What is it like on the inside?
It would’ve been easy for Kia to just lob a Sorento or Sportage dashboard in here. Saves time, money, and who’s going to notice, apart from, well, us? But no, they decided to go bespoke, and we appreciate the effort. You get a great slab of soft-touch leatherette dashboard with three aerospace-ish air vents, and it looks distinctive. Cool, even.
What lets the Stinger down is a deluge of plastic switchgear sprayed silver in an attempt to be passed off as real metal, which it obviously isn’t. Still, at least it’s not been covered in smeary ‘piano black’ plastic.
What’s new for the facelift?
Atop the dash is a new 10.25-inch touchscreen, replacing the old 8.0-inch unit with its thick bezel. The interface isn’t the swiftest to respond and the main menus are flawed by their use of the same colour for all the icons, so it’s tricky to use on the move especially as it’s a stretch to reach.
On the up side, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are built in, so you can ditch the Kia native interface most of the time, especially when you need to use the sat-nav.
It’d be cruel to call the cabin dated when so much of it is actually simpler, easier and safer to use than all the new touch-sensitive nonsense being used by Audi, BMW and Mercedes to systematically destroy their reputations for quality.
The Stinger’s climate control knobs and buttons don’t feel expensive. The physical dials bookending a seven-inch driver display are not coo-out-loud delightful. But they are easy to view, use and won’t go wrong, we’d wager.
Is it practical?
Climb into the rear and so long as the driver hasn’t taken full advantage of the seat’s lowliness there’s some footroom, plus decent legroom and more headroom than you’d expect given the sweeping silhouette. The boot’s 406 litres can be expanded to 1,114 litres by pulling the handle that flips the rear backrests forwards, but they don’t lie flat, as is usual in this class.
Rear visibility is a little pinched by the raked rear screen, but to help with avoiding cyclists and any blind-spot-invaders, the Stinger now has the same side camera trick as the Ioniq 5, so whenever you activate the indicators, the driver display screen shows a view down the car’s flanks, to just aid those trickier manoeuvres.
At last, a case of technology designed to make a car safer actually doing so, instead of just being a pain. Speaking of which, the Stinger’s horribly overactive self-steering aid is easily deactivated with a long press of the lane-keep assist button under the driver’s air vent.