95: Kia Stinger – ambitious effort to take on the likes of the BMW 3 Series

Top 100 cars for 2019: Rear-wheel drive sports saloon packs a lot of promise

Kia Stinger: It can be huge fun to drive, but too often it’s too much of a compromise

Kia Stinger: It can be huge fun to drive, but too often it’s too much of a compromise

 

Kia’s first-ever rear-wheel drive sports saloon, a genuine Korean rival to the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, is in many ways a totally brilliant car. Those ways, specifically, are when you first see it (in its slope-backed, snake-faced glory), and when you first fire up the 370hp V6 twin-turbo engine in the GT version, which spins and sings with a wonderful smoothness.

It becomes progressively less good when you drive it, though. The steering is actually pretty sharp, but the rest of the chassis just can’t quite keep up, too often lapsing into thumping and bumping over poor surfaces, or just feeling slightly loose and wayward.

It can be huge fun to drive, but too often it’s too much of a compromise. Diesel version has oddly inconsistent power delivery, and never feels as well engineered as the (expensive) V6 version. It gets closer to the Germans than any Korean first-try has any right to, but it’s a case of close but no cigar…

Best model: Stinger V6 GT for €66,895

Price range: €52,995 to €66,895. Finance from €608 per month.

Co2 emissions: 154 to 225g/km

Sum up: Korean does a convincing German impression, but needs more polish.