By David Miles
IT’S expected to become the best seller in this exciting new range of luxury saloons from the Korean manufacturer, which introduced the new model series at the end of 2017 with a powerful 365bhp 3.3 litre GT-S and they will be joined this spring by 197bhp 2.2 turbo-diesel.
Kia’s current advertising theme is ‘The Power to Surprise’ and with the arrival of the Stinger that is certainly true. The stunning to look at Stinger is the latest result of ex-Audi designer Peter Schreyer move to the Kia and Hyundai brands and that has been further enhanced by the recruitment of ex-BMW M division’s chassis and vehicle development guru Albert Biermann joining the team.
The Stinger is an imposing five door coupe styled GT car with muscular wheelarches, a low stance and roofline, sculptured door panels, a sleek new version of the Kia Tiger Nose grille, long bonnet, air flow vents in the front lower bumper and lower front wings with air intakes in the bonnet for the intercooler. At the rear is a sharply raked tailgate, a spoiler plus a lower body diffuser flanked by double twin exhaust tailpipes.
The GT-Line versions with the 2.0-litre petrol engine has a comprehensive level of sports specification including 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, sports front seats, heated and powered driver’s seat, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, head-up display, parking sensors, cruise control, selectable driving modes, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning alerts and speed limit information as well as DAB radio and the usual Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity functions. The GT-Line S level adds blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, LED headlights, heated rear seats, powered tailgate, 360-degree surround view camera, sunroof and wireless phone charging.
When it comes to performance the 2.0-litre Stinger is not all ‘show’ and no ‘go’. With the eight-speed auto gearbox and an ample 353Nm of torque from 1,400rpm the acceleration is responsive when needed yet remains calm when the car is travelling on congested roads.
The official Combined Cycle figure of 35.8mpg for the 2.0-litre petrol model was optimistic as I couldn’t get close in my brief test drive so the real-life figure was 25.1mpg.
As is often the case, a smaller capacity engine works harder and uses more fuel for the same result but the benefit is significantly lower taxation costs.
In most other respects the Stinger is well balanced with its long wheelbase and wide front and rear tracks and fast response steering rack.
All versions have a Drive Mode Selector which gives five different gearshift and throttle settings and a limited slip differential for optimum traction from the two rear wheels during cornering.
So, true to their advertising word, Kia ‘continues to surprise’.
At a glance
KIA STINGER 2.0 TURBO PETROL
For: Great exterior sports five door GT coupe styling, high specification, good value for money, much cheaper to buy with less costly taxes than the 3.3-litre version but it still looks the same, long warranty, good to drive, roomy with ample boot space
Against: Cluttered interior with unrefined layout of controls and switches, limited rear visibility through the tailgate window, no rear window wash/wipe unit, lacks a suitable sporty exhaust tone.
The end of the road gets closer
THIS TUESDAY (Feb 4) the UK Government announced the ban on selling petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars in the UK would be brought forward from 2040 to 2035.
Once the ban is in place, only electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles will be available for purchase.
are subject to consultation, also include hybrid vehicles. U.K. authorities had previously said the sale of new petrol and diesel vans and cars would end in 2040.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said the government’s £1.5 billion plan to “make owning an electric vehicle as easy as possible” was working.
Mr Shapps also claimed that in 2019 a “fully electric car was sold every 15 minutes.”
“We want to go further than ever before,” Grant Shapps added. “That’s why we are bringing forward our already ambitious target to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to tackle climate change and reduce emissions.”
In practice, ending the sale of petrol, diesel or hybrid cars or vans would leave consumers with a choice between electric and hydrogen vehicles.
“Drivers support measures to clean up air quality and reduce CO2 emissions but these stretched targets are incredibly challenging,” AA president Edmund King said in a statement issued in response to the government’s new target.
“We must question whether we will have a sufficient supply of a full cross-section of zero-emissions vehicles in less than fifteen years.”
Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has welcomed the announcement. GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented: “GEM welcomes this measure, which we see as an important step in tackling the climate emergency the planet is facing.
“In recent years we have witnessed significant steps in the development of alternative fuel vehicles, and we believe that any remaining concerns about range anxiety and inadequate infrastructure will be dispelled if we all work together to embrace the opportunities of a sustainable future on the roads.
“We believe that for this to succeed, we must have strong leadership and clear information so that road users understand what will happen and when it will happen, as we make ready for the ban in 2035.”
Friends of the Earth’s head of policy Mike Childs said: “The government is right to accelerate the phase-out of petrol and diesel cars to curb air pollution and address the climate emergency, but the ban should start in 2030 – not 2035.
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders was aghast.
