The Kia Stinger has been around for the better part of four years and has revolutionized the way people look at the Kia brand. Most would never have imagined that this humble Korean manufacturer would ever be capable of building a luxury sport sedan that serves as actual competition for German rivals, yet here it is. Styled as a distinctive liftback sedan, the Stinger offers both style and practicality and packs a mean punch too. For 2022, the base model gets a larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing more power and torque, but the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 with 368 horsepower and 376 lb-ft remains the most potent option with a small power bump.
The Stinger goes up against luxury vehicles such as the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, which both offer similar refinement and more premium badges, but at much higher prices. In the mainstream category, Kia's only competition comes from the Volkswagen Arteon, which is focused more on comfort and less on sporty driving. The Stinger has long been one of our all-time favorite sport sedans on the market, and the latest 2022 refresh keeps it at the top.
The 2022 Kia Stinger is a changed car thanks to numerous styling updates and a power plant replacement in base form. The 255-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot in last year's base model is replaced with a 2.5-liter turbo-four producing an impressive 300 hp. The 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 also makes more power, up from 365 hp to 368 hp, and it sounds better with a new electronic variable exhaust system. The exterior now features redesigned lights, exhaust tips, and wheels. The interior shows off more refined materials, an ambient lighting system, and a standard 10.25-inch infotainment display. The GT trim falls away for 2022, while auto emergency braking, blind-spot collision avoidance, and lane keeping assist are made standard for the remaining three trims. The Scorpion Special Edition is set to arrive in Spring and will only be available in limited batches of 250 cars per month.
See trim levels and configurations:
The Kia Stinger has always been a handsome car, but the 2022 vehicle looks even better thanks to some restyled features, such as the headlights and more aggressive rear end. The exterior of the base Stinger features LED reflector headlights with high-beam assist and auto headlight control, rain-sensing window wipers, and 18-inch Vertex alloy wheels. The mid-level GT1 adds a power tilt/slide sunroof with power shade, 19-inch Spire alloy wheels, and Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires. GT2 models include auto-dimming outside mirrors, a power trunk lid, and bi-function projector-beam LED headlights with low beam assist. Only available as a GT2 model the Scorpion Special Edition will have bespoke 19-inch black wheels, blacked-out exterior accents, and a unique color-keyed rear spoiler. The refreshed Kia logo upfront and "Stinger" badge at the back combine to give the car a more premium appearance.
At 190.2 inches in length, the 4-door liftback Stinger isn't as large as the 2022 Dodge Charger in terms of dimensions, but is over five inches longer than the Genesis G70. The total width of the Stinger is 73.6 inches, and it sits 55.1 inches off the ground. The wheelbase is 114.4 inches. No official figures have been given for curb weight, but last year's base model came in at 3,611 pounds while the heaviest model tipped the scales at 4,023 lbs. We expect more of the same for 2022.
The Stinger's color palette offers a really good balance between sophisticated and sporty. The Stinger is available in seven exterior colors, starting with the most undercover of them all, Aurora Black Pearl. Snow White Pearl and Ceramic Silver each cost $495. These are followed by HiChroma Red, Micro Blue Pearl, Panthera Metal, and Ascot Green. The red also costs $495 but requires the addition of the $2,300 GT-Line Sun & Sound Package. Micro Blue Pearl and Ascot Green have no individual charge but also require this package. The limited-run Scorpion Special Edition will only be available in Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black, and Ceramic Silver. No single color truly stands out, which is why we like them all, but if we had to make a choice, we'd go with the interesting Ascot Green. Our tester's Ceramic Silver was a nice mix of unique but not too flashy.
You can do much worse than the Kia Stinger in terms of having fun; the car comes with rear-wheel drive as standard and optional all-wheel drive. Kia aimed the Stinger at buyers with a lust for spirited driving, and we're happy to report that the 2022 Stinger is better than ever, primarily thanks to a healthy power upgrade in the base model. The entry-level Stinger does away with its 2.0-liter four-banger in favor of a 2.5-liter unit that pushes power from a decent 255 hp to a meaty 300 horses. This makes for a serious sleeper car; Kia estimates that the GT-Line will bolt from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.2 seconds and top out at 130 mph. The tried and trusted twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 engine also offers slightly more power for 2022 - 368 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque - and delivers a massive punch off the line thanks to all that low-down torque. The 3.3-liter car will skip to 60 mph in a claimed 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 167 mph when equipped with summer tires. We wonder why Kia didn't get the newer 3.5-liter V6 from the Hyundai Motor Group parts bin, but the 3.3 is still a charmer.
