Oh, Jeremy. Since you went wild and west to the USA, I seem to think that your writing has taken a different direction. Are you more badge conscious than before? If it doesn’t cost over $100k does a car not rate? I think that the reading public in general and your ‘fans’ in particular need to read the review on the Kia Stinger published in The Australian, last weekend.
Jeremy, far be it for me to say you’re a cock, but Jeremy, I think you’re a cock. Here’s the story – Clarkson on the Kia Stinger V6 Twin Turbo.
Hi, Bob Aldons, “The Car Guy”, presenting for your edification, my thoughts on the 2018 Kia Stinger 330SI Twin Turbo V6. You only get one chance to create a good first impression – The Kia Stinger does it very well. As I was returning to my office from Eagle Farm, my thoughts turned to the demise of Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore – at least the Australian built versions. The Stinger is everything that Ford and Holden should have designed and constructed for the Australian market. Sure it doesn’t have a thumping V8 engine but this 3.3 litre twin turbo makes up in kilowatts for the lack of litres. 272kw gives you enough oomph to get where you want to go in a hurry, but when you’re just driving, it’s smooth and comfortable.
My first drive is always down the Gateway motorway and I use this trip to understand the tech features of the car. Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Emergency Braking all tick the box for a high tech car. And it’s Rear Wheel Drive – Most imported cars, certainly from Europe and Asia tend to be front or all-wheel drive. Staying with rear wheel drive, at least in this model, gives drivers an Aussie car feel to the Stinger. And there’s a multiple of settings for the suspension. Eco, Comfort, Sport, Smart Drive and the option to create your own settings too.
And I want to let you know a few comments I received just this weekend. A number of people came up to the Kia when I was parked waiting for Suzi. “Hey what’s that?” was the general question. Rather than give them the answer straight away, I asked them a question. What do you think it is? MB CLS, Jaguar, and even one asked whether it was the new Maserati. When I told them it was a Kia Stinger, the first thing they did collectively was to look at the rear of the car, just to make sure I was telling them the truth.
And the truth is this – the design team at Kia have done a spectacular job with Stinger.
From Wikipedia, “The Kia Stinger traces its roots to the Kia GT Concept from the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show and the Kia GT4 Stinger from the 2014 North American International Auto Show. Designed by Peter Schreyer (ed. The grille’s named after him) and Gregory Guillaume (Kia’s Chief Designer) at Kia’s European studio in Frankfurt and engineered by former BMW M Vice President of Engineering Albert Biermann, the car was unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. (Biermann is now executive vice president of performance development and high-performance vehicles of the Hyundai Motor Group.)
According to Guillaume, the Stinger’s design was partially inspired by the Coca-Cola bottle. During an interview, he offered the following comment of the car’s purpose. “The new Kia Stinger is a true Gran Turismo, a car for spirited long-distance. It’s not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling all at the expense of luxury, comfort, and grace. The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey”.
What is it? Kia Stinger 330Si is a large 5 door with a lift-back rear. This model sits just below the GT. With standard engine tune, it produces oodles of power at 272kw, but I’m guessing that there’s more to be extracted from this engine. 510Nm of torque provides easy power without the need to tramp the accelerator to get the car up and going.
Colours in the current range are: Silky Silver, Ceramic Grey, Sunset Yellow, Hichroma Red, Micro Blue, Deep Chroma Blue, Aurora Black, Snow White Pearl.
Key Competitors: Holden Commodore, Peugeot 508, Skoda Superb, Volkswagen Arteon, Audi A4, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XE, Infiniti Q50, Lexus ES350, Mercedes C Class, Volvo S60,
Base Price: RRP price is $55,990 plus dealer delivery and government charges. That will equate to around $60,000 drive away in Queensland and a bit more or less in other states.
At the Front
I can’t really comment on whether the Schreyer grille is good or bad on the Kia Stinger. It’s just, well, it’s ok. If I look closely, it reminds me of face that’s frowning a bit.
Projector headlights are standard as are LED daytime running lights. The GT version gets a headlight upgrade to LED headlights with self-levelling. And there’s puddle lamps as standard across the range – displays lights on the ground when you open the doors at night
Down the Side
|Driver & front passenger SRS airbags|
Front side SRS Airbags
Curtain SRS Air Bags
Driver Side Knee Airbag
Active Hood Lift System (AHLS)
Impact Sensing Door unlocking
ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD5 & BA6
ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with TCS7
VSM (Vehicle Stability Management)
HAC (Hill-start Assist Control)
ESS (Emergency Stop Signal)
Seatbelt warning chime & light on all positions
Rear parking sensors with dash display
Front parking sensors with dash display
Rear view camera with in-audio screen display & dynamic parking guidelines
Electrochromic rearview mirror (auto dimming)
AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) with FCWS (Forward Collision Warning System)
LKA (Lane Keeping Assist)
DAA (Driver Attention Alert)
High-mount rear stop light (LED)
LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
Dusk-sensing automatic headlights
Speed sensing auto door lock
The Rear End
The luggage area is just huge. Golf clubs, prams, groceries, in fact you’d probably fit all of this in the boot without having to drop the rear seats. 406 litres here, so big is beautiful
With the second-row seat down the capacity grows to 1114 litres and that’s massive in any car. Seats can be split in a 60/40 combination to increase the standard load capacity and the seats fold flat rather than intruding into the cargo area. The standard reversing camera gives a wide angle of view, and has the predictive capacity of more upmarket brands .