“It’s extremely concerning that the government has seemingly moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue,” said Mr Hawes.
“Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero-emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020. However, with current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment.
“This is about market transformation, yet we still don’t have clarity on the future of the plug-in car grant – the most significant driver of EV uptake – which ends in just 60 days, while the UK’s charging network is still woefully inadequate.”
Mike Hawes continued: “If the UK is to lead the global zero emissions agenda, we need a competitive marketplace and a competitive business environment to encourage manufacturers to sell and build here. A date without a plan will merely destroy value today. We, therefore, need to hear how government plans to fulfil its ambitions sustainably, one that safeguards industry and jobs, allows people from all income groups and regions to adapt and benefit, and, crucially, does not undermine sales of today’s low emission technologies, including popular hybrids, all of which are essential to delivering air quality and climate change goals now.”
Kia Niro is top used car
THE KIA NIRO has been named ‘Used Car of the Year’ and ‘Used SUV of the Year’ at the Car Dealer Used Car of the Year Awards 2019.
The judges commended the Niro on delivering the high efficiency and low running costs of a petrol-electric car with the style, practicality and desirability of a compact crossover. As well as easy maintenance and clever packaging, the Niro like all Kia models comes with the industry-leading seven-year warranty.
James Baggott, the founder of Car Dealer Magazine, said: ‘Kia is a brand that likes to innovate, whether that’s by the introduction of exciting new models or the launch of attention-grabbing marketing initiatives such as its famous seven-year warranty. It has really hit the sweet spot with the Niro which is performing exceptionally well in the used car market. Very well done to Kia and its efficient and spacious Niro.’
John Hargreaves, General Manager for Fleet and Remarketing at Kia Motors UK (Ltd) commented on the awards: ‘We are delighted the Niro has been won not only its category but also the overall Used Car of the Year title. The Niro offers a compelling option to customers in the used car market thanks to its practicality and low running costs.’
In addition, Kia was also highly commended within the category ‘Manufacturer Used Car Scheme of the Year’. Having won the award three times previously at the Car Dealer Used Car Awards, Kia’s Approved Used car scheme is widely recognised across the industry as one of the best. It includes a warranty that is topped back to the full seven years, one year’s free roadside assistance, a guaranteed a full service history and a 60-day exchange policy.
Welsh drivers addicted to speed
65% of Wales’ drivers admit to exceeding the speed limit when driving, while 47% have been caught speeding and 58% of those caught have been so more than once
The reasons for Welsh drivers speeding include:
• Running late (44%)
• Lack of attention to speed limits (37%)
• Amusement (15%)
• Out of habit (16%)
Sunday is the most common day of the week for speeding, with drivers most likely to exceed the limit in the early hours of the morning, according to new research from the UK’s leading price comparison site MoneySuperMarket.
The data, obtained from the Department for Transport, reveals that over half of vehicles exceed the speed limit on a Sunday (53%), with Saturday coming in a close second (52%). By comparison, drivers are most likely to abide by the law on a Wednesday, when less than half (47%) exceed the limit.
In terms of the time of day, motorists are most likely to exceed the speed limit during the early hours of the morning, with 63% doing so between 4 am and 5 am when the roads are clearer. Conversely, between 3 pm and 5 pm is the time when the speed limit is most likely to be obeyed (55%).
The research also looked at insurance enquiry data from MoneySuperMarket and shows that fewer than one in 10 drivers (8%) declare a speeding conviction when making an enquiry. Those in Yorkshire and the Humber (10%) are twice as likely to have been convicted as those in London and Northern Ireland (both 5%). Those with a prior speeding conviction could see their annual insurance premiums rise by 14%, or £72 on average.
The study also analysed drivers’ reasons for speeding, with most saying they simply were not paying attention to their speed (42%). In addition, four in 10 drivers say they were running late (40%), while 17% did it out of habit.
Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Our findings suggest that drivers are looking to take advantage of emptier roads on weekends and in the early hours, but it is important to remember that there are still major safety rules to abide by, no matter what time it is.
“If you are caught speeding and want to keep your insurance costs down, it’s worth seeing whether you can take part in a speed awareness course, which means you won’t get points on your licence and provides a helpful reminder about speeding limits and the importance of driving safely. Another option is to install a telematics ‘black box’ in your car, which monitors your driving and can bring your premiums down after a while, as long as you’re consistently showing a safe level of driving.
“Regardless of your circumstances, or speeding convictions, it’s important to always shop around for car insurance and not let your policy auto-renew. There are substantial savings to be made – up to £245 in some cases – so it’s worth taking the time to do your research and find the right policy for your needs.”
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