Kia’s big sports sedan—the 2022 Stinger—aims high to challenge the automotive elites from Europe, and nearly pulls it off. When compared with rivals such as the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4-series Gran Coupe, the Stinger offers a very similarly premium look and feel as well as lots of driving verve, making it a great option for enthusiasts on a budget. It shares its underpinnings with the impressive Genesis G70 sedan, but the Stinger disguises its roomier interior, larger cargo hold, and hatchback liftgate with a sexy fastback roofline. A pair of turbocharged engines are offered: a 300-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder is standard and a gutsy 368-hp twin-turbo V-6 is available. Rear-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is also available for those who want it.
What’s New for 2022?
In addition to several styling updates, the 2022 Stinger looks to replace the standard 255-hp turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a more powerful 2.5-liter turbo-four. The new engine makes a stout 300 horsepower. Not to be left out, the optional twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 receives a slight power boost from 365 hp to 368 thanks to a new variable exhaust system. Styling improvements include updated exterior lighting elements, new wheel designs, and larger exhaust tips. Inside, the 2022 Stinger receives upgraded materials throughout, new metallic trim pieces, adjustable ambient lighting, and a larger optional 10.3-inch infotainment display.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Even though the GT-Line has the looks of the V-6 models, we’d still go with one of the higher-powered models. Of those, the GT1 is the one to get. It keeps its price below the $50,000 mark but adds a sunroof, navigation, an 8.0-inch infotainment display, Harman/Kardon audio, automatic high-beam headlamps, a power-adjustable steering column, ventilated front seats, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and a driver-attention monitor.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Stinger is available with two different turbocharged engines, a new 300-hp 2.5-liter turbo-four as well as a 368-hp twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6. We haven’t tested the new engine, but the V-6 delivers scintillating performance that gets our enthusiast blood pumping. Both engines pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which, in our experiences, delivers quick shifts and is unobtrusive when left to shift for itself. We wish the paddle shifters offered sharper responses to driver inputs, however. Still, for drivers in single-minded pursuit of straight-line speed, the Stinger GT does not disappoint. The Stinger has mastered straight-line speed and the last version we tested returned solid numbers during our track testing. It comports itself well in normal driving, but when pushed to the limit, it couldn’t quite match the composure of its more established competition. Likewise, we identified some protestations from the rear suspension—an unnerving side step when cornering hard on a bumpy road—while some fore-and-aft pitching accompanied our all-out acceleration and braking runs. All GTs feature powerful Brembo brakes, which provided quick stops by any measure and fit in nicely within this class of high-performing sedans. Without the Brembos and rolling on less grippy all-season tires, the Stinger is less impressive—in this class or any other.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The rear-drive, four-cylinder 2022 Stinger has the highest estimated fuel economy, with EPA ratings of 22 mpg city and 32 highway. Naturally, the more powerful V-6 engine is less efficient, especially with all-wheel drive, which drops its estimates to 17 mpg city and 24 highway. While we haven’t tested the new 2.5-liter turbo-four on our 75-mph highway route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, the all-wheel-drive, V-6 model we evaluated returned 26 mpg in that test. For more information about the Stinger’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Stinger’s interior is well designed and attractive, but it can’t quite match the Audi A4 or the BMW 3-series for material quality or construction. Then again, the Kia costs considerably less than those two German sedans. The Stinger does, however, offer a significantly more comfortable rear seat than many cars in this class—and its advantage feels greater than its numbers would suggest. While the Stinger’s interior is free of glaring errors and omissions, the overall effect is less polished than the efforts we’ve enjoyed from established luxury brands. The Stinger’s stated trunk volume would predict that it has by far the most cargo space in this set, but it only bested its rivals by a small margin in our real-world cargo tests. With its wide hatchback opening and long wheelbase, we’d hoped the Stinger would do even better in these measurements. Its center console is on the large side for a car, which helps to compensate for the fact that the front-door pockets are the smallest of this bunch.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Kia’s infotainment system—called UVO—is used to good effect in the Stinger and consists of an 8.0- or 10.3-inch touchscreen mixed with useful physical buttons. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is a six-speaker stereo system. Audiophiles can upgrade to a 15-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo system, and Kia offers a host of other tech upgrades as well, such as a wireless smartphone charging pad and in-dash navigation.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Stinger offers nearly every driver assist that we report on available as an option. For more information about the Stinger’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Kia’s long powertrain warranty is practically legendary, and it easily outdoes every other car in this set for length of coverage. Unlike many of its premium-branded rivals, the Stinger offers no complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance