Wednesday, July 8, 2020
ADVT 
Auto

2019 KIA Stinger GT-Line

By Benjamin Yong, 20 May, 2019

    Making a sporty statement

    In the last few years, Kia has carved a solid lane for itself building smart-looking sensible four doors, crossovers and even an electric cute-ute. That’s why the world took notice when a production fastback sport sedan was announced in 2018: the Stinger.

    This grand tourer — first teased as a concept back in 2011 at the Frankfurt Motor Show — has gotten a lot of press and it’s well deserved. A combination of bold styling, practicality and spirited performance, the vehicle has brought some much-needed exuberance to the growing brand.

    “Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world, that dream is now a reality,” says Orth Hedrick, product planning vice president at Kia Motors America, in a news release. “From its GT Concept-car origins to its tuning and refining on the legendary Nürburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.” Former Audi designer Peter Schreyer and his team are responsible for the exterior’s sleek form. The now-iconic Tiger Nose grille sits front and centre, flanked by optional LED headlamps. Below is a pair of combination air intakes and curtains that, together with a smooth underbody, enhance aerodynamics and reduce lift.

    The side view is equally impressive, featuring short front and rear overhangs, a gently sloping roof and rear window and muscular character lines.

    In person, the Stinger appears quite long especially when parked next to other cars. That extended wheelbase, however, is what affords the exceptional interior comfort. First off, the cabin is roomy, which is not an attribute you might expect in this segment. Drivers do sit rather low, but not annoyingly so to the point where the view of the surroundings is compromised. All grades are swathed in leather, and for an extra cost can be upgraded to the ultra-soft Nappa variety. One immediately noticeable bummer? Among all that real estate overhead, there’s no moonroof to open and soak up a few rays on the road.

    The D-shaped steering wheel feels good in hand, and I love that Kia went with a T-shaped gear lever in an age when manufacturers are increasingly turning to transmission select knobs or buttons. The audio already sounded excellent spilling out of the nine speakers in our new-for-2019 GT-Line spec tester’s stereo, although true enthusiasts will appreciate the available 720-watt Harman Kardon system. GT cars are made for cruising, and the Stinger’s rigid chassis and tuned suspension soaked up all the bumps while providing sharp handling as I navigated twisty bits of Vancouver freeway.

    Under the hood of the GT-Line model that as mentioned was launched, is a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine producing 255 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. No, it’s not even close to the 365 horses offered by the bi-turbo 3.3-litre V6 in the higher trims, however not everyone is after achieving the fastest lap times and the four banger is perfect for around town motoring. To kick things up a notch, rotate the Drive Mode dial on the centre console to Sport and the computer instantly alters throttle response and shift patterns towards more fun operation. For example, lower gears are held longer — unfortunately no change takes place in exhaust noise. If anything, a loud whiney sound emanates from the transmission. The 2019 Kia Stinger GT-Line is in dealerships now, starting at $39,995.

    Highlights

    MSRP: $42,080

    Motor: 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder

    Horsepower: 255 @ 6,200 rpm

    Torque (lb-ft): 260 @ 1,400 rpm

    Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic

    Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive

    Fuel economy: 12.3 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

    MORE Auto ARTICLES

    2018 Maserati Levante S GranSport

    Even as a journalist, it is not often that I get to drive an exotic car like a Maserati, and ones that I have ridden have been a little disappointing in many areas.

    2018 Range Rover VELAR

    “We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything,” says Land Rover chief design officer Gerry McGovern. 

    2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 Wagon 4MATIC

    Bigger and bolder than ever before, the gorgeous vehicle has striking bodylines. If you’ve seen the sedan variant, the story is much the same save for, of course, the tail section. 

    2018 BMW M240i

     
    The little Coupe feels lively and agile, running on an Adaptive M suspension setup comprised largely of aluminum. Throw in a low centre of gravity, near 
    50:50 weight distribution and variable electromechanical sport steering and what you’ve got is a car that truly handles as though it’s on rails. 

    TIPS for buying a pre-owned BMW

    Once you have made a decision to purchase a pre-owned BMW, the first thing to do is find out the history of the car. 

    2018 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan: Refined for Greater Performance

    2018 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan: Refined for Greater Performance

    The CTS-V is by far one of the best and most refined performance cars I have driven up to date.