Kia Stinger GT Deemed Not Good Enough To Challenge The Germans

The new Kia Stinger has finally arrived in Europe, so it’s time to find out what it feels like on the roads of the old Continent, and more specifically those of the UK.

The impressive four-door coupe has made quite a noise since its debut, lifting Kia up from the mainstream and placing them straight into the premium portion of the market.

The range-topping version of the new Stinger gets a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 that produces 365hp. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only powertrain option. Power is sent to the rear axle, which also employs a limited-slip differential, while four-wheel drive is an option.

0-60mph (0-96 km/h) comes in 4.7 seconds and if you keep your right foot pinned down, the Stinger will hit 167mph (268 km/h) flat out. So straight line performance is not just impressive for a Kia, it’s impressive full stop.

Since this is the range-topping V6 model that’s being tested, it also comes with an electronically controlled suspension with active dampers. Kia has made bold claims about the handling of the new Stinger, and from what we’ve been hearing, they sure have created a talented four-door GT.

However, the Stinger’s ability to lure buyers away from the usual premium brands in the badge-sensitive Europe is something that needs time to work. Especially in countries like the United Kingdom, where its pricing brings a little too close to established models like the Audi S5 Sportback.

Carwow reviews the range-topping Stinger GT on the video linked below and, frankly, they don’t seem as enamored with it as the rest of the reviews we’ve seen so far.

  • ediotsavant

    Europeans will never show favor to foreign makes.

    • Vanquish

      based on reviews that what it seems like you very rarely see it he also didnt go to the Kia and see what you could save its like its a bias against the car before he even drives it and he seems so unenthusiastic and ive seem him drive econoboxes and have been excited……its like he knew he was going to trash the car. Im not disagreeing its not as nice as an S5 but it also doesnt cost as much by a long shot

    • eb110americana

      It’s particularly the Brits. Basically their reviews are always, “the British car is the best one.” So in this case, the British 4-door coupe sedan is the best one–what’s that you say? There are no English coupe sedans left to compete with? “Okay then, if our team isn’t in the playoffs, we’ll back the next-closest thing–the German substitute.” Seoul is a loooong way from Liverpool, that’s all I’m sayin’.

      • Enter Ranting

        Ironic, since there aren’t any mass-produced British cars anymore. All the big British marques are now owned by foreign companies, because their quality was terrible when they were British-owned.

    • Christian Wimmer

      You mean the European Automotive Press. Right?

      Because foreign cars, especially Japanese and Korean, are very popular in Europe.

      But just like in the US, Japan, Germany, France etc. – the top selling brands are always domestic.

      • pcurve

        That’s a good point…

    • Bo Hanan

      True. But the Stinger is an honest and impressive first attempt from a car brand that no one expected to see it from. Combined with the fact that Hyundai (Kia’s parent company) is learning very fast how to compete with Europe, and will probably hit it on the head next time.

    • FakeEuroCarNews

      Think the European PRESS not necessarily all Europeans… Though I have to admit there is badge snobbery here, which is ranked higher than long-term reliability, mainly engineered by the German car manufacturers.

      Hopefully that will change with BRexit.

    • bd

      While generally true, Auto Express picked the Stinger GT over the Audi S5 Sportback.

      And the i30N has been getting rave reviews, esp. by the German/Northern European auto press of all things.

    • TheHake

      It’s called loyalty.

    • Cobrajet

      Anything Asian is now watered down for the Americans.


    Car wow, Car Buyer (I think), Doug Demuro, and Motor Trend. Those channels and their videos are usually featured in articles here, am I right?

    • Sometime I see Auto Express or Autocar too I think.

    • Nordschleife

      I once asked the content creators how is it that those auto reviews got featured on this site to no response.

      • Matt

        Probably based on popularity on YouTube?

        • Nordschleife

          Matt makes perfect sense. Thanks I never thought of that.

      • Follow the money…

    • SamuraiJack

      It’s an easy way to make money. Take someone else’s content, add a few sentences and wait for the clicks.

  • Craig

    Europeans have always been badge snobs. Stick a BMW or Audi badge on this Stinger and suddenly it’s more impressive.

    • Dr Strangefinger

      No doubt… I’m so over it!

    • LWOAP

      Too true.

    • Nordschleife

      Yeah but it’s rubbing off on the American public as well.

    • Sure it’s an European thing… A BMW or Audi driver out of Europe only bought his car for the suality of it. Or the performances.

