Kia gives slow-selling Stinger a nip and tuck
SEOUL, South Korea - It’s the car that enthusiasts around the world really wanted Kia to build, but the one that customers have not warmed to in big enough numbers.
Last year CarAdvice reported that the Stinger’s future was in jeopardy because worldwide sales had fallen below expectations, which is not surprising given the general decline of the sedan market.
But Kia is not giving up on its large, rear-wheel drive grand tourer just yet, with the Korean carmaker having released the first pictures of the facelifted model that will hit global markets later this year.
Although a small batch of Kia Stingers did make their way to South Africa in 2018, the local importer says that there are “no immediate plans” to bring the enhanced version to South Africa.
Kia hasn’t yet released any powertrain details, but there have been rumours of a new 3.5-litre V6 turbopetrol engine finding its way into the range-topping version. The Stinger is currently offered with a 272kW 3.3-litre V6 turbopetrol as well as a 182kW 2-litre turbopetrol. Buyers can also choose between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
Subtle design changes for 2020 include new LED headlights and taillights featuring new lighting signatures, and fresh 18-inch and 19-inch wheel designs, while buyers also have more scope for customising their cars. Joining the options list is a set of larger wide-bore bright silver exhaust mufflers, combined with a sportier rear diffuser design.
Kia has also introduced two new exterior packages, including a new ‘Dark Package’ that brings with it a gloss black diffuser surround and black wide-bore muffler tips. Those in North America can also opt for a Black Package that includes new 19-inch matte black lightweight wheels, a new rear wing for the trunk lid, and blacked out mirror caps and side fender trim.
The basic design of the cabin remains as before, but Kia has made a number of material upgrades with the aim of creating a more premium atmosphere. This includes new metallic trim on the steering wheel and a frameless rear view mirror. Depending on the model selected, the dashboard and doors are finished with new contrast stitching, while the centre console is available with aluminium or carbon fibre-style trim. Customers can also opt for various new colour and material options, including the new Nappa leather seats with a quilted design.