2021 Kia Stinger 2.0 GT Line Review: G-Pop

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Okay that’s the boring stuff out of the way, how does the Stinger drive?

This is the less expensive 2.0-litre turbo model, with the same 244hp sent to an eight-speed auto and on to the rear wheels, but it’s still an excellent drive at almost all speeds.

Meaty, involving steering, and a responsive, generous power from the engine paired with excellent fixed-rate suspension setup means it’s not a drag to drive in traffic, but also beautifully responsive when the road becomes clear. 

Got a little sting on your tail?

Cornering is very enjoyable because the car’s low stance means it slices through them with ease, and as Ju-Len mentioned in his review of the original, it’s a car that disguises its speed well, a car ‘you can take to Cameron Highlands in a day and play on mountain roads with.’

If there are downsides, it’s that the 2.0 doesn’t sound particularly exciting and it’s still a thirsty car overall. There’s an obnoxious synthetic engine noise which you can set the levels of (or off) and that’s worth a chuckle, but you won’t see south of 9.0L/100km in the Stinger, especially since it’s the sort of car that eggs you on some.

The 3.3 is far worse  – or better, from a pure enjoyment perspective. The 2.0 lacks the go-faster bits of the 3.3-litre V6 model (pre facelift review here) such as adaptive suspension, uprated brakes, and a limited slip differential. The facelifted 3.3 has yet to be homologated but we estimate it should cost around S$250k with COE. 

Which brings us to an important point: The Stinger 2.0 is quite a bit more expensive now. In 2018 the Stinger 2.0 GT Line was around S$167k., now it’s close to S$200k with 

COEs are part of the reason since Cat B was S$45k back then, and is around S$52k now, extra carbon tax from VES is another S$5k, and Kia Singapore mentions that the additional equipment on the facelift also add to the cost. 

So while it isn’t as much of an outright bargain as it used to be, the Stinger is still a German car in a Korean skin, even if the price level isn’t quite mainstream Korean. 

If Volkswagen still sold its Arteon four-door coupe here, that would be the car’s closest non-luxury rival (and still more expensive), but as it stands in real life, the Audi A5 Sportback is smaller, but still the most direct competition the Stinger has. The close-to-S$200k price will net you the regular front-wheel drive 150hp A5 Sportback with more brand recognition, efficiency, and boot space, but quite a bit less performance. 

Still, in 2021 the era of hybrids,  the dawn of BEVs, and of SUVs gone wild, the Stinger could easily have fallen by the wayside, but it’s surprised us by being a car with its own unabashed character and is perhaps an even stronger statement now.

In its own way, it’s more relevant than ever. If you’re serious about you driving, and badges don’t worry you much, the Stinger is the car for you.

 Kia Stinger 2.0 GT Line 

Engine1,998cc inline 4, turbocharged
Power244hp at 6200rpm
Torque353Nm at 1400-3500rpm
Gearbox8-speed automatic 
0-100km/h6.0 seconds 
Top Speed190km/h
Fuel Efficiency8.3L/100km
VES Band C2 / +S$25,000
AgentKia Singapore
PriceS$196,999 with COE and VES
Verdict A little more expensive and less of a bargain, but still offers huge bang for your driver’s buck and is genuinely exciting to drive.

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong