When you hear the name Kia, what do you think of? Decent, solid cars right? Nothing too amazing, but fulfils the brief respectably.
Probably not performance though yeah? Well, perhaps you should, because the South Korean brand has just released its fastest car yet and all the figures point to great things.
The new Kia Stinger certainly lives up to its name with a sub-five-second 0-60mph sprint and a 168mph top speed, making it almost as fast as an Audi S4 and a BMW 440i.
Kia says this five-seater grand tourer is its most adventurous car ever and looking at it, we’re very inclined to agree.
Just from the front, its wide front grille and pinned-back headlights make it the most visually striking and threatening Kia we’re ever seen and the bonnet’s lines and vents lend it more design flair than what we usually see from Kia. The red exterior shade pushes its pacey edge but the grey perhaps suits it better.
Heading down the side, the embossed sills add more edge before the rear headlights and four tailpipes finish off what is in our minds the best looking Kia yet.
Let’s talk about that pace though. That sub-five-second sprint mentioned at the start is available in the range-topping model – the Stinger GT S – which is powered by a 3.3-litre 365bhp twin-turbo V6 (4.7 seconds).
Maybe Kia has cheated slightly by stating a zero to 60mph figure rather than the more widely used 0-62mph/100km/h figure, but it’s not implausible to think it could pick up an extra 2mph in a third of a second so we’ll let it slide in the name of marketing. To handle this pace, Kia has fitted Stinger GT S models with adjustable electronic suspension damping and Brembo brakes.
There’s also a tamer 244bhp two-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre 197bhp turbodiesel available aimed at company car drivers and families.
Inside, the cabin is more luxurious than you’ll have seen in any other Kia, with snug leather low-slung seats, a high-mounted wing-shaped dashboard, an aluminium-finish centre console, suede-like headlining, satin chrome interior door handles, alloy pedals, stainless steel door scuff plates and five aeronautically inspired spoked circular air vents.
Prices for the Stinger start at £31,995 for the GT-Line petrol, rising to £40,495 for the flagship GT S model.