Kia Stinger is a sports sedan which packs in performance and tech features in an attractive price point in several markets.
In India though, Kia is likely to focus on the utility vehicle segment for some time.
Stinger is a strong proposition from Kia Motors in several western markets and its latest updates promise to make it even more attractive in the segment it competes in. The sedan, however, is unlikely to get a reckoning for the Indian market because of Kia's apparent focus on SUVs and MPVs here.
Kia made its India debut back in August of 2019 and in the year since, has managed to establish itself as a formidable player challenging the traditional giants. The Seltos has been a runaway hit while Carnival MPV continues to play in a rather niche segment. The upcoming Sonet, however, is what Kia is betting the most on because it will play in the extremely lucrative sub-compact SUV segment.
Internationally though, Kia also has several key offerings in its product portfolio with Stinger being high on the list. It competes against the likes of BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A5 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The sports sedan boasts of a well-equipped and well-appointed cabin, decent performance and credible handling. Kia has now said all of these highlights have been further strengthened to 'amplify its gran turismo' character.
Expected to be launched in Korea and the US in the third quarter of 2020, the updated Stinger gets a new ‘Smartstream’ 2.5-liter turbocharged petrol engine for select markets. There is 300 bhp of peak power for the taking and 422 Nm of torque. "Each engine offers swift acceleration and rapid responses to driver input, while offering a refined grand touring experience for steady cruises," the company informs. "
The powerful twin-turbo 3.3-liter T-GDi V6 engine will also remain in service, as does the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder ‘Theta’ engine.
All three engine options come with eight-speed automatic transmission.
In terms of features, the new Stinger gets an upgraded touchscreen infotainment system. Customers would be able to choose a 10.25-inch touchscreen display which is optional while there is an eight-inch display available as well. This screen replaces the seven-inch screen found in Stinger so far.
Customers can also choose between two instrument cluster displays, based on vehicle specification. The 3.5-inch mono-TFT cluster is replaced by a 4.2-inch TFT LCD screen as standard while an optional fully-digital, high-resolution 7.0-inch ‘Supervision’ cluster will also be made available.
Kia has already announced that connectivity features in cars would be customized as per market needs and the updated Stinger will get heated and ventilated seats with remote operation, remote engine start/stop and similar features.
Safety features are highlighted by Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and first-time additions to the Stinger like Safe Exit Warning (SEW), Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), Lane Following Assist (LFA) and Highway Driving Assist (HDA).
The updated Stinger appears, at least on paper, a very strong proposition and while Kia would hope that it makes yet another mark in global markets, may still only prefer utility vehicles for India for the time being.