The Stinger was meant to be fun for the masses, and Kia made this abundantly clear when it replaced the already competent 255-hp 2.0-liter four-pot engine with a turbocharged 2.5-liter unit pushing a significant 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels or optionally to all four via an eight-speed automatic transmission. We love that Kia lets you get RWD or AWD on both engines. This combination feels effortlessly quick but lacks the soulfulness of the 3.3-liter V6 engine. The GT1 and GT2 trim come standard with the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 gas engine, including a strong 368 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. This engine has proven itself to be dependable and stupidly quick on the road. Peak torque hits at just 1,300 rpm, and the engine keeps pulling up to the 6,000-rpm peak. The eight-speed transmission is smooth in operation, comparing well to the industry benchmark ZF unit. In automatic mode, the shifts are imperceptible and in manual mode, it quickly changes cogs to enable maximum fun.
Kia has gone the route of so many German sport sedans before it. Its RWD chassis strikes a balance between dynamic handling and comfort, and driving this machine on a daily basis reveals a slight bias towards sporty driving. Driven at slower speeds, the Stinger does a phenomenal job of absorbing bumps, but the suspension setup has a notable firmness compared to an average midsize sedan. The good news is, the Stinger is softly sprung by sports sedan standards and the cabin is well insulated on the highway. Buyers who've never forayed outside the realm of Honda and Toyota cars may find the Stinger too stiff, but luxury customers coming from BMW and Mercedes should come away impressed by the car's ride quality.
Driving with more vigor reveals the Stinger is a genuine sports sedan that wasn't built with track duty in mind. The suspension is softer than you'd want for extreme driving, but the chassis offers enough flex to keep the driver feeling in control. Kia's development boss Albert Biermann has taken his know-how from BMW, and created a car that offers a more natural connection to the road than his former employer's current crop of vehicles. Yes, an M5 will spank the Stinger around a track, but we genuinely prefer the talkative steering and communicative chassis in the Kia. Praise doesn't get much higher. The Stinger is as eager to stop as it is to go thanks to a set of highly competent Brembo brakes on GT models, but the brakes on the base model are more than capable too.
We've sampled the RWD Stinger GT in the past, and found it highly pleasing to drive quickly with the ability to light up the rear tires on-demand. This time Kia sent us a V6-powered GT2 trim with AWD, and we are pleased to report that the addition of two driven wheels hasn't numbed the excitement. Sure, burnouts are tougher to execute, but the stability added through the corners is worth the trade-off, especially if you live in a cold climate. With AWD, we'd happily drive the Stinger in the snowy winter months. Overall, the Kia Stinger is a competent all-rounder that's nearly impossible to fault.
The gas mileage figures for the 2022 Kia Stinger range from fine to pretty bad, but we didn't expect miracles here. Especially when you consider that the Stinger in GT trim can be an AWD sedan with close to 400 horsepower. According to the EPA, the most efficient of the bunch is the RWD GT-Line, which will return a commendable 22/32/25 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. The AWD model will see those numbers drop to 21/29/24 mpg. The RWD 3.3-liter car achieves a best figure of 18/25/20, and the AWD gets 17/24/20 mpg. We managed to best those numbers, recording 24.2 mpg on the highway and 18.3 mpg in mixed driving, though we'd still call the Stinger a thirsty beast. By comparison, the BMW 430i Gran Coupe achieves much better figures of 25/34/28 mpg.
The Stinger's 15.9-gallon fuel tank affords a maximum range of between 318 miles and 398 miles.
Kia has come a long way in terms of interior quality, and although the Korean manufacturer still hasn't achieved German levels of quality, all the elements are there, including leather upholstery, tight panel gaps, and stylish trimmings. The cabin somewhat resembles that of an Audi or Mercedes-Benz, especially in the design of the air vents and door handle layout. We appreciate the flow of the dashboard and easy-to-use controls. The bolstered sport steering wheel is also a nice touch. The cabin of the Stinger feels airy, and there's enough space for five adults to take on a long road trip in comfort, though the rear headroom is worse than most sedans. Modern tech like wireless phone charging is welcome, and dual-zone climate control keeps the cabin temperate.
The Kia Stinger emphasizes driver and passenger comfort. This midsize liftback will happily seat five adults and provides impressive front head- and legroom. Things get a bit tighter in the back, but with 36.4 inches of legroom, there's just about as much space as you'd get in a BMW 5 Series. Headroom is less impressive, and requires a dip maneuver when hopping in the back. The GT-Line and GT1 get a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way power lumbar support, and the GT2 gets 16-way adjustability with four-way power air-cell lumbar support and two-way side bolster support with a cushion thigh extension. In the GT-Line, the front-seat passenger GT-Line gets six-way manual adjustment while moving up to the upper trims adds power adjustments for the front passenger. Front seats are heated across the range, with rear-seat heating and front-seat ventilation being added to the GT2 trim along with heated rear seats.
