Kia Stinger 3.3 T-GDi GT S 5dr Auto
So, you’ve got a V6 that develops 376lb ft from 1,300rpm right through to 4,500rpm, capable of getting this 1,800kg longboi from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds. You know want happens next then: tyre bonfire!
Actually, the Stinger isn’t a lairy beast unless you deliberately tell it to be. Doing so is easy: twiddle the driving mode knob from Comfort through Sport into Sport Plus and the traction control is automatically switched off, meaning you exit junctions looking out of the side window, in your seven-year warranty saloon.
However, this isn’t really a muscle car. It’s more of a big, soft GT that can, when encouraged, roll up its sleeves and hustle. Do so for too long and the brakes go a bit long, the body control gets untidy and you’ll yearn for more feedback from the lifeless steering and crisper responses from the eight-speed automatic gearbox, which in auto mode is actually quite sluggish to kick down.
And it will kick down. A lot. Because even when you’ve told the car you’re doing things manually via the (plastic) paddles, the gearbox overrides you if the throttle is floored. Annoying.
On the upside, eight forward speeds mean you’ll motorway-along at over 30mpg. A more realistic average is mid-to-late 20s. This is not an ultra-sophisticated engine: there’s no clever cylinder deactivation or varying combustion cycles to stem its thirst. It doesn’t make a particularly inspiring noise either: more of a bassy hum.
All told, the Stinger is not really an ‘engine car’. And yet, despite not having the most promising set of components, the car drives with a more-than-the-sum-of-its parts aplomb.
It’s soothing to do distance in, wind noise isn’t present, and though the car hardly hides its weight, you feel cocooned and cossetted. You feel like there’s a lot of car around you and it’s all yours, as if you’re in an old Bentley. Only, you’re sat lower, and all the on-board equipment works.
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