By on March 18, 2021

If you purchased a base Kia Stinger with the turbocharged 2.0-liter, many will argue you made the wrong decision. They’ll allege that you should have sprung for the more powerful twin-turbo V6. But it always seemed just a bit too steep of a price jump to make sense for every single person. If you were cross-shopping the Stinger against fancier — albeit indirect — rivals like the BMW 3-Series, that 2.0-liter was still completely adequate. However, we could say the same thing about the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, and a cadre of other non-premium sedans.

Kia’s twin-turbo V6 seemed to be there to create some additional distance between its touring sedan and just about everything else on the market. With the 3.3-liter unit churning out 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, the Stinger becomes much more exciting and suddenly capable of covering the quarter-mile in under 13 seconds. For the 2022 model year, the manufacturer has decided to split the difference by ditching the base 2.0-liter mill. Replacing it will be a 2.5-liter four-banger producing 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft — representing an increase of 45 hp and 61 pound-feet of twist.

But it’s not going to be free. 

Swapping in the new motor required Kia to price base model Stingers starting at $37,125 (or $3,000 more than they used to be). Considering the jump in output and relative lacking popularity of the 2.0-liter version, this shouldn’t be too aggravating. Meanwhile, some of the more extravagant trims are coming down in price. The GT1 is now $44,735 ($1,800 less than last year’s model) and becomes the cheapest way to get into the V6 (which has received a three-horsepower bump) since the base GT no longer exists.

Unfortunately, the good news does not extend to the loaded GT2. That trim has gone up nearly a grand since last year, now setting customers back $52,335. Power will be sent through an 8-speed on all Stingers, with customers having the option of spending an extra $2,200 to supplant rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive. Miraculously, none of the announced improvements came with a downgrade in efficiency. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency indicates U.S. models will have the same — or better, in the case of the new base engine — mpg than their predecessors.

General updates include some tweaks to the exterior lighting (more LEDs), new badging, color options (Ascot Green), and exhaust system. The latter change also required Kia replace the Stinger’s rear fascia. Inside, drivers will find more overt (stylized) stitching on the dashboard, trim garnishes, Nappa seats, and a 10.25-inch navigation screen as standard. Kia has also decided to offer wireless charging and blind-spot monitoring that incorporates lane-watching cameras with the feed going directly to the instrument cluster. Driving assistance options are also pretty robust, with the Stinger capable of everything from emergency braking to navigation-based smart cruise control with lane-keeping.

The Updated Kia Stinger is supposed to go on sale in the United States this spring, with a special-edition arriving later. That model will be dubbed the Stinger Scorpion and come with carbon fiber trim, unique 19-in black wheels, black mirrors, black exhaust tips, black fender accenting, and a rear spoiler — helping to give the sedan sinister vibrations.

However, if that’s the route you’re interested in taking, the truly villainous Dodge Charger Scat Pack starts below $42,000 (before destination) and it has a 6.4-liter V8 pumping out 485 horsepower. Granted, the Charger doesn’t feel as nimble under pressure (especially during initial turn-in) and takes a brute-force approach to performance.

It also has a much uglier interior and will hoover up fuel in the city. But it’s going to shame rear-drive variants of the Stinger until you’ve upgraded the Kia’s rubber and sharpened your own skills. If you enjoy power that comes on like a breaking damn and having a vehicle that is either soft and docile or furiously ripping up the pavement as it deafens onlookers, then the Dodge is for you. However, those seeking a more well-rounded performance sedan will probably find the Kia Stinger difficult to beat for the price, regardless of where they’ve been looking.

[Images: Kia]

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32 Comments on “2022 Kia Stinger Sees Power Increase, Pricing Changes...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    That spoiler looks bad.

    The biggest problem on my Stinger GT is that the factory brake pads were made of camembert cheese and it’s a bit spendy to get that taken care of. Hopefully they’ve fixed that issue with this update.

    From tests I’ve seen on the Genesis line, the 2.5T is probably going to be enough for most people and it should keep the price comfortable under $40k. I do think they need a version making at least 400hp though, just to keep up with the competition’s revisions since 2017.

    Being in the unique(?) position of having bought both a new Charger RT and a new Stinger GT I can say they are both fun cars if you’re into that sort of vehicle. The naturally-aspirated V8s Dodge offers are actually more “sporty” in their power delivery over the 3.3T which is more of a torque-surfer. The Stinger handles a touch better and the hatch design gives a decent slug of utility. The main thing that kept me out of a Scat Pack is that my RT had too many quality issues, maybe things have improved since then? I seen some internet reports to the contrary, but at least with mine, the Kia has been fairly solid outside of the brake pads and a paint correction.

  • avatar
    Rboz

    I am curious if they could have kept the same pricing by offering a delete for lane keep assist, smart cruise, auto brake, and the i-pad. The interior looks great except for that i-pad!