  • WG

    This is like comparing the OnePlus 5T to the iPhone X. OP 5T being the Stinger and the iPhone X the Germans. The OP 5T might not be as good as the iPhone X, but with its price, the value that customers are getting is definitely better than that of the iPhone X.

    • Donna Lee

      False, cuz an iPhone lasts a lot longer than it’s rivals, it’s second hand market holds way better. The German car values drop like bricks and have so many problems. An old iPhone is still a good phone but an old German Car is like dealing with a PMS woman

      • WG

        My analogy is based on “price-to-feature” value for customers who is in market for new car/phone. Long-term ownership experience was not factor in.

      • PEG

        Err, a second hand Stinger in Europe will probably have the value of that dropped brick !
        And come on, whoever wants to avoid the German 3 in Europe has other options, starting with the Giulia. Why opt for a brand best known for its Picanto, Cee’d and SUVs ?

        • Donna Lee

          The NSX came our at the time when Honda’s were known for Civics and Accord ecoboxes. And?
          Or how about mundane overpriced Maserati SUVs sold for profit and the expense of once was a great marque’s soul a few decades ago. Kia/Hyundai are stepping up their game. They sold the 3rd most cars last year. It’s a good thing for consumers.
          I do reckon this car is priced at a disadvantage being foreign in Europe. Elsewhere in Asia a fully loaded one is about the same price as a BMW 320d.

  • Kevin

    Just to give a heads up to anyone taking car wow’s opinions. I have been watching their videos for years and their reviewer Matt, has an extreme bias AGAINST Hyundai and Kia products. It became really obvious mid last year so I unsubbed from their YouTube channel, so yeah make sure to take any of Matt’s reviews with a very very VERY large pinch of salt….

  • Ron

    Its not as good as the Germans. Its a rear wheel drive Optima and nothing more.

    • Rich Money

      great point Ron its just like a car that it shares no parts or architecture or layout with and nothing else. good one.

  • Bash

    Well, a thousand steps journey, starts with one step.. and i see this Stinger as KIA big jump into the right direction.

  • GobbleUp

    And was anyone surprised? This Kia is a joke and nowhere near the top 10 cars. All marketing BS.

    • Shobin Drogan

      Pretty much everyone here apart from you.

      • GobbleUp

        All got fooled then.

        • LWOAP

          Nah, you’re just thinking too highly of your own opinion.

          • GobbleUp

            Ignorance working well, eh?

          • LWOAP

            You tell me. You seem to be spreading a lot of it.

          • GobbleUp


          • GobbleUp

            Appears to be for you!
            Read up.

  • john1168

    In Carwow’s review, he said that you can get discounts on the S5 which brings it closer to the msrp of the Stinger. Still more but much closer. I think that in about 6 months to a year after the release of the Stinger, you’ll start to see discounts on it and the dealer mark ups will be long gone. I’ve read that one markup was as much as +$15K which to me, if anyone pays that for a KIA, they’re insane but to each their own. Now I like the Stinger and I’m thinking of getting one. But if the Stinger and the S5 were the same price with the same features, I’d go for the S5. Especially since the S5 has considerably better fuel economy and better resale value.

    I wonder what Top Gear will say about the Stinger when it comes on their show this season. Hopefully they do an actual review of the car and not just a race and a few words on the car like The Grand Tour did. GT liked it but they didn’t say a lot about it.

    • John

      huh? dealer markup $15k on a KIA? are they insane?
      a fully loaded BMW 540i Xdrive can be bought with 7%~12% off MSRP (@12% off = $68640)
      a fully loaded KIA Stinger $52300 + $15k = $67300

      you have to be stupid to even want to get a KIA over a BMW with $15k markup on the KIA.

      • john1168

        There’s not a lot of them but there was a couple of them charging that much. I think there’s some dealers that are good but there’s always a few that ruin things. I think the depreciation on a Stinger is going to be a lot so I believe paying any kind of msrp mark up is freakin’ crazy…

  • Pepsiman

    Unfortunately Matt from car wow has a long running reputation for prejudice toward Korean cars. The like to dislike ratio on the original YouTube video is paints a better picture….

  • Christian Wimmer

    Here’s what you should do.

    Drive the car and see if you like it. That’s it.

    I really don’t care what car reviewers have to say anyway. I don’t care about the numbers, the 0-60 times, the g-forces when cornering or the fact that Car A is “better” than Car B because it’s 0.005 seconds quicker around a shopping mall parking lot…

    I’ve stopped paying attention to the rankings in car reviews. It’s really SUBJECTIVE and people shouldn’t worship these car recviewers as experts. They are not. They have their opinions and biases like everyone else. And all to often they pick a winner based on some silly numbers. Numbers don’t mean anything. A review can provide useful insight into the car, but the ultimate verdict on the car should be given by the consumer.

