There is a particle of good in every particle of evil, every ugly duckling has something beautiful about itself.., and what was special about Hyundai Pony, Kia Sephia or Enterprise? Nothing. Such and other creations traveled the roads of all Europe in the late 90s. I have often wondered what made potential users buy these cars and to this day I do not know the answer to this question. Kia and Hyundai wandered in the late twentieth century oppressed by Japanese competitors which in those days were extremely strong. The strongest argument for these cars was the price however the list of advantages basically ended there.., well, except that it did not rain on your head and the journey looked better than traveling by Polonez, but seriously that's it. I suspect that the Koreans knew that if nothing changes in a moment the competition will “unsaddle” them permamently. Personally, several times in my life I had the opportunity to ride as a Hyundai Pony passenger and to be honest, I stopped to like cars for a moment what terrified me that's why I personally was for Hyundai and Kia to focus on the production of washing machines, dryers and record players but not vehicles. The real breakthrough came in 2006 when Ceed model saw the light of the day. In my opinion, this car has done a miracle, because it changed the brand's image forever, which was previously considered a joke on four wheels. The Kia Ceed had a difficult task and was initially seen as a Trojan horse, but shortly a growing number of drivers spoke positively about this car, which defended itself because it drove quite well, was nice and failure-free what could not be said about Japanese cars at the beginning of the new millennium. Kia had one more strong argument and namely it was 7-year warranty which seemed something unreal in those days. Until today I do not know if the Koreans really decided to go all in or just they were so sure about their products.One thing is for sure.., the Germans came with help and Kia Ceed was the first car entirely designed, built and sold on the old continent. Korea went with the flow and started releasing more models on the market, which were not less successful and certainly no one was laughing, just the opposite people began to attach more and more to the brand .Well, but is everything in this whole story so colorful and perfect? Not completely. In my opinion, each new model did not bring anything new except the already known production quality and a long warranty but where's a bit of excitement and extravagance? Anything more than 1.2, 1.4, 1.6 or regular diesel engine? Many times getting on Kia or Hyundai I noticed the same monotony, you press gas and nothing, you turn the steering wheel, catch the tilt and somehow, by sticking to the road, you go the next bend, silted like a monk during the meditation. It had to take a bold step forward only that it involved a high risk because to play seriously you had to change the league and go to the top league and here the jokes end because the competition is powerful. Albert Biermann and Peter Schreyer came to Kia with the help or maybe it was Kia who came to them. People well known in the automotive world. The first man was already working in the 80s in the sport department M BMW where as an engineer he participated in the design of such cars as the M3 E30. While Mr. Schreyer co-created the Audi TT, whose appearance is timeless. Both gentlemen joined forces, they got to work and in 2017 they showed the car, which not only had to “bite” premium cars but compete with them with dignity. This is how Stinger was born, the car being a rival of the BMW 4 series, Audi A5 sportback and VW Arteon. To be honest, I was a bit afraid of Stinger and not because of his performance since I have already driven many fast and expensive cars. I was afraid of disappointment because I knew that I would not be able to compare this car with Mondeo, Insignia or Elantra but to cars high-end...
On Saturday morning, I went to the car showroom, where the newest and most powerful version of Stinger(GT) awaited me. Formalities took a while and at that time I exchanged my first, shy glances with my new red travel companion. At first glance this liftback seems huge, especially opposite to the other civil cars standing in the car showroom. After a while, however, I noticed familiar shapes in this muscular figure, which emphasize the design of the body of this car, I associate with solutions that I have seen before in BMW cars with the stylistic package M. The rear lights of our rocket bring to mind the new Panamera..., was it Porsche modeled on the Kia?, ultimatelythe Stinger was built earlier :) To sum up, the whole is a good stylistic Korean- German- European job. The interior of this car was really well made, and the materials used to finish the interior are solid and they do not differ in quality from those we can find in German Premium class cars.The seats in my car model have been trimmed with a delicate, red leather. The whole is heated, ventilated and electrically adjustable in all possible ways (seat inclination angle, heights, side supports, retractable footrests, miracles, wonders and other bits and pieces) literally anything your heart desires. A position at the wheel is good for me, a slight correction of the seat's settings and everything is perfect, and in addition the view of analog clocks in front of your eyes with eye catching sports font and white backlight, awww, just the indicator of the tachometer could revolve up to 8000, then it would be a fairy tale. The central monitor display is not huge, but that's not the reason why I would not like it. The reasons are different, viz there is no touchpad, button, joystick, or anything that would allow you to control the functions of the car with your arm resting on the armrest. In order to click something you simply have to press the icon on the touch screen while driving. Well, it's fine but to do what I wrote earlier you have to pull your back from the chair leaning towards the screen … Personally, I like the monitors hidden in the dashboard. I do not like something sticking out above the shelf on the center console. All the rest is alright, intuitive, necessary and well-working. We will not find here the number of buttons straight from the cockpit of the fighter aircraft which is good. It has to be practicaly, reliably, aesthetically.., and that's how it is. The functions and configuration options are not as extensive as Audi's. Here, while driving slowly, we can "run" fingers on the menu. The more interesting functions that I came across when searching in the settings are: the ability to make voice memos , Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging, the ability to listen to music from Youtube by connecting to a Hotspot with a car. A nice option is to create your own menu according to your needs in order not to wander in the jungle of functions that we do not use anyway. Now a curiosity, I noticed that the Germans are rather reluctant to admit that in their supersport machines the sound of the engine is amplified with the help of the vehicle audio system, and KIA ? It does not bother with it at all, the proof is the ability to set the sound of the engine at our own discretion; off, minimized, normal, enhanced (just enter the sound settings). A lot of functions regarding the settings of the vehicle itself are on the dashboard. Using the buttons on the right of the steering wheel, we can set the head up display (something that displays information as if behind the windshield of the vehicle in front of us), power steering, door closing, lights, easy getting on, driving assistant along with other functions related to road safety. If we like gadgets then we will find a compass, boost pressure gauge, oil temperature gauge, on-board car computer. Everything is readable, but unfortunately often described with strange type shortcuts DAW, FCW, FCA, BCW and Daewoo (the latter is obviously a joke), but these abbreviations are annoying.
