Kia Motors Corporation headquartered in Seoul, is South Korea's second-largest automobile manufacturer, following the Hyundai Motor Company, with sales of over 2.7 million vehicles in 2012 and almost 2.75 million vehicles in 2013. As of December 2013, the company is 33.88% owned by the Hyundai Motor Company.

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    Future Classic - 2019 Kia Stinger GT S

    Posted in Cars on Sunday, 07 April 2019

    Kia Stinger GT S. Cast aside brand snobbery and this classy Korean makes a true bargain supercoupé. Words Alastair Clements. Photography Will Williams.

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    Lee Stern

    2019 Kia Stinger GT-Line 2.2 CRDi

    Posted in Cars on Saturday, 14 July 2018

    2019 Kia Stinger GT-Line 2.2 CRDi Diesel Stinger offers a refreshing alternative to its ubiquitous German rivals.

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    / #2018-Kia-Stinger-GT-S / #2018 / #Kia-Stinger-GT-S / #Kia / #Kia-Stinger

    The Stinger gatecrashes BMW’s party, and shows that it can soak up the miles, too

    I guess it was a teeny bit provocative turning up to the drive of the still-prototype BMW M850i Coupe in the Stinger, what with Hyundai-Kia having lured a couple of significant Germans to work on the increasingly impressive Korean brands. They are Peter Schreyer, the former top Audi designer, and Albert Biermann, once chief engineer of BMW’s M Division. But, hey, it’s my long-termer, and when you’re going to assess dynamics it’s useful to arrive in a car that you rate, and for me the Stinger has great steering and brake feel.

    If I’d not been hurrying back I’d have taken the Kia onto some of the very best north Wales roads, but I had to make do with those to and from the hotel in Ruthin where the BMW event was hosted. Happily, this included the famous Horseshoe Pass (featured in the dummy ‘issue 000’) and I was pleased to find my take on the Stinger’s on-centre steering feel and initial brake response stood the test.

    These roads challenge a chassis and I confess that even in its firmer Sport mode, the sense of mass in the Stinger is inescapable. It’s a 1780kg saloon, and it was on roads more suited to fast hatches and sports cars weighing 500kg less. The many thousands of development miles at the Nürburgring have delivered much, but there are a few questions asked by Welsh asphalt that it can’t answer. Maybe, as with BMW, it will become a stop on Kia’s new car development programme.

    Another big trip this month was to Cadwell Park, which luxuriates in the nickname of the mini-Nürburgring. The weather looked good and the club racing had something for everyone – Caterhams for me, 2CVs for my big brother, and karts for my eldest two boys. After that it was off to see my mum in Cleethorpes.

    Across country from Northants to the coast, via Cadwell, the roads are ideal for the Stinger, flowing but challenging, and it soaked it up. It’s terrifically comfortable all the time, and that twin-turbo V6 has the response you need to dispatch the dolly danglers that would otherwise spoil some of the best stretches. On a long, gentle run (i.e. clogged motorways), I’ve seen over 33mpg, which is impressive. More generally, I’m seeing about 26mpg, and as low as high teens stropping along favourite local runs, but the trend is upwards, suggesting the V6 is running in nicely. And still the admiring glances come.

    Downsides? A few, mostly details. I haven’t yet found out how to stop the seats reversing and the steering wheel raising when I stop the engine and open the door. It’s unnecessary, and upon getting back in I have to wait for them to whirr back into position. Also, on first start-up or shut-down, the Stinger plays a tune that sounds like a Windows operating system firing up. Of more consequence, the lever of the eight-speed auto seems to be becoming less responsive when rowing between drive and reverse when manoeuvring, occasionally stranding me in neutral. Overall, though, I’m still very much enjoying life with the Stinger.

    Date acquired April 2018
    Total mileage 2751 Mileage this month 1527
    Costs this month £0
    mpg this month 28.5

    ‘It’s comfortable all the time, and has the response you need to dispatch the dolly danglers’
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    John Barker
    John Barker created a new group Kia Stinger
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    Long Term Test Living with a… Kia Niro Hybrid Our on-going long term test – we return from the continent. #2018 / #Kia-Niro-Hybrid / #Kia-Niro / #Kia / Kia / #Hybrid

    Having reached Italy, it soon became time to turn around and leave. Ultimately, it was an adventure to look forward to with no fewer than 80 tunnels to pass through before reaching the Italian Lago Maggiore in the northern Alpine foothills. It’s a stunning location with past grandeur and an enduring beauty that shall long outlive the civilisation that’s been built around it. The lake is host to magnificent palaces, once built to entertain and dine the world’s rich and famous, but now a tourist trap with old-world charm.

