THE 2021 Kia Stinger 200S. Essentially the base model in a four variant line-up that also includes a GT-Line, 330S and GT. The first two of those are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine producing 182kW of power.
The latter two are powered by a 274kW 3.3-litre twin turbo 6-cylinder. But we’re not here for those. We are instead focused on the entry level option, which costs around $50,000 plus on-roads, give or take $50.
It was also this author’s first drive of Kia’s performance sedan, and one has high hopes when this car gets talked up so much, particularly in its GT form. That means if you’re expecting twin turbo grunt and performance, you’re going to be disappointed.
The 200S just isn’t that kind of car. Sure, it does have a pretty nice note to the exhaust and engine when you give it some boot, but it lacks the pin you to your seat wow factor. The turbo is a little laggy too, but once it arrives, there is a joy factor.
The interior makes up for it though, with even the entry level option offering leather appointed seats, and a premium steering wheel that lets you turn lane departure and cruise control on and off, and even has paddle shifters.
It’s all very driver focused, which is nice. There’s also a 10.25-inch infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, and all the usual things you might expect, including satellite navigation (with 10 years of map updates).
Another nice feature is the fact the two cup holders in the centre console are different sizes, with the second one offering a larger space for bigger bottles. We did struggle finding reverse with the gear selector though, it occasionally didn’t want to play ball.
On the outside, the Stinger 200S has a sleek and sporty look, as you might expect from what is in essence a grand tourer design. It rides on 18-inch rims. MacPherson struts at the front and multi-link rear suspension ensures a sporty ride.
This means that while you will feel the pot holes and blemishes in the road, you’ll be glued to the tarmac, safe in the knowledge that the 2021 Kia Stinger 200S will eat up corners as it goes.
It’s available in eight colours, including Hichroma Red, Neon Orange, Micro Blue, Deep Chroma Blue, Panthera Metal, Ceramic Grey, Silky Silver and Snow White Pearl. As you might expect, it’s also loaded with safety technology.
It scores ABS, electronic and vehicle stability control, hill start assist control, emergency stop signal, rear parking sensors, and rear view camera with dynamic parking guidelines (which lowers the audio volume too, to help you concentrate).
Autonomous emergency braking with forward collison warning, lane keeping assist and lane following assist are all standard safety features on the Kia Stinger. There are multiple tether and ISOFIX child seat anchor points as well.
We were pleasantly surprised with the space the Kia Stinger has too, with a large boot that will easily fit a full-size pram and the groceries. A rear-facing child seat also won’t bother the front seat passenger.
The 2021 Kia Stinger 200S comes with the Korean car maker’s 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty too. It’s a fun car that caters for the family well, while still offering a sports saloon/grand tourer look and feel. It’s no twin turbo GT, but it’s still a cool bit of kit.
Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Kia Stinger 200S, contact your local Kia dealer.