Thursday, December 9, 2021
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2021 Kia Stinger GT-Line (car review)

WITH a strong, muscular external design and an on-road presence that grabs your attention, the Kia Stinger GT-Line is a real head-turner. We observed this first hand with the amount of sideways glances we were getting while waiting at traffic lights.

For 2021, the rear LED lights have received a makeover, with a seamless transition across the rear end that casts a stunning silhouette, this desirable design becomes especially noticeable once the sun has set.

The GT-Line Stinger is fitted with a 2.0-litre turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder engine, producing 182kW and 353Nm, while being paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels.

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There’s plenty of grunt when giving it the sauce, but it’s the well-balanced ride and graceful handling where the GT-Line version of the Stinger delivers. And while it shares the same tech as its more powerful animalistic GT sibling, it’s far less aggressive.

Both the GT-Line and GT feature similar interior and exterior features, and you’ll be hard-pressed to tell them apart, save for some badging, colour of the brake callipers and a few other specification differences (aside from the powertrain of course).

With McPherson struts at the front, a multi-link rear suspension set up and a limited-slip differential, the Stinger GT-Line’s suspension is well-tuned for Australian road conditions, providing performance and traction control that enhances grip and handling.

We felt connected to the road, with great stability. This is especially noticeable driving at high speeds on motorways. But it’s not all about straight line either, as the Stinger will eat up twisty turns and doesn’t mind being pushed through corners.

With familiar large sports sedan handling characteristics, we were eagerly engaged in joyful driving bliss. It’s super comfortable inside too, with optional red sports leather-appointed seating in our tester, with side bolstering that adjusts in Sport mode, hugging the driver.

Despite its sportiness, there is an essence of elegance and sophistication within the cabin space, and the heated and ventilated front-row seating adds to the comfort factor. There’s a nice powered sunroof too, for when you want to let the outside world in.

The 64 different LED ambient light colours will let you set the mood too. These can be accessed via the easy to use 10.25-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system that has been integrated into the dashboard in a well-thought-out design.

The GT-line is fitted with a premium Harman/Kardon 15-speaker sound system with under-seat subwoofer. It delivers crystal clear sound.

There are five drive modes to scroll between, including Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom. Eco mode offers the greatest fuel savings, while Sport provides the most engaging ride. Kia claims 12.7-litres/100km. We managed 13.1-litres during testing.

There’s a nice colour head-up display too, providing a range of driver information including speed, traffic sign recognition and navigation directions. Our only small gripe is that it can be difficult to see and read if you wear polarised sunglasses.

The driver’s instrument cluster is fitted with analogue dials, which works well given the vehicle’s grand tourer styling. A 7.0-inch information screen is mounted between the speedo and tacho. That said, we’d love to see this become a full digital setup.

The Stinger offers plenty of boot space, with the 5-door lift-back design providing 406-litres, which can be expanded to 1,114-litres with the 60:40 split-fold rear seats laid flat.

Safety tech includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic collision assistance, safe exit warning, lane follow and lane keep assist, AEB, driver attention warning, a 360-degree camera with birds-eye view, and front and rear sensors.

Drive away pricing starts from $61,890, with the 2021 Kia Stinger GT-Line available in nine colours, including Panthera Metal, Deep Chroma (as tested), Micron Blue, Hichroma Red, Neon Orange, Ceramic Grey, Silky Silver, Snow-White Pearl and Aurora Black.

You can build and price a new Kia Stinger GT line on the Kia Australia website, but it’s also worth shopping around to see if you can get a better offer. Alternatively, you can take a look at a platform like PriceMyCar to get the best deal.

Kia offers a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty and capped price servicing for the same period.

Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Kia Stinger GT-Line, contact your local Kia dealer.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
8
Exterior styling
8.5
Interior look and feel
8.5
Technology and connectivity
8
Family friendliness
8
Value for money
8

SUMMARY

Pros – driving experience; interior and exterior styling; infotainment system; loads of safety features.
Cons – instrument cluster could be full digital setup; head-up display not friendly to polarised sunglasses.
Scott Gravolin
Scott Gravolin is an aspiring photographer and automotive reviewer, with a passion for performance cars and sports motorcycles. Scott loves riding his Kawasaki Ninja 1000, Scott has an absolute appreciation for Porsche with two of his all time favorites being the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Porsche 918 Spyder. However he just can not leave out the old rally focussed Ford Escort RS Cosworth.

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