    Meanwhile, the Niro had become our ever-dependable companion. Always ready and never skipping a beat. And, despite my previous comment to the contrary - “it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding” - I had also discovered the joys of the Sport mode with optional manual gear shift. This function transforms the car and offers what feels like twice the pulling power of the car in regular driving mode.

    The Niro Hybrid is particular scant of driver options, so, actually, it’s pleasantly easy to live with and understand in comparison to other cars that feature a dozen options. Sport mode serves up the electric torque in combination with the petrol engine, and in combination there’s the full 147Nm available. While that still isn’t very much, especially in a car of this size, it’s enough to ensure a smile can be had and, more importantly, a mountain can be climbed.

    However, this is at the expense of fuel consumption, which quickly tumbles to mid-40s while climbing a hill. Of course, downhill is a different story and the Niro recuperates its battery reserve while also managing to remain in electric mode for the majority of a downhill stint. Unfortunately, this is marred by the interruption of the petrol engine that chips in unnecessarily and while the gearbox is still in a low gear.

    The resulting whine is enough to make anyone with any mechanical sympathy wince, as the revs soar and it sounds like it’ll go ‘pop’. It doesn’t, by the way. This oddity aside, I’m impressed by the Niro’s ability up a mountain where a non-assisted petrol engine would typically struggle. The electric oomph certainly helped and, frankly, I wouldn’t have wanted to be without it.

    Moving along from Italy and into Switzerland via the Grand St Bernard Pass, there was yet more stunning scenery to behold and more mountains to climb. Average fuel economy had now averaged out to around 55mpg - less up hill, more down hill.

    Switzerland is a true wonder. It’s breathtaking combination of seemingly unspoilt mounts combined with the hauntingly peaceful echo of cow bells is simply bewildering. In addition, houses appear not to have boundaries and are instead placed at the edge of large open fence-free fields. This adds to the sense of freedom and the people are welcoming too. However, there’s a rather large caveat here and that is everything is ten times more expensive than we in the UK are used to. A mid-size bag of crisps in a nondescript supermarket in a small town, for example? That’ll be the equivalent of £4.50 thank you very much. Because of this, we wisely fuelled up the Niro in Italy before leaving its borders. Sadly, the expense of Switzerland grated a little, and having been put off by the €180 cost for two persons to travel up a ski lift to see a glacier that was covered by cloud, we soon left and made our way back to France where prices aren’t so exorbitant. A classy Swedish meatball feast from IKEA later and we were back on familiar territory.

    We filled the Niro with goodies in France too, including twenty or so bottles of wine, as well as many foodie gifts for people back home. This really put the Niro’s load capacity to the test but it managed to swallow up all our three-weeks’ worth of luggage, shoes, coats, food and drink with relative ease. The under-boot floor storage proved useful, although some of the divisions provided were limiting rather than helpful, being a touch too narrow for anything more than a small bag of coffee beans. However, that’s not to say the overall package isn’t practical - it is - and that’s one major benefit of having the crossover styling. One thing is for certain, boot capacity is far superior to that of a Toyota Prius, which is arguably this car’s closest rival, excepting the Hyundai Ioniq.

    After a 400 mile cruise, the Niro managed its way back to Blighty. Overall, we’d averaged a fairly healthy 55mpg, which is especially good considering the 80mph speeds we travelled at for most of the French motorway stint. My hope is this should improve with local use, but we shall soon see.

    ABOVE The forever changing MPG of the Niro while going up and down mountains appeared to level off around the mid 50’s.

    ABOVE At one point near the Italian ‘Cinque Terra’, the Niro was given a thorough inspection by a family of wild boar!

    Specification 2018 Kia niro ‘2’ Hybrid
    Max speed: 101 mph
    0-60 mph: 11.1 secs
    EV Range: ~1 miles
    Drive: 1.6l petrol + e-motor
    Transmission: 6-speed #DCT
    Power: 104 bhp
    Torque: 147 Nm
    CO2: 88 g/km
    Economy: 74.3mpg avg.
    Battery: 1.56kWh Li-ion
    Weight: 1,500 kg
    Price: £23,680
    Fully comp. ins. quote: £360.48 (e-sure; male, 30, no points, AL4)
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    Jonathan Musk
    Jonathan Musk updated the group cover
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    Jonathan Musk
    Jonathan Musk updated the group picture
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    Jonathan Musk
    Jonathan Musk created a new group Kia Niro
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