Kia stings the auto hierarchy

You may have heard about Kia’s first ever performance car lately, the Kia Stinger GT, given how much it has been talked about – and praised. Especially in the top GT version the Stinger is quite good-looking, drives well and is equipped with a twin-turbo, 370 hp six-cylinder, ensuring it delivers in terms of performance as well. That’s all great, but not even Kia expects the Stinger GT to sell in the tens of thousands, mostly given it’s a four-door sedan – and that it’s a Kia.

Kia Stinger exterior

Kia Stinger interior
A very nice place to be!

This last point is where it gets interesting. Because it’s neither for the engine, nor the looks or the road manners that the GT has received most praise – it’s for the interior, which I had the opportunity to explore myself recently. I can only confirm what has been said by others: if you didn’t know what car you’re in, I guarantee that you would guess on something firmly in the high-end segment. From the leather dashboard over the metal applications to the equipment and the quality of the seats, there is nothing that would make you think you’re sitting in a Kia, except for the logo on the steering wheel.

If you had taken a 400hp engine and put it in a Hyundai, Kia or Skoda five years ago, it would still not have made it a serious contender in the high-end segment, too big were the differences in ride and interior quality. But now we have come to the stage where technological and production progress is such that a brand such as Kia can deliver a car that looks good, drives well and is fully specced, but still at least EUR 20.000 cheaper than any comparable Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

What’s the value of a brand? I believe we’ll find out over the next few years, but the just got a whole lot tougher for the traditional premium brands!

Kia Soul
A 2010 Kia Soul – let’s just say we’ve come a long way since!

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