KIA looks to be breaking new ground for itself with the fairly boy-racerishly-named Stinger, but don’t be put off by the name – this is a pretty attractive grand tourer.

While it’s got tough competition in this sector of the market, the Stinger really does compete with the likes of the A5 from Audi and even the BMW 4-series on looks alone. Yes, it’s that good – and you get the benefit, too, of Kia’s substantial seven-year warranty.

But for a GT, it’s all about the capability under the bonnet and that’s being offered in spades by a bit of a rip-snorter, a 3.3-litre 365 bhp twin-turbo V6 in the GT-S – but we’re taking a look at the more humble, but still a racy little number, the 2.0-litre petrol model which offers 244 bhp.

Confusingly, it’s called the T-GDi engine which most would take for a diesel variant, but not so – the GDi in this case denotes gasoline direct injection, so don’t confuse it with the third Stinger model, a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel of 197 bhp.

And, living up to the GT fashion, this is a rear-wheel-drive machine only (though the GT-S gets all-wheel-drive to handle its power) and the drive is fed via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which was great when putting a bit of zest into driving, but less so when dawdling along, when it seemed sometimes to be in two minds of which gear to choose.

The cabin is quite well equipped too and the heated and ventilated leather seats seemed comfortable, even for the larger proportioned (ie me!). It is also packed with the latest ‘infotainment’ stuff, with DAB radio, Bluetooth, phone connectivity and there’s even a full 360-degree all round view monitors, with rear parking sensors and a pretty clear picture from a colour camera. But, if you are aiming to compete with the BMWs, Audis and Jags of this world, then adding value is pretty incumbent on Kia to allow it to squeeze its way into buyers’ thinking.

The touchscreen was easy to use, if just a little out of comfortable reach – but had big icons and letters, which is ideal for operating on the move.

There’s also a great deal of room available, even for the rear seat passengers and in this respect it’s better than the A5 by some margin, while its boot space of just a little over 400 litres is about comparable.

Performance-wise, it has a claimed 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds, which is not bad when you consider that it should return in the mid-30s mpg. This model, with some bells and whistles added for the GT-Line S designation, hits the road at £35,825, though the entry level starts at £32,025 – and even it gets 18-inch alloys, heated front seats and steering wheel, sat-nav and a comprehensive suite of driver aids and safety systems.

The bottom line is that a similar Audi, or BMW would cost £10k more and they don’t get a seven-year warranty as standard. Even the range-topping GT-S comes in at just a shade more than £40k, including having an adaptive chassis damping system.

And, the Stinger ended the year on a high by taking the best ‘Executive’ car title at the Scottish Car of the Year awards and also the ‘Sports Saloon of the Year’ at a later awards ceremony.

First published July 5, 2018 and updated December, 2018.