Kia’s razor-sharp pricing for its highly-anticipated Stinger sports sedan has set the market alight even before its launch this October, but according to the Korean car maker, the best is yet to come.
A walk up through the three grades of Kia’s first high performance model from the entry-level Stinger S at $48,990 through the mid-specced Stinger Si at $55,990 to the full-fruit Stinger GT at $59,990 reveals an unprecedented value equation.
“There is a belief that any entry-level model will be, for want of a better description, sparse,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith.
“That is not the case with the Stinger. The S has the same brilliant 3.3-litre bi-turbo engine as the GT, the same 8-speed gearbox with sports paddles as the GT and the same ability to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds.
“And there is safety and comfort equipment in this car that you would not normally see in anything but the top of the model range, including satellite navigation.
“It simply represents outstanding value, starting with the S but stretching across the range.”
In common with all three grades the Stinger S is powered by a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 which channels 272kW of power and 510Nm of torque to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The claimed 4.9-second 0 to 100km/h sprint is aided by the standard launch control function.
Helping to keep the power under control is a mechanical limited slip differential and a set of Brembo brakes (350mm quad piston front and 340mm dual piston rear) designed to pull the speed off as efficiently as the twin-turbo engine pours it on.
The entry-level Stinger rides on 18-inch wheels wrapped in 225/45R18 Continental ContiSport Contact 5 rubber.
On the safety front, the S packs a full suite of active and passive safety, featuring anti-lock braking with emergency brake force distribution and brake assist, Electronic Stability Control and traction control, Vehicle Stability Management, hill assist, rear view camera with dynamic parking guidelines, rear cross traffic alert, active hood pedestrian protection, LED daylight running lights and three child restraint points (two ISOFIX). There are also seven airbags including a driver’s side knee bag, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters.
The driver enjoys 8-way adjustment for the leather sports seating while the front seat passenger can adjust their seating six ways to find the optimum comfort position.
Cruise control with steering wheel mounted controls is standard, along with 3.5-inch mono instrument cluster, two 12V power outlets and two USB charging points.
The entertainment system boasts six speakers, a 7-inch touch screen control centre with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth compatibility and music streaming.
Stepping up to the Si adds a raft of extra features including 19-inch alloys with 225/40R profile front tyres and 255/35R19 rears.
Safety also gets a boost in the Si with Autonomous Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Alert, front parking sensors, and rain-sensing wipers equipped as standard.
On the comfort and convenience front the Si gains Adaptive Cruise Control, while in line with the S there are four cup holders and four bottle holders, a centre console storage box and front seat pockets but the Si adds an under floor luggage tray and a luggage net.
The entertainment system features an 8-inch touch screen and nine speakers including two under-seat woofers with active sound design.
At the top of the range the GT adds a 360-degree camera view in addition to rear view camera, Blind Spot Detection, Dynamic Bending Lights, High Beam Assist and full-colour Heads Up Display (HUD).
Setting the GT apart from the rest of the line-up are a range of external cues including electrochromic door mirrors, LED headlights with auto leveling, powered sunroof and two bespoke colours – Aurora Black and Snow White Pearl.
Inside, the GT gets Nappa leather seats with GT logos and the addition of lumbar support, powered bolster adjuster and thigh extender. There is a two-position seat memory with easy access button and a D-cut sports steering wheel.
The instrument cluster steps up to a 7-inch colour TFT-LCD screen, alloy sports pedals become standard and suede makes an appearance in the interior roof and pillar trims. There is also a wireless phone charging capability.
The entertainment system takes a major step up with a premium 15-speaker Harman Kardon system consisting of eight speakers, four tweeters, centre speaker and two subwoofers powered by an external amplifier.
READ MORE: 2018 Kia Stinger GT Review