    Car reviewers don’t spend enough time in cars to really get to know them. A day or a week? Not enough time in my honest opinion. You only really get to know a car when you own it and drive it daily. For example, take your personal car. In my case, I know my car inside and out. I know its performance limits and I know its handling capabilities. I know what the steering feedback will be in all driving situations and how to best use it when driving in a sporty manner. I am a better reviewer of my car than some “professional automotive journalist” who will spend a week at best driving it and will never get a detailed and intrinsic feel for it.

    Just my two cents.

    And I find the Kia Stinger GT to be a fascinating car. Would I ever want one? No. Because it’s not as practical as a Kia Optima Wagon – that’s the Kia that I would want!

  • StrangerGP

    I hope that Stinger will sell better than people predict. European premium brands stopped being premium a long time ago. Their cars are super expensive and even then they have a long list of options, their interiors are often bad quality and they can be really unreliable.

    • Silimarina

      Yes the German premium brands are more expensive with a long list of options and they can be less reliable than an japanese or korean car. But interior quality is not one of the problem in a german car.If you think that this Stinger has better interior quality than a A4/A5 or a C class, you are delusional.

    • Christian Wimmer

      The problem is not that European premium brands have “become less premium”, the truth is that mainstream brands have become more premium and offer the same kind of quality, performance, safety and features for less money.

      In the past one could argue that a luxury car was judged on the merits of its build quality, safety, performance, refinement features and of course brand prestige. Mainstream brands have caught up in all of these areas (except brand prestige) and/or even surpassed premium brands in that regard. This has of course made life for premium brands difficult. Premium brands have always offered entry-level products, especially practical luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes. Suddenly these entry-level cars come across as a rip-off because a car from Kia for example offers more features for less money.

      Also, we live in an interesting market situation where premium brands are forced to churn out cars that were unthinkable many years ago due to customer demands. For example in many parts of the world space is at a premium so buyers of luxury cars want or need something small (Audi A1/A3, BMW 1-Series, Mercedes A/B/CLA/GLA etc.) that’s easy to life with in such situations but also premium.

      But, there are shoppers who want entry-level premium cars – such as me. And my line of thinking is, “Give me a nice premium car on which I can tick the options and features that I want and need.” It sounds silly, but I don’t like having a car that’s fully-loaded with features that I will never use and don’t need. That’s my POV, and there’s obviously plenty of weirdos like me out there who think the same. 😀

  • Obsequious Lickspittle

    For the UK, it has the wrong badge and it’s not a SUV. Niche product.

    • it’s an image product, it was made to change KIA’s branding, not be a big seller. You want a car and end up buying the little sister, that’s what halo cars are for. Audi didn’t make the R8 for sale figures. VW didn’t buy Bugatti to make money. KIA’s goal is to shape for themselves a new image, with it they can make more premium cars, SUVs to go against the Germans (for cheaper) on markets that make money.

      • Obsequious Lickspittle

        In the UK badge snobbery means that it won’t change perceptions as the people they want to look at it simply won’t even take a glance.
        I’m not sure that Lexus is even perceived as “good” as Merc/BMW/Audi in the UK, such is the obsession with the German marques.

        • Christian Wimmer

          In Germany Lexus is in the same boat as Cadillac, Infiniti and even Jaguar; an alternative premium brand for those who want to be different.

          Most people who opt for a premium car will automatically eye the big German three; Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Lexus isn’t doing themselves any favors by not offering the cars and the engines that most buyers want (and so are Cadillac and Infiniti).

          In fact Lexus sales are not impressive here because they don’t give the customers what they want. From my perspective for example, I need a car that is small (for crowded European city environments), but also roomy (for my photographic gear) and fuel efficient. Do I need a premium car? No, but if I wanted one that offered me these three criteria I HAVE to go to Audi/BMW/Mercedes-Benz because Lexus does not offer this car.

          I drive a 2007 BMW 118i E87 5-Door. The direct competitor from Lexus IS the CT200h. It’s less practical inside than my RWD 1er, I don’t want/need the heavier hybrid setup and it’s also not as much fun to drive as the 1-Series. It has a better interior than the BMW, but I’m not kind of person who cares about interior quality (if it’s well made and looks reasonably good then I am happy). From personal experience, the CT200h also feels kind of light – not as solid as my BMW (just my personal opinion) and not as stable as my BMW at high Autobahn speeds. For me those are intangible features which the Lexus CT does not offer.

