2021 Kia Stinger Arrives in NZ
Kia has refreshed its hero model, the Stinger liftback sports sedan, with detailed changes that amplify its gran turismo character and reinforce its high-performance status.
Designed in Europe and honed on the famed Nurburgring race track, the Stinger introduced a number of firsts for Kia Motors when unveiled: its first modern era car built on a rear-wheel-drive platform; first to be powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine; and first to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in under five seconds.
For 2021, the Stinger boasts a range of updates inside and out that are designed to reconfirm its credentials as the ultimate grand tourer. Exterior changes add a new touch of drama to the car’s styling while inside is a more comfortable space in which to travel, featuring new, higher-quality materials and updates to the infotainment system. For the twin-turbocharged V6 GT Sport model there’s a small increase in power.
“Stinger has helped to raise awareness of Kia as a maker of exciting, performance-driven cars that are designed to engage with drivers,” says Todd McDonald, Managing Director of Kia Motors New Zealand.
“It’s a car that makes you smile when you get behind the wheel. New Stinger embodies the power, performance, handling and comfort of a true long-distance tourer, whilst adding more refinement and luxury.”
For 2021 the Kia Stinger displays a modernised, more muscular appearance that exudes confidence and power. There are two models; the GT Line, which is powered by a turbocharged 2-litre engine and the twin-turbo, 3.3-litre V6 GT Sport.
The bold front styling has Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille sitting between LED front headlamps, paired with LED daytime running lights to give Stinger an assured road presence.
Headlight cornering control makes for a safer night-time driving experience, with the headlamps designed to turn as the steering wheel does, illuminating the path around corners.
At the rear, a svelte new combination lamp displays a distinctive light signature extending the full width of the car. The new turn signals comprise a collection of 10 individual LED units each, arranged in a grid pattern for an unmistakable presence at night. Chrome-coated quad exhaust pipes complete the sporty look at the rear.
Both Stinger models wear new 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels featuring intricate, geometric designs that enhance the sporty, grand tourer nature of the car.
While the architecture of the cabin in the upgraded Stinger remains unchanged with a sweeping, driver-oriented dash and comfortable space for up to five occupants, it boasts a range of subtle enhancements. These visual and material upgrades are designed to build on the car’s prowess, creating a more luxurious ambience.
Trim and specification levels on the two models are similar, however the GT Sport gains soft Nappa leather (over standard leather) upholstery to adds a touch of luxury and comfort to the seating. The driver’s seat on both cars are 8-way power-adjusted, with 4-way air cell lumbar support, power thigh cushion extension and side bolster adjustment and, together with the front passenger seat, are heated and ventilated. A power sunroof is also among the generous standard equipment.
The dashboard and doors are finished with new contrast stitching while the centre console is enhanced with aluminium trim. Sitting atop the dash is Kia’s upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system, accented by a new glossy black finish along the front of the dash.
A 15-speaker Harman Kardon® premium sound system is standard and includes subwoofers that resonate in hollow parts of the frame and body. Clari-Fi technology enhances digitally compressed music while Active Sound Design augments acceleration, shifting and suspension sounds for an enhanced driving experience.
The cabin also features a new mood lighting system, allowing drivers to select one of 64 colours to subtly alter the ambience of the cabin.
The lower section of the steering wheel incorporates a new metallic finish, matching the chrome bezel that now surrounds the 7.0-inch fully digital instrument cluster. The latter is designed to provide crystal clear information to drivers via its high-definition display. The rearview mirror is now frameless, creating a modern look and enhancing rear visibility. It retains the much-praised Head-up Display that projects key driving information discretely onto the windshield in the driver’s line of sight, showing vehicle speed, cruise control, audio and Blind Spot Detection, with the ability to further personalise information.
The upgraded Stinger has a series of new ‘connected car’ features to improve convenience including the Remote Engine Start system, which allows owners to start their car remotely using the Stinger’s smart key. Also useful is the hands-free smart power tailgate that opens automatically when the smart key is detected nearby for three seconds or more and allows the driver to set and store their preferred opening height in memory.
Kia has upgraded the Lambda II, twin-turbo, V6 engine in the 2021 Stinger by giving the 3.3-litre unit a new bi-modal electronic variable exhaust valve system. Designed to improve exhaust flow, the technology makes use of a small butterfly valve in the exhaust that opens and closes in response to throttle use.
The change has resulted in a small increase in power to 274kW (367hp), whilst torque remains the same at 510Nm, accessible from 1,300-to-4,500rpm.
There are no changes to the Theta II 2.0 T-GDi engine that power the GT Line model, which features a twin-scroll turbocharger to boost low-to-mid rev efficiency and advanced technologies to provide excellent combustion efficiency. This engine produces a maximum power of 182kW (244hp) at 6,200 rpm and maximum torque of 353Nm from 1,400-to-4,000 rpm.
Both engines are paired with a smooth-shifting, 8-speed automatic transmission driving through the rear wheels, matching the car’s long-legged gran turismo personality, with the GT Sport also retaining a limited slip differential.
Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters enable the driver to exploit the performance, with Launch Control available to boost standing start acceleration, helping the GT Sport hit 100km/h from rest in 4.9 seconds and the GT Line in 6.2 seconds. Stopping power on the GT Sport is enhanced by red Brembo® brake calipers.
As befitting a car designed for driving enjoyment, the handling of the Kia Stinger benefits from the inclusion of Dynamic Stability Damping Control (DSDC) to the suspension system. While aiming to predict the driver’s inputs, depending on road conditions and driving style, the Dynamic Stability Damping Control can be tuned to respond with more agility to improve high-speed stability points during vigorous driving.
The DSDC works in conjunction with the drive mode system, which offers Stinger drivers the ability to change the driving characteristics via a dial on the centre console. There are five settings that adjust engine response, transmission changes, steering effort and suspension stiffness according to the level selected: Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom.
The 2021 Kia Stinger sees the safety bar raised even further through the addition of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS), including Lane Follow Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Junction Turning, Safe Exit Warning and Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist.
The innovative Blind Spot View Monitor display enhances the driver’s rearward vision via a high resolution live video feed in the supervision instrument cluster when indicating a turn or lane change.
Meanwhile, Safe Exit Assist prevents the rear doors opening if the system detects a hazard approaching from behind the vehicle, such as a cyclist or another vehicle.
A useful driver aid is the Around View Monitor with parking guidance. This intuitive system combines four wide angle images from cameras at the front, rear and sides of the vehicle to provide a bird’s eye view of the surroundings while parking or moving at speeds below 20 km/h.
Stinger also comes with 7 airbags to protect occupants, which include driver and front passenger airbags, 2 front-side airbags, 2 side-curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag as standard.
The new 2021 Kia Stinger is on sale from $64,990 for the GT Line and $74,990 for the GT Sport, including 4-year/40,000km free scheduled servicing, 5-year/100,000km Warranty Programme and 5-year Roadside Assist.