It might not have that stonking twin-turbocharged V6 under the bonnet, but Kia’s big sedan still impresses with its anti-SUV sentiment.
- Sound performance from the 2.0-litre turbocharged donk
- Rides, steers and handles with comfortable aplomb
- Classic sedan packaging is spacious and practical
- Passive-aggressive lane-keep assistance technology
- … that turbo V6 is still very appealing
- Capped-price servicing starts feeling expensive
In a range of quality and commercially successful vehicles, the 2022 Kia Stinger stands out as being the quiet achiever of the Korean carmaker.
It’s a format of vehicle that was once the go-to choice for Australian families – large sedans. But in the growing wave of SUV popularity, cars like this Kia Stinger are somewhat forgotten.
There’s plenty of noise being made about Kia’s impressive SUVs: Sorento, Sportage, and the growing range of Ioniq electric vehicles. Hell, even the Carnival people-mover has got some solid pizzazz.
However, don’t forget the humble sedan. Because there’s gold in those hills.
Anyway, let’s talk about the 2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line. It’s priced from $58,930 plus on-road costs carrying the all-you-can-eat specification level. The powertrain isn’t, however. In lieu of the larger 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6, we’ve got the still impressive 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder.
|Key details||2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line|
|Price (MSRP)||$58,930 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Micro Blue|
|Price as tested||$58,930 plus on-road costs
$63,090 drive-away (Sydney)
|Rivals||Peugeot 508 | Mazda 6 | Skoda Superb|
It’s a well-worn line of argument, but this classic sedan shape is an effective antidote to the dominant SUV as a family car. It’s comfortable, well packaged, and represents good value for money.
The boot – measuring in at 406L – seems to be bigger and more effective than I initially gave it credit for. We went away for the weekend and managed to fit an impressive amount of stuff in the back. It’s not deep or tall like an SUV, but it’s long and wide with the lift-back style opening at the rear.
The ultimate test for me in this regard is a big, bulky double pram. The Stinger took said pram quite happily, and we even snuck a few bags in around the periphery.
An SUV might have more litres of boot space on paper, but that’s mostly vertical space that isn’t as easy to utilise.
So from a family point of view, it’s really good. The second-row seats have good legroom and a good comfortable amount of tilt to the backrest. Adults fit in well, and our kids (along with their bulky kids’ seats) slotted in well also. There’s a big transmission tunnel, so don’t expect to fit five adults inside comfortably. But four? No worries.
The leather seats – heated and vented up front with electric control – have a perforated finish. These seats can take a fair bit of cleaning if you’ve got kids transferring all manner of things into the car. I found myself putting in some work with a toothpick and cloth at one stage picking out stuff from the perforated holes.
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The interior layout is conventional and quite effective. Three circular air vents evenly punctuate a broad and flat dashboard, which has loads of buttons and controls at the ready. The steering wheel has loads of buttons as well, along with paddle shifters for more spirited driving.
There are USB and 12V outlets located in a lidded compartment up front, along with a wireless charging pad. The electric handbrake frees up space and makes room for two cupholders in the regular spot.
And for those in the back, there are air vents and power outlets (12V and USB).
|2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line|
|Boot volume||406L seats up
1114L seats folded
Infotainment and Connectivity
Infotainment in the Stinger GT-Line is handled by a 10.25-inch tablet-style display that pokes out of the top of the dashboard. It’s a touchscreen, but is also supported by a good variety of buttons and dials for easy control.
The infotainment display is well stacked with features, like wired Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, satellite navigation and digital radio.
In front of the driver is a 7.0-inch multifunction display – bigger than the 4.2-inch display in lower specifications. It’s got the usual mix of information, including a digital speed readout and tyre pressure monitoring. It also has the trick of displaying the blind-spot image when you turn on the indicators.
The Kia Stinger’s five-star ANCAP safety rating is starting to feel old at five years, but the numbers still tell a good story. Scores include 91 per cent for adult occupant protection, 81 per cent for child occupants, 78 per cent for pedestrians, and 70 per cent for the active safety technology.
Standard technology includes front and rear parking sensors, 360-degree camera, blind-spot monitoring and blind-spot cameras, and autonomous emergency braking that works for cars, pedestrians, cyclists and junctions.
There’s also lane-keep assistance, lane-follow assistance, rear cross-traffic alert and avoidance assistance, safe-exit assistance, automatic wipers and automatic LED headlights.
While the V6-powered Stinger GT sits at the top of the range, this GT-Line model will be the attractive one for those who don’t necessarily want the big underbonnet power. Priced at $58,930 before on-road costs, it’s a significant $6030 cheaper than the Stinger GT.
On the other side of the ledger, the entry-level 200S costs $7680 less than this GT-Line. That’s a significant difference as well, but there is plenty of spec included in the additional asking price.
GT-Line picks up a mechanical limited-slip differential – an important addition for more spirited driving – wheels grow from 18 to 19 inches, and the staggered fitment of the GT-Line allows wider 255mm tyres at the back.
There’s also stuff like front parking sensors, 360-degree camera, a chunk of active safety technology, electric tailgate and sunroof, along with a premium interior and exterior treatment. So for mine, it’s money well spent.
|At a glance||2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line|
|Warranty||Seven years / unlimited km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 10,000km|
|Servicing costs||$1209 (3 years), $2311 (5 years), $3615 (7 years)|
The servicing costs are initially good over the first three years, but start to creep upwards after five and seven years. But having a seven-year, capped-price servicing schedule is useful, so you have a good idea of what you’re on the hook for over the years.
We averaged 10.2L/100km in our time with the Stinger GT-Line on a relatively heavy highway mix, but also including some driving that didn’t favour economy. That sits a little higher than the claimed average of 8.8L/100km, and the V6-powered GT has a higher claimed average of 10.2L/100km.
|Fuel Useage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||8.8L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||10.2L/100km|
|Fuel type||91-octane regular unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||60L|
Let’s face it, this engine is always going to be in the shadow of the twin-turbocharged V6, with its bucketloads of torque and impressive straight-line performance. But in saying that, this 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit is a good power plant and shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.
Running through a smart and smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox – along with effective driving modes – the 182kW and 353Nm (good figures, by the way) get the 1720-odd kilograms of Stinger moving with plenty enough urgency for everyday driving.
And when you get the chance to stretch the legs – and perhaps string a few corners together – there’s still enough power here to really enjoy yourself.
Don’t forget, this turbocharged sedan is rear-wheel drive. A dying breed within a dying breed, and it’s a genuinely fun car to drive with the limited-slip rear differential and quality Continental tyres.
Importantly, for a car like this, the baby doesn’t get thrown out with the bathwater. Steering, ride and handling seem sweetly balanced, having no harshness or loss of composure to worry about in varying conditions, speeds and road surfaces.
During our week with the Stinger, it proved to be a comfortable and painless means to travel from point A to point B with the family in tow, both around town and on the highway.
If you’re thinking that you need an SUV as your everyday family car, I’d urge you to reconsider that assumption.
|Key details||2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line|
|Engine||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol|
|Power||182kW @ 6200rpm|
|Torque||353Nm @ 1400–4000rpm|
|Drive type||Rear-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Eight-speed torque converter automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||106kW/t|
|Tow rating||1500kg braked, 750kg unbraked|
All in all, the Kia Stinger GT-Line is easy and comfortable to live with and drive, on both long and short distances.
Obviously, the question is whether you want to step up to the V6. The jump up would be easily justified to many who want the extra power. However, this four-pot variant doesn’t feel underpowered or underdone in any way.
And it’s able to still shine well, because the rest of the car is so well dialled.