It’s a sad time if you’re a fan of the Kia Stinger, for the marque’s image-changing model is due to leave production imminently. Taking its place as flagship is the EV6 GT but we were curious, does it deliver the halo-factor that the Stinger did? We got the two together to compare, contrast and find out.
Video: Kia EV6 GT vs Stinger
And truly, for what Kia says is a lineage of sorts, there’s a lot to contrast. The EV6 is a full 200PS up on the Stinger, it’s electric, it’s a lift-back coupe SUV type thing, whereby the Stinger is a relatively traditional twin-turbocharged, V6, business in the front party in the back sports saloon, albeit with a svelte coupe belt and roofline. In short, the Stinger is what came before and the EV6 is a taste of things to come.
If you’re wedded to the way the Stinger goes about its business – its feel that’s as low-slung as its form, the lazy but faithful chassis, the quietly confident V6 mill, the predictable, adjustable and playful rear-end, the cocoon-ish cabin – then the EV6 will at first feel a little foreign to you. It’s higher up, it’s possessed of a sturdier driving position, it replaces strong and stable speed with a monumental shove and just doesn’t have that traditional sense of style, good-looking though it may be for what it is.
It does improve objectively on the Stinger in many ways, however, with improved cabin quality, vastly more advanced tech and objectively, performance that will humble some supercars. Is there a bit of heart missing? That’s a claim you’ll struggle to substantiate once you’ve pushed the ‘GT’ button, which tightens up the suspension – to a borderline unpleasant degree for road use – makes the steering scalpel-sharp and gives you neck-snapping throttle response. This is a car the engineers have enjoyed getting close to the limits of in terms of hardware capability. After all, isn’t that the remit of a halo car?
And a halo car it certainly remains. But is it a successor to the Stinger in a traditional sense? Truthfully, no, not in the way F80 followed E92 in M3 land. In many ways it’s nothing like the Stinger. It’ll still tour reasonably well – as we found out loping across Belgium and France – but it can only consider itself a sequel in that it’s at the top of the range. It’s a great car, but the long-legged, stylish, understatedly taut Stinger still goes without a spiritual heir, even if its throne is occupied.
In truth, this is a sign of the times and the times, they are a-changing. SUVs are the sales tonic of the day and internal combustion is giving way to electric, at least for marques with dealer networks. Happily, the EV6 GT is a very good car in its own right and you need only look at its key rivals to see that it’s very much the right direction to go in for the marque. But we’ll still miss that Stinger.
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