          I think the small NX SUV might improve their situation, but not everyone wants/needs/likes an SUV, even a small one. And if they do then the Audi Q3/Q5, BMW X1/X2/X3/X4 and Mercedes GLA/GLC/GLC Coupe are credible and often better choices.

  • fabri99

    Well, this may not be popular, but I have something to say in defense of the “European Automotive Press”.

    This was not a bad review, at all. Kia has created a winner, nothing you’d have expected from them five years ago. This is Kia’s first attempt on a four-door coupe-like premium car and they definitely nailed it. What Watson was trying to say is that this is a winner product and that it is up there with the germans in most fields, starting (surprisingly) with driving enjoyment. Yes, interior quality is not as good as that of Audis and there are some flaws here and there (stupid styling choices, rear headroom etc), but for a first attempt, it is definitely remarkable. And I didn’t get a feeling Watson was trying to say otherwise.

    Secondly, I don’t think European reviewers have biased opinions. It happens very often that European reviewers get highly excited about a car during a press launch in the US, but then the car doesn’t seem to work just as well on British b-roads. It’s not because of bias, most reviewers (serious ones, at least) don’t have troubles saying a non-european car is the best. Or even that a British car is just not as good as the contenders. I’ve watched MotorTrend’s review and I didn’t get a different idea of what this Stinger is. It’s all about what the reviewer (and the market) is looking for. Carwow is not just about performance cars and is very concerned with practicality, comfort and fuel efficiency, all things a consumer cares about (that’s why their reviews are just not that exciting or thrilling to watch, but probably helpful when actually considering buying a car). On the other hand, Pobst is a race car driver and his review was a lot more specific on how the car drives (they even bring cars to the track, which I appreciate a lot), but said little to nothing about practicality and other boring, everyday things.

    I may be part of the problem, but I see no bias here. It’s just two reviews, from two different kind of reviewers, with two different aims and talking to two different markets. I’m either blind, or I just have to assume most didn’t watch carwow’s review (which, anyway, is still far from the best you can get) and just commented based on what the article (or worse, the title) said.

    • Matt

      Agree. I thought the review was fair, and his praises were probably more honest considering he did have a preconceived view of Kia beforehand.

  • salamOOn

    “Especially in countries like the United Kingdom, where its pricing brings a little too close to established models like the Audi S5 Sportback.”

    yeah fully spec stinger vs basic s5. fair game, right?

    top trim stinger in UK (6cyl 365bhp, led headlights, hud, limited slip differential, more airbags, ventilated seats, 15 speaker harman kardon, wide sunroof…where you can add only accessories) 41,140 GBP

    basic audi s5 in UK (6cyl 354ps = approximately 349bhp, led headlights, no hud, only heated seats,audi basic soundsystem….) 49,495.00 GBP

    with audi you have no safety systems in price unlike in stinger, no ventilated seats, no hud, no advanced audio, no sunroof, less power, higher price, and audi badge…. only plus for audi is awd and you can add better matrix leds.

    after adding some gear to come closer to stinger its 57,500.00 GBP for audi. again, top price for stinger is 41,140 GBP. its almost 30 percent difference!

    still “a little too close”?

  • LeStori

    I am surprised this is classified as premium. I would have thought it was just a hot sedan. Should be a lot of these wrapped around poles in the near future. If it is premium then there are many other cars that are premium plus, including most of the top German brands. Even the paint looks “cheap” when you walk around the Stinger. Probably FORD/GM quality. All personal opinion but you do not make a silk purse out of a sows ear but the sow definitely goes faster than a piece of silk.

    • Nefiu Ci

      ”probably”… so much words for no ideas or experiences lol

  • Haha…major European brands probably made it clear to European car reviewers, that in order to keep their exclusive access to certain cars for review and get invited to those luxurious test getaways, their reviews of this car has to go one way…south…

  • BrommieScum

    The guy’s from poor, working class Birmingham… what does he know except GERMAN car brands….!??

  • Scherpereel Clement

    Well they are morons, if a badge is a of, Well I’ll never buy a VW ! That’s so stupid. I could understand if the brand had quality issue but the Stinger seems to be the nicest Kia ever made. And Kia is renowned for a certain quality, not like the german trio (BMW, Audi and Mercedes) nut not as expensive either.
    Those idiots show one thing : to many people are prentious prick for whom the badge prevails over the actual product quality.
    Give me that “shity” Kia please

  • Honda NSX-R

    Who the fuck shakes a center console?

    • It seems that this is a European thing comparable to the cup holder reviews for North America. I have seen quite a few European car reviewers shake and twist the center console as a way to determine build quality…

      • Honda NSX-R

        I’d like to see tests like these more often

        • Check out Autogefuhl on YT…

          • Honda NSX-R

            Will do, thanks!

    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      50k miles in with a lot of corners driven, a creaking dash can be a real PITA.

      • Honda NSX-R


  • Carmelo Van Cabboi

    Only one car is over the top: Alfa Romeo Giulia. The Stinger is a good car but not enough. Anyway, the Sitinger is a good choise but too expensive

  • HG504

    Very biased review, I really like Carwow reviews and im subscribed to the channel. But this review was more of a “lets shit on Kia because its not a premium German brand” Matt was talking about how the quality is not up to par, when I gurantee you’d find cheap plastics and creaking sounds in Mercedes, BMW and Audi cars and how the Kia is less practical when the boot space is around the same as its rivals and also the constant references to Audi and Mercedes, you might as well have made this a comparison video. Yeah we get its a Kia and it lacks the badge presence but that review was abit harsh. I wonder how much the equivalent BMW or Audi would cost? Hmmm… a lot more, that’s what.

  • 31/12/2999

    Kia company need a new logo.

  • SteersUright

    The Kia Stinger is a brilliant first step towards legitimizing the brand as a semi-premium player. That said, its too pricey and I think that was a mistake. Rather than overshoot and then discount the hell out of it in a few months, why not create terrific buzz the first year with a ridiculously low price further emphasizing the value? Sure you may just break even the first year, but you’d drive a rush of traffic to showrooms and put many more of these out there on the road rather than apologetically later offer huge lease and purchase promotions which just further reinforce that you’re stuggling to move your product. Lexus did this to great success when they launched the first LS as they knew they were asking much of luxury car buyers to consider their loyalties and look at an unknown entity, much like the Stinger is for Kia. Just my 2 cents.

  • TheHake

    I think it’s GREAT that Europeans would still rather buy something European that something non-European. There’s a little thing called loyalty, you know.

    • salamOOn

      wtf are you talking about? you can be loyal to japanese brand even if you are european or american customer…..
      or aussie and be loyal to bmw….

      • TheHake

        Oke then. Local patriotism.

        • Nefiu Ci

          moron deluxe with no idea of anything

  • Matt

    There are many here who are acting like the Stinger should somehow be immune to criticism. Because it’s a Kia, and it’s RWD… therefore checkmate established rivals?

    It’s a great car no doubt, but for that price it has to have compromises. They may not be deal-breakers for potential customers, but it’s disengenuous to review a vehicle and not highlight them because of its attractive price and value for money.

    Matt Watson may have mentioned Audi a few too many times in his review, but looking at the review objectively – I don’t think he put off any would-be Stinger owners from buying one, and overall he liked the car.

    • HG504

      Its not immune from criticism thats not what we’re getting at. No car is perfect, but the way Matt was slating this car was simply out of hand, shaking the centre console and constantly referring to the Audi A5 and he already has a bias when it comes to Kia’s and Hyundais.

  • Antonio Gonzálvez López


  • Miknik

    Deemed not good enough by inofficial VAG Youtube channel carwow; As much as I think Matt Watson is a good reviewer, lately he seems very biased with ‘German cars, especially form the VW group; I think everyone can tell that he doesn’t seem overly enthusiastic from the first minute on….

  • Wandering_Spirit

    That is what i said multiple times. Nobody would ever go around with a sporty Kia. Kia, Hyundai etc are perceived as brands you buy as a second choice in many EU markets. There are good reasons and just stereotyped (inherently wrong at times) ones for that. But a Korean car is hardly something you want to be on. I wouldn’t get one. Not just about the performances. The designs are really out of touch with the tastes of many Europeans, the engines are never to write home about, performances either…then there is the lack of prestige, racing tradition and all what comes with that. I’d rather go for some Skoda or Seat model if i really had to go for second choice. They have made giant improvements over the years.

  • Biermann

    “Kia Stinger GT Deemed Not Good Enough To Challenge The Germans…”

    Stinger was produced by German Albert Biermann and (Austrian) Peter Schreyer!
    (okay Hyundai poached Biermann, but BMW poached many Ford engineers c. the 70’s)

  • Six Thousand Times

    He wasn’t wrong about most of his complaints. It’s good to get a range of reviews.

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