The demise of the Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo and Holden Commodore SS has left fans of affordable performance sedans feeling downhearted. But a saviour has emerged from South Korea - the Kia Stinger.
Rather than just take over where Aussie sports sedans are leaving a gaping hole, Kia believes the Stinger will have a larger impact on its brand as it hopes it will fundamentally change the way Australian motorists perceive Kia.
This is Kia’s ‘WRX moment’, a chance for it to forever change the way buyers look at the Korean brand.
“It’s not very often you get to launch a car that will change the perception of the brand, and that’s exactly what we think the Stinger will do,” said Damien Meredith, Kia Australia’s chief operating officer.
Kia is offering two petrol engine options for the Stinger, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo and a 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo.
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The 2.0-litre produces 182kW of power and 353Nm of torque, while the V6 offers up punchier 272kW and 510Nm outputs. Both are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and send power to the rear wheels.
Kia Australia’s local engineering team has done a good job of finding a balanced suspension tune for the car, endowing it with both comfort and dynamic handling.
There are actually two tunes for the car, because the S and Si models come with a passive suspension set-up, while the GT-Line and GT models which top the four-cylinder and V6 range respectively, get a more sophisticated adaptive suspension system.
Comfort obviously offers up a softer, more compliant ride while Sport is firmer and offers more control. But it was the Smart setting that proved to be the pick on the twisting country roads between Canberra and Yass during our test drive. It is able to operate across both the Comfort and Sport settings so intuitively soaks up bumps when needed while still feeling sharp and responsive in the bends.
Test drive a Kia Stinger at Mid Coast Automotive, 100 Manning River Drive. Phone 6592 6300.