There’ll be no complaints from rear seat passengers in the Kia Stinger. With the driver’s seat in my preferred position, a 6 foot or taller person has plenty of knee room. As a four-seater, the Kia Stinger could be considered a limousine and with three passengers, a comfortable ride in most environments. There are ISOFIX tethers for child capsules and seats too, so can accommodate the growing family.
I didn’t spend too much time setting up the seat on my way home. Electrics for the driver and passenger are standard in the 330Si. Adjustment for the steering wheel comes with reach and rake.
The dash is comprehensive but does take a bit of time to understand. The infotainment system is touch controlled and one good thing is it doesn’t smudge up like other cars I’ve tested. Read a bit more about the navigation system in my surprise and delight section
On the Road
My first drive back from Eagle Farm to Redcliffe was impressive. The Kia Stinger is a large car, not unlike a Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore in size. I’m keen to compare it against the Holden/Opel Commodore as soon as I can.
I’m looking forward to my regular road test route a trip to Peachester. on Wednesday.
The route on every car I test goes from my office on the Redcliffe Peninsula, up the highway turning off on Steve Irwin Way and then up the range behind Beerwah to our place at Peachester. From Peachester, I take Bald Knob Road coming out on the climb into Maleny and then out of Maleny back down the range heading back towards Peachester.
In all, these 157 kilometres of highway and winding range roads gives every car I drive a great test and an enjoyable one at that. The B grade road from Peachester to Maleny gives me the opportunity to throw the Kia Stinger around, testing its handling and suspension. This car is just superb – the 3.3. twin- turbo V6 has everything going for it and the 8 Speed automatic transmission doesn’t miss a beat.
The Kia Stinger handled the range from Beerwah to Peachester beautifully and the ‘B Class’ Bald Knob Road towards Maleny didn’t cause it any angst at all. I kept the suspension in the Sports setting and whilst I felt a few bumps on the drive, it was nothing that my BMW wouldn’t give me. In fact, and here’s a big call, I’d pick the Stinger ride comfort above the M3.
Green Vehicle Guide
The Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide website uses politically correct terminology to determine fuel economy. Urban, extra urban and combined. I’ll call it the way it is – City and suburbs, Highway and still use their definition of combined.
You might recall that these tests are conducted in a laboratory to Australian Standards so don’t expect to achieve City and Suburb results the same as these. In my experience, I’ve found that the highway test is closest to the actual economy you’ll get, but the city results can be undercooked by as much as 20%. Hopefully, real-world tests and results will be provided this year.
Combined Cycles (Highway and City) 10.2 litres per 100klm
City Cycle 14.9 litres per 100klm
Highway Cycle 7.5 litres per 100klm
Air Pollution Standard Euro 5
Tail Pipe Co2 239 Grams per kilometre – combined
These ANCAP safety tests were conducted in December 2017, so a few months before the new standards were introduced. I’d be comfortable in saying that if tested under the new regime, the 330Si would still achieve 5 stars. But a note of importance here. The lower spec models in the KIA Stinger range only achieved 3 stars for their lack of some important safety technology such as Advanced Emergency Braking
I’ve stated before in these articles, that there really isn’t a bad car being sold in Australia. That being said, if the vehicle you’re looking at doesn’t have a 5-star ANCAP rating, move on to something else.
If you’d like to download the complete technical report, click on this link ANCAP – Kia Stinger and then burrow further into the report by clicking on the “Technical Report” on the bottom LHS of the first page.
Warranty and Service
What can I say about the Kia Stinger warranty? Kia has set the benchmark for warranty for a number of years and their market share has continued to grow. Everyday customer like the reliability of Kia’s and the Commitment that a 7-year warranty provides is proof positive that Kia is confident in their own product. The 7 year Capped price Service Program on the Kia Stinger asks you to invest $3,377 over the term which averages out at $482 per year. There’s absolutely no reason not to service with your local Kia dealer, but remember to check their reviews at Google My Business.
There are always good dealers and better dealers – the ones with a good customer reputation are the ones I’d take my car to.
