The best in advanced driver assistance systems and connectivity

Stinger may evoke memories of the golden age of gran turismos, but it is not a retro car. Its advanced driver aids take into account that roads are busier and there are more distractions than yesteryear, while its 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system acknowledges that drivers no longer use maps to find their way around but expect the car to guide them to their destination, and that they expect to remain fully connected throughout the journey.

Stinger's advanced driver aids are controlled by cameras and radar to supplement the driver's vision and reactions. They are not there to take over the operation of the car or to spoil the driver's enjoyment in driving it.

All versions have Autonomous Emergency Braking, which employs both short- and long-range radar systems so that it can detect vehicles and pedestrians at greater distances and higher speeds. The short-range radar operates at typical city speeds of up to 31mph. Between 19mph and 50mph the longer-range radar also comes into play to detect obstacles in the car's path and respond by automatically slowing the car, to a complete stop if necessary. The pedestrian detection function operates at up to 37mph.

Lane Keep Assist is also standard, and prevents the driver from straying into an adjoining lane accidentally. If the driver begins to change lane without first indicating, Stinger will issue audible and visual alerts and, if no action is taken, steer itself back into lane. It is therefore more effective than a simple lane departure warning.

One reason why drivers might inadvertently change lanes is that they are becoming tired, Stinger mitigates against that through its Driver Attention Warning. Through a camera and sensors it first builds up a profile of the driving style of the person behind the wheel. If it then detects significant variations from that profile it then alerts the driver that it is time to take a break.

High Beam Assist, also standard, adjusts the headlight beam range between main and dipped according to other traffic and local lighting.

Stinger also has a Speed Limit Information System.

‘GT-Line S’ and ’GT S’ supplement this with Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert: together, these act as an extra pair of eyes for the driver, warning of vehicles approaching out of his or her eye-line when changing lanes or exiting parallel parking spaces.

An Active Bonnet is standard with all three trim grades to reduce damage to pedestrians' heads in a collision.

Stinger has Electronic Stability Control linked to Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) to correct potential skids without any intervention from the driver. VSM incorporates a new dynamic torque vectoring system which monitors driver inputs and road conditions and automatically applies power and braking force to the inner rear wheel to minimise understeer and enhance tractability and steering feel.

The standard touchscreen navigation has full European mapping and a Traffic Messaging Channel. Stinger also has Kia Connected Services with TomTom™, giving access to traffic, speed camera and weather information plus local search details in a number of categories, from the location of Kia dealerships to nearby restaurants. This is supplemented by Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ connectivity which, via pre-downloaded apps on a suitable smartphone, links the car to maps, music, podcasts and texts through voice commands.

Kia Connected Services with TomTom™ are accessed through the 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation system. The information available to drivers includes live traffic updates, weather reports, speed camera locations and local point-of-interest searches, from the location of Kia dealerships to nearby restaurants and hotels.

The system is compatible with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, both of which are standard fitments. Android Auto is available when the system is paired with Android smartphones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher, while Apple CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 and newer versions of the Apple handset. Both allow occupants to connect to various apps and functions, including voice-guided, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Android Auto gives access to Google maps navigation and Google Play music, while Apple CarPlay links to pre-loaded maps, music, podcasts, texts and messages and audiobooks, all through Siri voice control.

A reversing camera is standard and all models have Bluetooth with music streaming.