whose engines dominate F1 are also responsible for… slightly more power than a Korean four-door saloon. 

    With 367bhp and 383lb ft from its 3.0-litre V6, the C43 is capable of zero to 62 in 4.7 seconds – faster than the Kia and just enough for us to keep faith in the premium carmakers. 

    It’s all-wheel drive or nothing, unlike the Kia, and has one extra gear in its box. Combine that with a gorgeous interior, and a three-pointed star on the bonnet, and all of a sudden, the Stinger’s not quite as er… venomous?

  5. Wildcard: Ford Focus RS – £32,765

    Four doors? Check. Huge lumps of turbocharged power? Also check. A badge on the front that doesn’t scream ‘I downsize businesses for a living’? That’s a big check. 

    The Focus RS is performance, democratised – at £32k, it’s £8k cheaper than the Kia. And that’s a lot. 

    Of course, it probably won’t be the long-range grand tourer that Kia promises the Stinger GT will be, but, in the words of blokes everywhere, don’t be soft. 

    And think about what you can do with the £8k you save! We did. 

    - Shadow black paint job: £525
    - Recaro shell front seats: £1,145
    - Luxury pack, for power-folding door mirrors, rear parking sensors, privacy glass and speed-limiter/cruise control: £1,000
    - Forged alloy wheels: £975 
    - SYNC premium nav system: £465
    - Mountune FPM375 kit, for 370bhp and 376lb ft (for the same torque and five more bhp than the Kia): £899
    - Many, many track days on Brands Hatch's Indy circuit: from £149 a day

    So, this or a four-door Kia. Your choice.

    Read the full review of the Focus RS  and a quick blast in the RS with Mountune kit

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