Luxury is the name of the game when it comes to the interior material choices offered on the 2022 Kia Stinger. The GT-Line and GT1 trims are offered with black leather upholstery as standard, although you can opt for Red or Beige at an added cost, which varies between the two trims. GT2 models come with Nappa leather in the same color schemes, although the Scorpion Special Edition is limited to Red or Black Nappa leather. On all models, the choice of interior color is somewhat limited by the exterior paint you've chosen, so be sure to check which options are compatible.
The interior features soft-touch plastics and black gloss and chrome details on the instrument panel for base models, with aluminum trim on upper-spec models. Base models have a modern stitching pattern on the door panels, while GT2 trims with Nappa leather get a new "chain link" pattern. The Scorpion Special Edition gets an exclusive carbon-fiber-pattern trim for the cockpit.
Cargo space and storage is one of the key benefits from the liftback design. The 2022 Kia Stinger's body shape affords it a wealth of cargo space, and it outperforms rivals such as the Audi A5 Sportback by a good cube and a half. With 23.3 cubic feet of space, you're going to fit a whole lot more in the trunk of the Stinger than your standard executive sedan, and if you're after even more space, the Stinger's 60/40 split-folding rear seatback opens 40.9 cubes. As a small note, the trunk is a bit shallow, so tall grocery bags from Trader Joe's are an awkward fit, even with the wealth of space.
Small-item storage is decent. You can store your phone and keys in the center console and glovebox. There are two large cupholders in the front and bottle holders in the front and rear doors. The driver also gets an overhead sunglasses holder, and there's underfloor storage for added practicality.
Value for money has always been part of Kia's game plan, and this counts in the Kia Stinger, too. The base model comes standard with rear parking distance warning, wireless phone charging, an intelligent key with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way power lumbar support, and heated front seats. In terms of driver assists, the entry-level trim has blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, safe exit warning, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance-assist, driver attention warning, forward collision warning, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane following assist, and intelligent cruise control with stop and go.
Moving up one trim, the GT1 adds LED interior and map lighting, multi-color LED accent lighting, and an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat with two-way power lumbar support. The GT2 comes standard with a surround-view monitor, front and rear park distance warning, a seven-inch driver information display, sport gauges, a head-up display, a power tilt & telescopic steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, a 16-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way power air-cell lumbar adjustment, a 12-way power-adjustable passenger's seat, ventilation for the front seats, and heated rear outboard seats.
The new Kia Stinger makes use of Kia's UVO infotainment system and features a 10.25-inch touchscreen display with navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth streaming. Last year's Stinger was available with an eight-inch base screen, but 10.25 is now the standard. The GT-Line and GT1 both feature a nine-speaker sound system, while the GT2 gets a high-end Harman Kardon 15-speaker sound system that punches well above its price point and makes us wonder why Kia switched to Bose in its other models. HD and satellite radio are standard across the lineup. The system as a whole is easy enough to get to grips with thanks to an intuitive layout, and the display offers crisp images. The 15-speaker Harman Karman sound system offers deep and rich tones and sounds best when bumping holiday music on your way to visit family.
There have been no recalls issued for the 2022 Kia Stinger, but the 2021 model has been recalled twice, first for a faulty ABS unit which could cause the car to catch fire, and after that for a fuel supply issue.
Kia will cover the Stinger in the USA with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, as well as a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty and an industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Roadside assistance runs for either five years or 60,000 miles.
The NHTSA review reveals that this car offers class-leading safety front to back; the Stinger scores a full five stars overall, with only the frontal crash tests yielding four out of five stars. Both the side-impact and rollover tests resulted in a five-star rating. The IIHS reviews of the Kia Stinger concur, and the authority awarded it a Top Safety Pick+ rating as well as six top scores of Good for all crashworthiness tests.
Simply having a few airbags and traction control onboard won't win you any safety awards, so it comes as no surprise that the 2022 Kia Stinger is loaded with modern safety features. All Stingers get seven airbags, including a driver's side knee airbag and full-length side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, and cornering brake control.
The list of standard driver assistance features is rather impressive too: the base model comes with rear cross-traffic collision avoidance-assist, lane following assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, forward collision warning, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, safe exit assist, and smart cruise control with stop and go. GT2 cars add a blind-spot view monitor, a head-up display, and a surround-view monitor. The lower two trims have a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines. Rear parking sensors are fitted to every Stinger and the GT2 adds front parking sensors too.
From the first moment we drove it, we knew the Kia Stinger was special. Here's a car that goes toe-to-toe with Germany's finest, and bests them in dynamic feel. How did a humble automaker like Kia manage this feat? By hiring the best in the business to beat BMW at its own game. The result is a handsome looking sports sedan that only looks more premium for the 2022 model year. Inside, the cabin looks luxurious enough to wear four rings or a three-pointed star. But no matter how many times Kia redesigns its logo, there will always be shoppers who will never consider the Stinger over an Audi A5 Sportback or a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, even if those models are more expensive. To those buyers we say, "your loss."
