By on August 27, 2020


The unlikely Kia Stinger enters the coming year with mild design and content changes in tow, but one thing that isn’t disappearing is choice. Come 2021, there’ll be more of it, at least as far as powertrains are concerned.

Rather than swap out the model’s base engine for a more potent — but pricier — mill, Kia decided to leave well enough alone and slot something hotter between the entry-level 2.0-liter four-cylinder and twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6.

Details about the refreshed sedan’s reworked front- and rear-end lighting, as well as molded plasticky bits, can be found here. When the new car appeared in Korea earlier this month, we speculated that Kia might make use of new Hyundai Motor Group engines found in the Genesis stable. Sure enough, it did, though not at the expense of the model’s base MSRP.

Keeping the 255 horsepower, 260-lb-ft entry-level mill is key to generating sales for this value-laden sports sedan. Rather, Kia added a stepping stone — a happy medium in the form of the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-banger found as standard kit in the Genesis G70 and new-for-2021 G80, as well as the Hyundai Sonata N Line


Making 300 hp and 311 lb-ft (and mated to an eight-speed automatic), the 2.5L nicely splits the difference between the 2.0L and the 3.3L, the latter of which sees a slight power boost for the coming year. Ponies are up by 3 thanks to a rejigged exhaust system, meaning an output of 368 hp and a unchanged 376 lb-ft.

Pricing and all-wheel drive availability are things we can’t share with you yet, as Kia’s keeping those details under wraps until closer to the car’s on-sale date. Global sales are said to begin this quarter.

[Images: Kia Motors]

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23 Comments on “Kia Reveals Broader Range of Stinger Flavors, New Engine...”

  • avatar

    I wonder if they updated the brake pads too.
    I’m surprised there is enough volume to justify 3 engine tiers but it gives the 4-cylinder fans something to think about. I also have a feeling this means the V6 will be getting more expensive.
    The competition hasn’t been standing still so the GT (or something above the GT) needs to knock about .5 seconds off the acceleration times.

    • 0 avatar

      I think chintzy brake pads are a thing with cars like this – the front brakes in my A3 wore out after about 47,000 miles. Granted, that could be because of my stupid driving style.

      • 0 avatar

        Kia gave North American Stingers brake pads that emphasized low dust and low noise over performance. Unfortunately this was a big error in judgement because the pads don’t react well to temperature changes and the deposits they leave behind cause vibrations when stopping, and compared to the competition they fade too quickly if you’re really getting on it. If you look at long-term Stinger tests it’s a fairly universal problem. I had my pads and rotors replaced under warranty at about 10K but I’m already starting to get some bad feedback again on the replacement parts now at 20K.

        International markets got a more aggressive pad compound and it is what should be going on every car. I have the part number for these but they’re something like $1200 so I’m not looking to jump at them right away. Although if the aftermarket doesn’t catch up in the next year I’ll probably end up getting them.

        • 0 avatar

          Pad composition in the US is also dictated by DOT standards on pedal effort, or at least used to be.

          Also, $1200 for a set of pads? What’s the Kia part numbers (front and rear)? One thing that’s impressed me about Kia is that, with some exceptions, OEM Kia parts are dirt cheap.

          • 0 avatar

            These are the international pad numbers:
            58101J5A55 Front
            58302J5A55 Rear

            These are the US pad numbers:
            58101J5A51 Front
            58302J5A50 Rear

            This is the site I used:

            With shipping to where I live it is about $1200. I can find some lower priced places that sell the parts but they don’t ship to the US. I don’t see the part numbers in any US-based Kia database and my dealer either can’t (or doesn’t know how) to pull them up.

        • 0 avatar

          The Euro-spec pads are so much better, but damn, pricey.

          The i30N and Veloster-N use the same stock pads as that found in the Euro Optima, and they have held up well even in track use.

          Doubt we’ll see the 2.0T continued in NA, as never sold particularly well and there’s no need to deal with any sort of displacement taxes (unlike in Korea and elsewhere).

          Likely will see the upgrade to the 3.5TT eventually, but in the form of the higher output variant with 420 HP.

  • avatar

    It would have been nice to get a manual transmission with the new 2.5L engine. I am searching for a new sedan to buy that has a manual. Even Honda has stopped making the Accord with a manual and of those manufacturers that do make them, hardly any dealer in my area has them in stock. I don’t want to buy one without a test drive.

  • avatar

    That first photo is an excellent example of how not to highlight a tremendous wheel to fender gap.

  • avatar

    This is good news, they are great cars and that 2.5L seems like it would really haul.

  • avatar

    My son works at the local Kia dealership and part of his duties are pre-delivery inspections. He recently had the opportunity to take a Stinger with the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 out for it’s shakedown drive and was very impressed with it.

  • avatar

    Here’s hoping the exhaust can be retrofit..

  • avatar

    Smart move, Kia, but only if that 2.5T is available with a full boat of options available. If there is no 2.5T GT2, consider it an opportunity missed.

  • avatar

    My problem with this.. when you get into G70/80 it is like wow. When you get into Stinger, this is like, “that’s it?”. Also people complained about squeaks and rattles, which makes sense considering the feel of it from the inside

    • 0 avatar

      May be it is RWD but it is still Kia.

      • 0 avatar


        The Telluride, Cadenza, K900 and the new Sorento and Sedona have pretty nice (if not class leading) interiors relative to their respective segments.

        Problem is that the Stinger’s interior simply was not up to par and the changes/upgrades they have made for the FL is what should have been there from the stsrt (supposedly, we won’t be getting the new quilted seats).

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      It has been said that the KIA-Hyundai relationship is akin to the Pontiac-Buick (or any other division not Cadillac) relationship at GM back in the day. Common platforms and powertrains but a good deal of autonomy on the finished product.

      My issue getting in a Stinger was that it was 80’s-90’s Pontiac…They just stuck little vents and body geegaws everywhere and it just felt busy like Pontiacs of that era. I only drove the V6 and it was fast. So were supercharged Pontiacs back in the day though (well for their time anyway). It’s a modern Bonneville SSE-I. That is both great, and not great.

  • avatar

    Nothing compares with Telluride, nothing.

  • avatar

    I would be shocked here in the United States to see THREE engine options. It is remarkable at this point when a car (not a truck) even has 2 engine options.

    Stinger 2.5T RWD with LSD and the premium interior would be lots of fun – ditch the 2.0 and keep the current trim levels more or less.

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