Kia won't make cars like the Stinger again – more's the pity
By Matt Bird / Monday, December 20, 2021 / Loading comments
News broke last week that Hyundai and Kia might be getting rid of both Peter Schreyer and Albert Biermann, two guys central to the recent success of both brands. The notion of a Hyundai or a Kia that looked good and drove well seemed fanciful even a decade ago – now it’s become the standard. So, why ditch them? According to reports it would all be part of a shake up as the brands seek to reinvent themselves as mobility solutions providers and not legacy carmakers.
Now Biermann has retired, set to take up an advisory role as electrified performance cars come on stream. After more than 30 years in the industry, Biermann has no doubt earned his retirement, but it does seem a rather unfortunate coincidence that his departure has followed so soon after the rumours. But then you don’t need a mobility solution to be entertaining to drive…
Though his six years as staff will probably be best remembered for the vivacious Hyundai N hot hatches, the Kia Stinger ranks as another fine Biermann achievement. Obviously the big saloon was the work of more than just one person, but the Stinger was shot through with the former BMW man’s influence. Those that were keen on old school, rear-drive, six-cylinder saloons would have found a lot to like about the Kia flagship: it looked great, went well, and drove exactly how you dared hope a 370hp saloon developed under Albert Biermann might. The Kia wasn’t super stiff or ferociously fast, but it was balanced, rewarding, and engaging in a fashion large four-doors seldom are.
The Stinger range was recently revised, bringing in some new technology and ditching the four-cylinder models. That means only the GT-S remains on sale (which was always the best model anyway), priced from £42,595. Though decent value against something like a Peugeot 508 PSE, the price and a thirsty engine make the Stinger hard to justify for both private and fleet customers. Which means the GT-S, even in its improved facelifted form, will likely remain as rare as it always has.
A few used ones are out there though, including this 2019 Stinger, for sale at £27,999 after 29,000 miles. The recent uplift in used values has boosted the Kia as well, though remember that’s almost £15,000 off a new one – and even £10k under an ex-demo. Yes, you’ll have to go without the interior improvements, which is a shame, but the bits that always made the Stinger appeal – the way it looked and the way it drove – are here in abundance. Red on red is potentially a deal breaker for some, but the condition of both looks very good. You’ll never lose it in the supermarket car park, right?
It was a surprise, in truth, that Kia ever offered the Stinger to UK customers from launch in 2017. That it’s still offering the facelift was even more of a shock, if a welcome one – anyone intrigued by the big Kia won’t be disappointed. Now, with the Genesis sub brand attempting to take a hold, Biermann’s departure and electrification gathering apace, the Stinger’s days look numbered. But it’s certainly been fun while it’s lasted, thanks in no small part to the man who used to run BMW M. Don’t forget we ranked a Stinger above the contemporary 4 Series…
SPECIFCIATION | KIA STINGER GT-S
Engine: 3,342cc V6, twin-turbocharged
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive, limited-slip differential
Power (hp): [email protected],000rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],300-4,500rpm
CO2: 225g/km (NEDC)
MPG: 28.5 (NEDC)
First registered: 2018
Recorded mileage: 29,000
Price new: £40,495
Yours for: £27,999
See the original advert here.
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