Kia's updates for 2022 remind us why we loved this car in the first place, and give shoppers more reasons to choose one. The V6-powered GT1 and GT2 models are total sweethearts to drive, but the upgraded 2.5-liter four-cylinder would make us seriously consider saving some cash on the GT-Line. No matter which Stinger model you choose, know you are getting one of the definitive sports sedans of this decade.
The 2022 Stinger might not keep up with its German rivals in terms of refinement or handling prowess, but it does undercut them on price and, in some cases, offers more safety features. The GT-Line with its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine has a base price of $36,090 in the US excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $1,045. Going for the GT1 will bag you the more powerful 3.3-liter turbo engine, but at a price: the Kia Stinger GT1 will cost you $43,690. The top of the line GT2 adds a healthy amount of standard features but raises the price to over $50k, with an MSRP of $51,290. Adding AWD to any model will raise the price by $2,000.
There are three Kia Stinger models on offer for 2022, starting with the GT-Line and then progressing to the GT1 and GT2. The GT-Line is powered by a 300-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged four-pot and sends its power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The GT1 and GT2 are powered by a 368-hp twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 engine. All models can be optionally equipped with AWD.
Standard features on the GT-Line include a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way power lumbar support, leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear parking distance warning, a smart key with push-button start, wireless phone charging, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The infotainment system consists of a 10.25-inch touchscreen display with navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth streaming, as well as a nine-speaker sound system. Standard driver assistance features include forward-collision warning, safe exit assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, driver attention warning, forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance-assist, lane keep assist, lane following assist, and smart cruise control with stop and go.
GT1 models come with an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat with a height adjuster, LED interior and map lighting, and multi-color LED accent lighting. This model also adds a power tilt/slide sunroof, red Brembo brake calipers, and larger 19-inch alloy wheels.
The range-topping GT2 comes with a power tilt & telescopic steering wheel, sport gauges, a surround-view monitor, front/rear parking sensors, a 16-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way power lumbar support, a 12-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a head-up display, and a high-end Harman Kardon 15-speaker sound system.
The 2022 Kia Stinger is mostly a 'what you see is what you get' kind of vehicle, but Kia still offers a few optional packages. The GT-Line is offered with the GT-Line Sun & Sound package, which, for $2,300, adds a sunroof with a power sunshade, a Harman Kardon QuantumLogic sound system with 15 speakers, and an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat.
The GT2 is offered with the $1,295 Scorpion package, which adds a rear spoiler, unique black-finish wheels, dark exhaust tips, some fender garnish, black mirror caps, and carbon-fiber interior trim.
With a brand new engine, the base model feels more lively than ever, but the 3.3-liter car still has nearly 70 horsepower more. If you're simply after a quick and practical sedan, then the GT-Line will work perfectly, but we would recommend going for the middle child, the GT1. This trim doesn't add much in terms of features, but it gets you behind the wheel of that twin-turbo V6. We'd avoid the GT2 because, at $51,290, you can start looking at some heavy German metal for that price. If we were buying, we'd get the GT1 in Ascot Green or HiChroma Red for $43,690.
These two stylish luxury sedans might look significantly different, but they share the same platform developed by Hyundai and Kia. The G70 offers a more traditional sedan design and a slightly more mature look. Unlike the Stinger, which scores that new 2.5-liter engine, the 2022 Genesis G70 is stuck with a 2.0-liter engine producing only 252 hp and 260 lb-ft, but the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 is also on offer and produces 365 hp and 376 lb-ft. The G70 offers significantly less cargo space at only 10.5 cubic feet but provides a better headroom in the front. These cars share the same infotainment system, and the overall experience is very similar. The Genesis offers slightly more sophistication but at a higher price than the Kia Stinger. We'll stick with the Kia.
When Kia retired the famed Optima in 2020, the globally-used K5 moniker took its place, and this midsize sedan looks fantastic. The K5 slots in below the Stinger in Kia's sedan lineup and sits above the Rio and Forte. The K5 is longer than the Stinger, and on the inside, offers more front legroom but slightly less rear legroom. Due to its sedan body shape, it offers less cargo space at 16 cubic feet. The K5 is a comfortable car to drive but fails to entertain the same way the Stinger does, primarily due to its FWD or AWD-only configuration. The more economical turbocharged 1.6-liter engine in the K5 offers enough go for city driving and returns good gas mileage figures, but the 2.5-liter engine is the one to go for. In the K5, the specs on this motor are 290 hp and 311 lb-ft. If you're not too phased by handling dynamics and can settle for a slightly less sophisticated interior, the K5 makes a lot of sense.
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