Kia Stinger is never going to be the vehicle that tows your 23-foot caravan or outlandish power boat. It can accommodate 1500kg with electric brakes fitted, which is sufficient for your pop up camper or small to medium boat or double axle trailer. Without the braking system fitted, it will allow you to use your weekend dump trailer at up to 750kg
I generally use RACQ Insurance to give you a guide as to what you’ll pay for your annual comprehensive car insurance. Conditions precedent for this cover are:
- Male driver over 60 years of age, having held a license for over 10 years
- Bronze member of RACQ with 2 other insurance policies
- Has paid cash for the car for private use with the car parked in a garage overnight
- The driver resides in postcode 4019
- The car is fitted with an engine immobilizer
- 1 at fault claim in the last 3 years, with no license suspensions
- Rating 1 currently having held that rating 1 between 5 and 9 years
- No driver under 25 will use the vehicle.
The premium quoted online by RACQ Insurance is: $557.74 with a $750 excess
Variations from the information above may result in different outcomes. Check online with RACQ Insurance for your own particular quote.
My Wife’s Opinion
When she saw the Kia Stinger, the first thing Suzi said was “You should get rid of the BMW and buy one of these”.
What I Like
Great turbo engine
Uses 91 octane fuel rather than expensive 95 premium or 98 octane
Excellent infotainment system
Lane Departure Warning System
What I Don’t Like
Confusing suspension settings
Surprise and Delight.
Kia Stinger is standard with a very smart navigation system. Not only does it inform you when you’re getting close to speed camera’s – no excuse to get a ticket with this car – but it also warns you well in advance of school zones. And that’s a huge plus for any car.
As you can see in the picture, the system provides the speed limit on screen as you travel.
Where to Buy – Dealers
Vehicle provided by Kia Australia. If you’re in the market to buy a Kia Stinger, pick your dealer carefully. When I want to check out the ‘worthiness’ of a dealer, I Google ‘Kia Dealers Brisbane” where the city is the one that you live in or around and the brand is that particular one you’re interested in.
I only list dealers who have achieved a minimum of 5 reviews with Google and then only those with 4 stars or higher.
From a South East Queensland perspective here’s the dealers I’d visit
Northside Brendale Kia 4.7 Stars
Eastside Keema Kia Bayside 4.7 Stars
Southside Motorama Kia 4.6 Stars
Westside None to recommend
Sunshine Coast Cricks Kia 4.2 Stars
Gold Coast von Bibra Kia 4.7 Stars
Bob Aldons is the owner and founder of The Car Guy, reviewing cars, reporting on Car Industry Matters, Car Tech and the world at large. He’s spent the last forty years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership. Bob knows cars.
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My reviews aren’t based on power performance or high-speed handling capacity. They’re not based on 0-100 Kim/hr of 4.0 seconds. And they’re certainly not super luxury vehicles that many other “old timers” are feted on by the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin
Back when I started in the motor industry salespeople were schooled and skilled in a process called the road to the sale. Part of that process was a presentation of the car that the customer was ultimately considering,
The six position sell showed the features, advantages, and benefits as it related to that specific car in the eyes and thought process of that particular customer
Those days of a true car sales professional seem to have gone.
Nowadays it seems that all salespeople want to do is accept that the customer knows everything about the car they’re interested in, want to crunch the customer as quickly as possible and get onto the next sale
In my opinion, this is one of the reasons that there’s such a high turnover in salespeople in this industry of ours.
Now I think that I’m a car industry expert, not because I sell lots of cars, but, as I was taught over 40yeras ago, time sells motor cars.
The more time you spend with a customer, the more information you provide them and the more you’re there for them Even AFTER they take delivery of their new car, the more repeat and referral business you’ll get.
Typically second and subsequent sales only provide 10% of a car salespersons business. Referral business, where an existing customer refers a friend, relation or work colleague back tot eh selling salesperson as someone to trust and buy a car from is even less – probably 5%
So, if you’re a young salesperson reading this article, let me tell you that you should be getting 40-50% of your business from repeat and referral business.
And how do you get that much? Well, that’s a story for another article or an opportunity to join me in a training course.
For your interest, my motoring reviews are my opinion of the vehicle I’m testing. The manufacturer or distributor, in this case, Kia Australia, doesn’t tell me what to write or ask for a ‘nice’ review. Nor am I paid for these reviews – I simply call it as I see it.
I often wonder about the ‘truth’ that I see from other motoring journalists. And I’m particularly referring to newspapers, online forums, and magazines where the company that owns the publication receives substantial advertising support from the various manufacturers.
Do the owners or editors tell their journalists to go easy on the review? I’m not sure, never having been in that position. Would I turn to softer reviews if my company was being paid for good reviews? Not likely. My independence as a writer is not for sale. I’d rather say no than be bought.
In any case, If that ever happens, rest assured that I’ll be telling that story with interest.