Road Test: The 2022 Kia Stinger deserves the buzz
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The Kia Stinger floats like a butterfly and stings like a… four-door luxury performance car.
The midsize model that was first launched in 2018 has been refreshed for 2022 and is still an outlier among the automaker’s lineup of mainstream cars and SUVs that rivals some heavyweights.
The Stinger is built on a rear-wheel-drive platform, just like the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class, and is available with all-wheel drive. A 300-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes standard at $37,365, while a 368-hp 3.3-liter turbo V6 is optional starting at $44,965.
Visual changes are mostly limited to lighting and a few minor trims, while the car gets an updated infotainment system with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and an available wireless smartphone charger. It’s only dated by the lack of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, but provides both via a USB connection.
Additional tech available includes adaptive cruise control, automatic lane centering assist that works remarkably well on the highway, and blind-spot cameras that project images onto the digital instrument cluster.
The Stinger isn’t particularly roomy for its size, especially in the rear seat area, but is effectively a liftback with a large trunk, so it makes the best use of its available space. Its furniture exceeds its price with great style and quality.
I tested a top-of-the-line Stinger GT2 with all-wheel drive and the V6 that cost nearly $56,000 and included a computer-controlled adaptive suspension system. The Stinger offers one of the smoothest rides I’ve ever experienced, even on its very low-profile 35-series tires. Brands like Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz couldn’t do better.
It also lets you stiffen up the ride with a Sport mode that adds weight to the steering, makes the throttle more responsive, increases exhaust volume and tightens the bolsters on the heated and ventilated front seats to better hold you in place. as you explore. the limits of the Stinger.
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With the V6, it’ll accelerate to 60mph in a quick four-and-a-half seconds as it plays a racy tune from its exhaust pipes and guzzles gas to the tune of 20mpg combined. The handling feel is excellent within the legal limits of a public road, but I had occasion to play with it in snowy terrain, where it showed great feedback and control as I drifted with abandon.
The main thing that holds the Stinger back is its name. Kia, that is. Unlike those of the Genesis division spun off from sister company Hyundai, Kia’s key fobs don’t carry the cache of a dedicated premium brand, and it only managed to sell 13,517 Stingers last year. , making it its least popular model…behind minivans.
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Anyone looking for this type of car who can see it for what it is, however, will find an attractive and luxurious vehicle at a competitive price that also comes with a 10-year powertrain warranty. That last point is certainly not part of the European sports sedan owner’s experience, but something you’d expect from a Kia.
2022 Kia Stinger
Base price: $37,365
Type: Liftback 5-seater, 4-door, all-wheel-drive
Engine: 3.3L Turbocharged V6
Power: 368 hp, 376 hp
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic
MPG: 17 city/24 highway