It wasn’t hard to like the Kia Stinger a great deal. It looked (still does look) fantastic, it drove with real panache (and a sense of humour), it was fast, well equipped and, given the levels of kit, decent value as well. But it was just as easy to present a very rational case against buying one, unfortunately. The twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6 was neither the most emotional nor the most efficient, making it a tough sell for both private and business customers. A list price in excess of £40k made it especially tricky for the latter from a company car tax perspective. Once upon a time there was a diesel Stinger, and a 2.0-litre turbo version, but neither appealed anywhere near as much as the V6. Perhaps the biggest thing holding back the big Kia’s success, however, was the UK car buyer’s fondness for a ‘premium’ badge. The price of a Stinger GTS wouldn’t buy you much 4 Series Gran Coupe or A5 Sportback but they’ve proved much more popular because, well, they’re the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback.
Bring all that together with various environmental pressures and it should be no surprise to learn that the Kia Stinger has been taken off sale in the UK today. Boo. Kia’s kinda sad about the demise, too: ‘The high-performance, rear-wheel drive sports saloon served as a bold statement of intent for the brand, capable of covering great distances in comfort and style. Kia's 'grand tourer' also introduced the brand to a different type of buyer, playing an important role in transforming perceptions of Kia in recent years’. Amen to that. Five years is a long time in the fast car world, and prior to the Stinger the most interesting Kia out there was probably the 200hp Cee’d GT. We’d forgotten about it as well.
Now, just half a decade later, we live in a world where the Stinger can be replaced by a 585hp EV as Kia’s flagship GT. That certainly feels like progress. While the EV6 GT is far from a direct replacement for the old four-door coupe, it undoubtedly continues the tradition of looking like nothing else on the road, offering buyers loads of equipment and, for the performance and tech on offer, not costing much money. It’ll even do big skids as the Stinger did, thanks to its rear-drive drift mode. The flagship EV6 costs £62,645 (and deliveries will begin before the year is out), which isn’t much more than a flagship ID.5 costs. Only the Kia does 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, and can charge at 350kW, and has 546lb ft.
Kia UK’s CEO and President, Paul Philpott, said: “The EV6 GT is the ideal car to take the baton from the Stinger in the UK. Our future product plan has a major focus on electrification, and globally Kia plans to offer a line-up of 14 EVs by 2027. Combining high-performance capabilities with an incredible design and a long-range electric powertrain, the EV6 GT is an important part of this plan, and a true new flagship for the Kia brand." Everybody who has bought a Stinger up until today, the legends that they are, will have their orders fulfilled. And if you’re thinking of cruising the classifieds for one, then we can only say that great minds think alike; the cheapest on PH right now is £23,489, though it’s an advert without pics. Up the budget to £30k and you can have a Stinger that’s just a couple of years old. Finally, for the piece de resistance, what about this - an orange Kia Stinger GTS? Pretty sure that’s paint, too, and not a wrap. Wouldn’t lose it in a, well, anywhere…
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