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BabyDrive Verdict

I reviewed the Kia Stinger V6 330Si a few months ago and now I have had the chance to review the GT version, this time with a video! Kia describes the Stinger as ‘The family sports sedan with five doors’. It is a VERY sporty and good-looking vehicle that I LOVED driving on my own previously so I am looking forward to putting the GT version through BabyDrive testing!

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!

One thing I did discover this time because I was testing using different strollers to previously, was that the boot is shallow. Strollers like the Britax Flexx tandem only fitted with one shopping bag because there wasn't the depth in the boot for it to stack on top of itself, so all the components had to go side by side filling the boot space.

The Mountain Buggy Duet twin stroller fitted with four shopping bags, the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle with five and the Nano compact stroller with 9. That’s wagon and SUV territory!! We found there was plenty of room in the boot for our family weekend away with three adults and our toddler.

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.

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 in both models is very good, it’s so easy to use and the swipe and scroll method is easy to navigate the first time you use it. 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, I could reach the rear controls from the front to control them for little 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.

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 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 and restraints. It became a big bugbear as the week went on. Also, the physical space you have to post the child through into their child seat is tiny because the door opening is so small and the ceiling is so low! I found the problem just as bad with forward-facing and rear-facing child seats and I hit my daughter's head many times over the week we had the Stinger GT.

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 down that they trap rear passenger's toes underneath them … literally!

The windows are shallow too, making visibility extremely poor. As the 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 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 GT model 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 space in the boot and legroom is good. A 184cm 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 forward-facing child seats that would help too if they can climb in and out themselves. 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. Whereas the 200S and 330S variants only scored a 3-star ANCAP safety rating in 2017. So choose carefully if you buy second-hand!

BabyDrive Indepth

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