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Kia Stinger 2021 review: 200S

The new Stinger has subtle tweaks that make it great value, even for families.

A sporty car isn’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind when looking for a family vehicle, but when you get in one - especially after having driven SUVs for years - you do forget how good a car this shape, this low to the ground, can feel. 

This is the Kia Stinger, it’s the base model 200S, and costs $49,550, before on road costs and extras. You would compare it more to the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, now that we don’t have the Holden Commodore. I had it for a whole seven days to test with my family of four for this week’s family review. 

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✅ What does it look like?

You can tell Kia is going for a premium market with the new Stinger. It’s had a subtle makeover and could almost be mistaken for something European.

The new Stinger has had a subtle makeover and could almost be mistaken for something European. The new Stinger has had a subtle makeover and could almost be mistaken for something European.

The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road and stands up to the competition, especially in this colour. 

  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.
  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.
  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.
  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.
  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.
  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.
  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.
  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.
  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.
  • The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road. The sleek and sporty coupe shape looks great on the road.

The interiors have also been tweaked with the main improvement being the large 10.25-inch multimedia screen that looks quite snazzy on the dash, and you can now connect two devices at the same time via Bluetooth -  one for calls and one for music, for example.

It’s also got Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which syncs your phone with the touchscreen so you don’t have to put a finger on your phone while driving.

The main interior improvement is the large 10.25-inch multimedia screen. The main interior improvement is the large 10.25-inch multimedia screen.

The rest of the interior looks quite premium even though this is the base model. These seats are not real leather, though you’d barely know it.

They’re faux leather, yet they feel and look almost like the real thing. The steering wheel is 'premium' so you miss out on a leather flat bottomed version. For that, you’ll have to go up a model. 

The steering wheel is 'premium' so you miss out on a leather flat bottomed version. The steering wheel is 'premium' so you miss out on a leather flat bottomed version.

Still, this interior is really nicely designed with aluminium accents throughout and glossy black trims on the centre console and the doors. It feels a little luxe and good to drive on the road. 

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

The driver’s seat is power adjustable but the passenger seat is manually adjustable, again, being the base model. 

There are two cupholders in the front, a decent centre storage bin and a spot for keys and a phone plus bottle holders in each door. 

There are two cupholders in the front, a decent centre storage bin and a spot for keys and a phone. There are two cupholders in the front, a decent centre storage bin and a spot for keys and a phone.

Being low to the ground it’s easy to climb in but not as easy to do kids’ belts up and there’ll be a lot of bending down if that’s the stage you’re at. 

✅ How spacious is it?

The front has a good amount of room for all passengers, with ample leg and head space even for taller folks. It’s also a good width, so you don’t feel cramped in the front. 

The front has ample leg and head space for taller folks. The front has ample leg and head space for taller folks.

Space in the back seat depends on how tall the person sitting in front is. My two children are aged seven and nine, so they could fit back there, but there’s not a huge amount of room, and you will find it a bit cosy if you’ve got long legs. Just like the Audi A5 Sportback, it’s not really built thinking about rear passengers. Still, young children get in there fine. 

Space in the back seat depends on how tall the person sitting in front is. Space in the back seat depends on how tall the person sitting in front is.

You will get a boot that’s big enough for a family of four in the Stinger. It’s small for the category - both the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe are bigger - but at 406L it will fit a large suit case, and easily hold a pram.

  • You will get a boot that’s big enough for a family of four in the Stinger. You will get a boot that’s big enough for a family of four in the Stinger.
  • You will get a boot that’s big enough for a family of four in the Stinger. You will get a boot that’s big enough for a family of four in the Stinger.

If you normally just use the car for groceries and school bags there’s plenty of room, but it’s small for the category.

✅ How does it drive?

Driving the Stinger is a pleasure. This 200S model has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine which is the smallest in the range, most have a V6, but this is quick off the mark, and feels very agile to drive around. It gets up hills easily and cruises along highways without much effort. 

This 200S model has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine. This 200S model has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine.

It handles really nicely around corners and feels really good especially when you’ve come from driving bulky SUVs around, this feels very different and I think you can forget how good a regular car can be when you’re used to driving SUVs.

Driving the Stinger is a pleasure, it feels very smooth and is a premium driving experience. Driving the Stinger is a pleasure, it feels very smooth and is a premium driving experience.

It feels very smooth and is a premium driving experience that I would compare with European cars rather than your other Korean or Japanese cars. There’s no AWD on this model, it's RWD only.

Parking is a good experience in the Stinger. There’s a high-res reverse parking camera, the steering turns easily and it’s got precision turning to get you where you want to go, quickly.

✅ How safe is it?

Another great improvement in the 2021 Stinger is advanced safety. It now includes improved Auto Emergency Braking (AEB) with cyclist detection and junction assist and improved Lane Keep Assist.

You do have to upgrade to higher models to get more advanced safety as standard, so things like rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring can be included, but the thing I missed most was front collision sensors. It’s similar to the way the European cars work. 

There are airbags for driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags that extend to the back row, and you’ll get two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for kids car seats.

✅ How much does it cost to own?

The Kia Stinger 200S costs $49,550, before on road costs and extras. 

Fuel consumption is a claimed 8.8L/100km which is high for a regular car. I averaged 8.9L/100km over this week of mostly suburban driving. 

The Kia Stinger 200S costs $49,550. The Kia Stinger 200S costs $49,550.

It's covered by Kia's seven year/unlimited km warranty, which is among the best in the market.

Service intervals are every 12 months or 10,000km, which is shorter than the usual 15,000km.


The Wrap

The Kia Stinger is a great car to drive and if you’re on the lookout for an alternative to an SUV to ferry the family around while still feeling like more of a human than a parent, this should be on your look list. 

It’s stylish, drives beautifully and will fit young children, so as long as you don't have giants in the back seat. And as a second car it’s a ripper. 

I gave it a family rating of 8 out of 10 and the kids gave it the same, they liked the change of car shape. 

Likes

Design (exterior and interior)
Responsive engine
Handles well

Dislikes

Fuel consumption
Rear tight-ish for adults
Average boot size

Scores

Nedahl:

4

The Kids:

4

$49,550

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.