The Stinger is driven by a six cylinder v type engine with a capacity of 3.3 liters and a power of 370 horsepower. The whole set is coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission via which the drive is transferred to all four wheels. The car manufacturer took care of making the rear drive axle the biggest job, that transmits up to 80% power and torque on the wheels, which means that it promises to be fun. Of course, the whole set is managed by a computer that is able to distribute power and torque in a different proportion to individual wheels depending on the driving conditions in which we have to move. The heart of this machine is put into motion using the Engine Start button, and then a slightly harsh sound of the exhaust system comes to our ears. There are five driving modes available, which unfortunately can not be configured any way we want to. I reset my computer and started my journey in Eco mode (I can still choose Smart, Comfort, Sport and Sport +). I did not leave well yet, and I already had a few drivers ready for the race. The Stinger's magic works good, but I do not tend to organize rallies with an unheated car around the church so I just let it go. The steering system was the first positive element I paid attention to while driving. I have heard opinions that it is artificial and “rubbery”, but I personally think that it is not true. The car responds precisely to every little move, but this is not bothersome and exaggerated but very predictable. The suspension in eco and comfort modes allows for a quite comfortable trip, but I would not say it's a couch straight from the S-Class. It's comfortable, but do not expect a rubber pontoon. The engine rumbles somewhere in the background, but before we start it, we can basically forget about it. So “brushing” the gas gently I made 10.6 ltr./100 km. I think it's a pretty good result for a car that will accelerate in 4.9s to the first hundred. The problem is that I get bored with this journey quickly and I can not refrain from activating Sport + mode. The first thing I heard was actually the amplified sound of the engine ( it is a pity that it is a loudspeaker and not flaps in the exhaust system), the suspension visibly stiffens and the gearbox reduces the gear down and the party begins :). Stinger it's a rocket and I have no doubts about it. The speedometer indicator moves quickly down and is limited only by the gearbox that changes gears in just a fraction of a second and without any hesitation. It's sporty, and overtaking is a pleasure. The only thing I did not feel was the change in the steering system work parameters, as it was, but I do not mind because it's just fine. In the sport plus mode, the seals moved, and "hinge" I had the impression that on the unevenness suspension is coming to an end.., it's hard. Approaching the first major bend I gave up a little because I've got cold “feet”..., I did not know what to expect from this car, but it went smoothly. The car entered the bend without the slightest nervous signs that would suggest shortcomings in the suspension work. The another attempt is already pressed gas and exit the bend with open throttle and guess what? And nothing more, like some kind of game "who can do more". I started to wonder what's going on because recently similar driving experience I ve had in pretty good Quattro. Finally, I found a piece of free and even square, where I tried to drive Stinger's crazy and I admit it was not easy. Then like the last amateur I turned the steering wheel and added gas, the rear of the car left and I felt that the car was behaving nervously. Really big WOW, I did not expect it to be that good. When I was returning the highway to the base, an interesting story happened to me, namely I see that the new Skoda Superb following me, the manager of this unit keeps provoking me , and is on my tail. "Customer is King " I thought and started “treatment”. I pressed the gas until the end and see in the mirror how Skoda is lost somewhere in the distance. Not seeing the point of the further game, I gave up and after a while I see how a breathless Skoda with full force comes straight from the darkness towards me. When it was coming closer with full swing I added gas again I left him high and dry.., he changed the concept and went down the nearest exit probably towards the house, good because I also wanted to sum up this wonderful car :)
Would I buy a Stinger GT? Ladies and Gentlemen, this car is really worth the 53,500 thousand Euro that you have to spend on it. I do not know how Kia did, but it did .. it built a car that is not only very good in its class, but in my opinion, it aspires to be the leader in terms of quality, price, performance and makes a big fuss in the Premium class. Unfortunately, the car is underestimated, it's a pity. In fact, the only thing that could give me sleepless nights is fuel consumption during a hard ride. For Stinger, 20 liters per 100 kilometers is not a problem. In my entire test, the car burned 14.5 liters of gas per 100 kilometers, but I did not take away the fun of driving. Is there something that annoys me in this car? Yes .., seven year warranty stickers, wherever possible. Gentelmen importers! we have known about it for thirteen years you give the longest warranty on the market therefore I think that one sticker is enough :) Thank you for your time and I invite you to take a look at the pictures!
At the end, I would like to thank the company Kia Grupa Polmotor from Szczecin for sharing Stinger for the tests.
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Attention! This site is for information purposes only, does not promote any driving style and is not of a training nature. All cars covered by the descriptions and photos posted on this site are used in accordance with traffic regulations and with the highest security measures in order not to cause any damage to road users. The author of the blog is not responsible for other road users who in a manner inconsistent with traffic regulations or with the exposure to the health and life of others, will use vehicles on public roads and outside them.