New technology with good old fashion muscle
1. DON’T MAKE ’EM LIKE THIS ANY MORE
Give the right pedal some hoof and the response is spectacular. Kia’s halo car has some serious firepower courtesy of a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 that pumps out a hefty 272kW and 510Nm. From standstill it can churn out zero to 100km/h in less than five seconds. Most sports cars don’t get near that figure. It’s seriously quick and has the ability to mix it with prestige big guns, like the Mercedes-AMG C43, BMW M340i or an Audi S4 which would all have limited change from $100K. For those who love to drive, it also boasts rear-wheel drive — the driveline choice for the Holden Commodore and Falcon which was embraced and loved all over Australia. This is the same engine used in the new Genesis G70, Hyundai’s prestige brand. For extra aural fun it does need the exhaust upgrade which dealers can do for about $2660.
2. COP THIS FOR POWER
The raw speed of Kia’s Stinger has even caught the attention of Police for the right reasons. Cops in the Northern Territory, West Australia and Queensland have all been wielding patrol Stingers since last year. Fully kitted out Stinger cop cars even made an appearance at SEMA, one of the world’s most prestigious automotive tuning shows. Most join the force unmodified except for extra wiring for various lights and operational equipment systems.
3. GOOD KIT FOR THE COIN
Extra mechanical kudos comes via 18-inch alloys shod with ContiSport rubber, steering wheel paddles, big Brembo brakes and a mechanical limited slip differential for improved cornering. Don’t expect to be digging too deep into your pocket; the only added extras at this spec are two exterior colour options that are $695, deep blue and a pearl white. No-cost options include three silver hues, blue, red and orange. The only interior colour for the 330S is black, and while it lacks some panache, the leather trim and seven-inch colour screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto add some excitement. That touchscreen does look underdone for a big car, you have to step up into the GT to get an eight-inch option with a Harman/Kardon stereo.
4. ADD SOME CARBON INTO THE MIX
If all that leaves you underwhelmed, there is always the just-released Carbon Edition which is priced from $67,990 drive-away. It sits atop the Stinger pile and has an alcantara covered sports steering wheel, carbon fibre door mirrors, grille surround, fender vents, rear skid plate and hood vent.
5. DRAWING A CROWD
Kia set the benchmark with its warranty at seven-year unlimited kilometres. Others like SsangYong and MG have joined, while other mainstream big guns like Hyundai, Holden and Nissan have offered the same coverage until the end of the year. Watch for Kia to move in this realm … much of its Australian success has been put down to this warranty coverage and 10 years would not be beyond the marque to further differentiate itself and remain ahead of the pack. One area where there isn’t much competition is the large car arena. It’s a rapidly shrinking market still dominated by the Holden Commodore, but the Stinger is consistently gaining ground.
KIA STINGER 330S
PRICE $53,490 drive-away
SAFETY 5 stars, 7 airbags, AEB, lane keeping assistance, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors
ENGINE 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo, 272kW/510Nm
TRANSMISSION 8-speed auto; RWD