The Kia Stinger is an unusual model for a mainstream brand. First, it comes with standard rear-wheel drive. Second, it blends luxury and performance elements that are typically found on fine models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Importantly, it delivers value to set it apart from the pack.
The Stinger is not a new model. Introduced in 2018, it is now in its fifth model year. Also, the Stinger is not quite a sedan, despite its four doors. Indeed, it comes with a rear liftgate that reminds us of the Audi A5 and A7 Sportback models. That last fact alone demonstrates that Kia has much more than your average shopper in mind with the Stinger.
Highlights of the Kia Stinger
Read on and will look at some fun facts surrounding this unusual model.
Renewed this year
Although not a new model, Kia is not resting on its laurels. For 2022, the Stinger receives refreshed exterior and interior design changes, including updated LED lighting. A 10.25-inch touchscreen display is now standard across the model line. Lastly, the base engine receives a slight boost in its power numbers this year.
Related to Genesis
Kia is one of three brands in the Hyundai Motor Company matrix. The other two are the eponymous Hyundai brand and the luxury Genesis marque. Hyundai split Genesis from itself in 2017 and has since launched three new sedans and two SUVs.
The platform underpinning the Kia Stinger is shared with the Genesis G70 sedan. Notably, Kia got the Stinger first with the G70 following a year later. Genesis’ most recent model is the GV70 SUV. It also shares its platform with the Stinger and G70, therefore the Stinger is in an elite company.
Three trims and a competitive price point
Kia offers the 2022 Stinger in GT-Line, GT1, and GT2 trims. The GT-Line has the standard engine, while the GTs come with the V6. The engines work with an automatic transmission to send power to the rear wheels or for a $2,200 upgrade, to all four wheels.
Pricing starts at $36,090 for the GT-Line and rises to $43,690 for the GT1. Choose the GT2 and this one costs $51,290. Add $1,075 for the destination charge. We’ll mention the two packages later, but other upgrades include special paints ($495) and a red interior ($295).
Two packages available
Kia equips the Stinger so well that there are only two packages available.
The standard model offers a Sun and Sound Package ($2,300). This one comes with a power tilt and slide sunroof, an 8-inch touchscreen display panel, and a 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. An 8-way power front passenger seat rounds out the package.
Only the top-trim GT-2 offers the aptly named Scorpion Package ($1,295). This package includes black garnishment on the mirror caps and front fenders along with dark exhaust tips. A unique 19-inch alloy wheel design is included as is a rear spoiler. One of the three upgraded color choices – white, black, or ceramic silver – is included at no additional charge. The interior colors for this package are either black or red. Carbon fiber trim is included.
Two engine choices
The 2022 Kia Stinger offers a pair of engine choices. They are both turbocharged and that means performance comes to the forefront.
The first engine is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. That is as strong or better than every other bass engine in the luxury class. Fortunately, Kia does not stop there. A 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine makes 368 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Both engines work with an 8 automatic transmission to send power to either the rear wheels or to all four wheels.
A long list of advanced safety equipment
Kia routinely stocks its cars with advanced driver-assist safety technologies. Happily, the Stinger is no exception.
The list is comprehensive and includes such features as lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and lane tracing assist. Forward collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and the forward automatic emergency braking are standard. Other features include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. Kia also includes driver attention monitoring, safe exit alert, and rear parking sensors.
There are a few upgrades available, depending on the trim and the chosen package. These include adaptive headlights, front parking sensors, a surround-view parking camera system, and a head-up display.
Ample technologies included
With the 10.25-inch touch-screen display included this year, the Stinger gets off on the right foot with technology. Other features range from a 9-speaker audio system with HD Radio and satellite radio to smartphone integration, Bluetooth, and wireless device charging.
Move up to the top trim and Kia adds a 7-inch digital display. A 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system swaps out with the standard package.
Hitting the Road
The Kia Stinger impresses in looks as well as in driver feel. The steering is nicely weighted and this liftback offers responsive handling. Our test model with the V6 engine was a step-off-acceleration champion, offering excellent power down low and continuing up through the band curve. Some of our favorite experiences involved passing other vehicles. The shoot-up from 65 to 85 mph was remarkable.
We’ve heard noisier exhaust systems in other models. The Stinger is quite subdued. We were, however, thankful for the beefy Brembo brakes that brought this vehicle to a certain stop. Further, the variable-ratio steering is a gift that keeps on giving, especially at higher speeds where the precision response is welcome. Finally, the rear limited-slip differential keeps this model poised under spirited driving lessons.
Kia Stinger Musings
Although the Stinger is a mainstream model, it is worth comparing to certain luxury models. We mentioned the Audi duo and that is a fair comparison. Both models have a similar design pattern with liftgates. Also, we think the Mercedes C/E-Class and the BMW 4/5 Series are worth comparing.
We think the Kia matches Europe’s best in quality. However, the choice materials found in Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz models are a cut above Kia. That is a trade-off for a vehicle costing thousands of dollars less than its German rivals.
See Also — The Kia Telluride Luxury SUV
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