Kia describes the Stinger as ‘The family sports sedan with five doors’. It is a VERY sporty and good-looking vehicle that I was so excited to drive… on my own!! Will it be any good as a family car though? BabyDrive will be the judges of that!!!
The Stinger gets a big tick for boot space! For a sporty car, I really was not expecting to open the boot and find this much storage space! It’s AMAZING!! With nothing else, I could fit 13 shopping bags in the boot!
I could fit the double stroller and three bags.
Our Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle stroller and five bags.
Or our Britax Holiday2 umbrella stroller and nine bags! That’s wagon and SUV territory!! Definitely enough room in the boot for all that’s needed for a family weekend away.
When installing child seats in the back, it was really easy to connect the ISOFix into the two outer rear seats. The Stinger has the best ISOFix guides I have come across in a vehicle so far!! Plastic guides that have a cover you press for opening and the motion helps you insert your ISOFix connector. It was a little trickier disconnecting them as the top of the plastic casing got in the way a little.
There are three top tether anchor points situated in the seatbacks in the boot. We found only two child seats fitted in the back, in the outer seats, with not enough room for a third in the centre or even for a passenger to sit between the two child seats.
The media touch screen system is very good, it’s so easy to use and the swipe and scroll method is easy to navigate first time. The Stinger has Apple CarPlay, which just makes life so simple! The Bluetooth is simple to connect to; instructional prompts actually come up on the media screen to help you connect your phone to the vehicle.
The air-conditioning in the Stinger is very effective and easy to control, taking no time to cool the cabin on a hot Queensland day. There are five vents in the front and two in the back for rear passengers.
The rear passengers are well catered for with a 12V socket and USB charging point in the back also.
The glove box and central console box are both lined, which helps minimise rattling sounds and the visors in the front can extend to cover the side windows, which is a thoughtful detail.
As a family car and a BabyDrive, these are my main pros and boot space and ease of installing child seats are very important major factors.
BUT…. there are a few other big-ticket things that are important as a BabyDrive and unfortunately, the Stinger fell short! Like being able to put your child in and out of their rear facing child seat and fastening their seatbelts! The roof is so low at the back that it was really uncomfortable getting down and in to do up seatbelts. It became a big bugbear as the week went on. Also, the physical space you have to post the child through into their seat is tiny because the door opening is so small and the ceiling is so low! Tulsi has just turned two so was manoeuvrable, but a newborn would not be quite so resilient.
On the same note, the low-slung roofline impacts inside the vehicle too. In the back, it makes putting bub in and out of their seat from inside the vehicle very difficult.
For the driver and passengers, it feels a little dark and claustrophobic and headroom in the back is just enough for a tall passenger but the legroom is not great especially as the front seats sit so low.
The windows are shallow too, making visibility extremely poor. As driver, I really couldn’t see much behind me past my headrest. Thankfully the reversing camera is very clear and can be used without selecting reverse using a button on the central console, and you can turn it on or off.
The central console and dashboard wrap right around the driver and front passenger; it is beautifully designed and has a feeling of a business class seat on an aeroplane. However, with the low ceiling and narrow windows, I felt very hemmed in.
The Stinger is also one of the most vocal vehicles I have driven!! It has welcome chimes, goodbye tunes and alert noises for almost anything you can think of!!
The seats in the V6 330Si model we tested had perforated leather throughout, which would be very difficult to keep clean and crumb free!
It is difficult then, to sum up if the Stinger is a good BabyDrive and family sports sedan. It definitely has the space in the boot and legroom is good. A 6ft passenger can sit in front of a rear facing child seat. If you are a family of four it is fine and if your rear passengers are in front facing child seats that would help too with getting them in and out easier. It is a good looking car and great to drive!
The Kia Stiger Si, Ex, GT line, GT Sport and GT variants all got a 5-star ANCAP safety rating in 2017. Where as the 200S and 330S variants only scored a 3-star ANCAP safety rating in 2017.