Following a disappointing initial test from ANCAP, Kia’s sporty new Stinger saloon received an odd two-tier safety rating with the full 5-star score given to those above the base S trim level, which received a less impressive 3-star rating.
Much of the dissonance came down to these entry level variants lacking Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system that the higher grade ones include, leaving the rear-drive South Korean four-door at a disadvantage in terms of buyer perception. The decision to leave out the pre-collision feature was arrived at, in part, in order to ensure a sharper starting price.
Now, though, with Kia revising the standard equipment structure of the Stinger range to include AEB throughout, hopes were high that ANCAP would see fit to unequivocally declare the it a 5-star safety rated vehicle.
Indeed, these measures have paid off as the Australian New Vehicle Assessment Program announced an updated rating that includes the 5-star score on all variants, including the base models: 200S and 330S.
As expected, however, the new fully-AEB-equipped Stinger range is now slightly more expensive at the base level, specifically by $1,000, to $46,990 and $49,990 respectively. While true that bulk of the assessment’s new higher score is motivated by the inclusion of AEB, these updated base models do lack the other safety features included in higher tier variants.
“As soon as we were made aware of the unusual situation regarding the original ANCAP rating of the Stinger, Kia Motors Australia took steps to rectify and ensure consistency across the model range,” KMAu Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said.
“At no stage was there any suggestion that the physical crash safety of any Stinger model was less than any other grade, however the absence of some technology on the entry-level cars led to a split rating. With the inclusion of AEB on both S grade models that situation no longer exists.”