Kia’s Stinger has thus far proved an accomplished first foray into the premium segment, whether as the V6-engined GT S model that Drive-My naturally gravitates towards, or as the lesser 2-litre petrol GT-Line that ‘out-Jaguars Jaguar’. But there’s another GT-Line model that’s likely to be a big seller: the £34,225, 2.2-litre diesel. In terms of firepower it bests its German price equivalents, with 197bhp and 324lb ft of torque providing ample in-gear shove to dispatch slower traffic with ease. So it has its GT remit covered, then, as the reserved but pleasant interior confirms.
Like the petrol Stingers it’s rear-wheel drive and has an eight-speed automatic ’box, which in day-to-day driving makes for smooth going. While you can cycle through the ratios via the wheel-mounted paddles, the gearbox never hands you full control – manual mode can only be engaged for short periods, which frustrates. On more testing roads this Stinger still impresses, but its flaws are exposed, too.
With a low-slung driving position and precise steering it is an easy car to place in spite of its size, so you can quickly establish a rhythm at a brisk, cross-country pace – which is when it feels most enjoyable. Push harder, though, and the suspension struggles to check the 1735kg weight, with body movements no longer in step with the road’s undulating topography. Overall, though, the diesel Stinger’s dynamic abilities are well judged. Comfort and sportiness are often at odds, but Kia seems to have found a good balance between the two. Lee Stern
+ Smooth daily driver with a decent interior
– Frustrating gearbox, heavy kerb weight
Drive-My rating 3.5