THINGS are different in the northern hemisphere. Itís hot there when itís cold here and most will lay down their hard earned on a 2.0-litre Kia Stinger despite an available twin-turbo 3.3-litre six. The fact that juice is more expensive north of the equator has something to do with it.
The four-pot Stinger drinks 2.4 less litres across 100 clicks. However, as we found out after a quick blast in the 183kW/353Nm rear-drive sedan, economy isnít the only thing the four-pot Stinger has going for it. The square unit pinched from the Optima range comes with an eight-speed auto and shaves 77kg from the Stingerís nose, pegging its mass at 1693kg and reeling back the centre of balance. The brakes have shrunk with its waist size, too. A lightness across its front-axle replaces the six cylinderís initial push. It also settles quicker into mid-corner balance and feels a touch keener to change direction. The S and Si variants ride nicely on their passive suspension setup. But the GT-Lineís adaptive dampers and staggered footprint on 19-inch wheels feels more composed when youíre really hooking in. That drivetrain is the least remarkable attribute.
The 2.0-litre pushes hard enough to show up the lack of an LSD, while a 6.0sec sprint to 100km/h trounces the foregone Falcon EcoBoost, but it feels and sounds thrashy at higher revs. Kiaís structured the equipment list similarly to its 3.3-litre range, with each grade adding more kit. Yet, with each variant priced only $3K-$4K below their V6 equivalents, thereís a case for saving your pennies for twin-turbo power. Kia reckons 75 per cent of Aussies will do just that. Ė LC