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    I wouldn’t mind a fully loaded one, but just with the 2.5T. I can’t see spending this sort of money for the bells and whistles when they can be had in many cars for 35K.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Geez for a liftback that cargo area looks a bit too narrow for my taste.

    In other KN news:

    “For the 2022 model year, the manufacturer has decided to split the difference by ditching the base 2.0-liter mill. Replacing it will be a 2.5-liter four-banger producing 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft — representing an increase of 45 hp and 61 pound-feet of twist.”

    So we’re dropping the crappy motor and giving you a less crappy one for more coin, OK. But:

    “The GT1 is now $44,735 ($1,800 less than last year’s model) and becomes the cheapest way to get into the V6 (which has received a three-horsepower bump) since the base GT no longer exists.”

    So what is in the GT1? I assume this twin turbo is in the GT2 so this V6 in the GT1 is probably N/A and more or less matches the less crappy I4 right? Why offer an I4 at all then (can I get a Stinger in a manual and its better to shift with the I4?)?

    Edit: I applaud KN if that actually has a contemporary dash pod (I can’t tell in that picture) and scorn them if its a .37 LCD screen.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      The GT1 and GT2 have the same twin turbo V6, I think the GT2 has bigger brakes and louder exhaust and such.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      In Stinger-Speak “GT”, “GT1”, and “GT2” all have the 3.3T. The only performance difference was that the GT2 offered electronic dampers (which is now on the GT1 as well for 2022). Brake size, limited-slip, summer tires were the same across all V6 levels.

      The “GT” level trims are differentiated by nonperformance equipment (seat material, power functions, stereo, etc), and the most basic way to get the high-output engine is now dropped.

      Two unfortunate things of note:
      0. You can’t get an LSD or torque vectoring on the 2.5T.
      1. It is now not possible to get a V6T version without a sunroof.

      However, the gauges are real ones for every trim level.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thank you ajla and N8iveVA. On another note, to those who say KN took the place of Pontiac you may be interested to know on launch of Gen 7 in 2004 the Pontiac Grand Prix was offered in GT1, GT2, and GTP trims which were later simplified to base, GT and GTP in subsequent MYs.

      • 0 avatar
        turbo_awd

        Not exactly – the GT used to be the base 3.3TT model – they all had the Brembos.

        GT1 (like my ’19 GT1) had (on top of the GT)
        -heated/cooled seats
        -electronic suspension
        -driver aids (adaptive cruise, traffic detection, etc)
        -better stereo / large display / NAV (IIRC the GT didn’t get NAV)

        GT2 had (in addition to GT1)
        -360 cameras (wish I had this)
        -power side bolsters
        -fancier stitching on the seats
        -heated rear seats
        -LSD (although GT ALSO had LSD, for some reason GT1 didn’t get LSD in some years)
        -power lift gate
        -HUD
        -fancy electronic shifter (I wanted the old-fashioned type shifter)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Heated rear seats is a nice touch for the top trim, though heated front seats really needs to be standard at this point IMO. LSD should have been standard, odd the middle package didn’t get it.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The new 2.5T mill is hardly “crappy”; it’s a 4-banger known for its ability to keep pulling and in RWD form, is the best handling Stinger (less weight).

      In terms of pricing, the GT2 ends pretty much where the S5 Sportback starts (figure the new 6 cylinder 4 Series GC will start even higher).

  • avatar
    dwford

    $3000 price increase for the perceived value of the extra hp, not because there is any production cost difference between the 2.0 and 2.5.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I don’t know a whole lot about this model but to be an I4 would never be an option which is why I am puzzled its even being offered.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Why?

        The Germans equivalents (4 Series GC and A5 Sportback) are offered with an I4, and the Arteon is only available with an I4.

        In overseas markets, the Germans offer puddle 1.5/1.6L 4-bangers for fuel economy/emissions purposes – which take away from what these fastbacks are supposed to be.

        The power/performance from the new 2.5T is more than respectable.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I sat in this car. And it feels worse than Mazda in the interior. G70 is way better on the inside. Stinger just does not have a feel that correlates with the price.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I’m sure a torquey 300-hp mill has more than enough power for this beast, but I still don’t want a car this expensive to have a four-cylinder sound. As a child of the Iron Duke/HSC era, I’m just too conditioned to associate the sound of a four with poverty spec. Give me either 6+ cylinders or electric motor(s).

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Exactly. Porsche figured out how to make a 4 cyl sound good. Yeah, yeah, it’s a Boxer engine and it’s a Porsche. Whatever. Exhaust tuning is what matters to those of us put off by nasty 4 cyl sounds.

      If H/K figured out a way to make the 4 sound good, I’ll definitely check it out. In the recent reviews of the Hyundai Sonata N-line, it sounds pretty good. Let’s see if Kia tuning is any better/worse.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I didn’t realize the current base motor was that soft, fours are all trash in my book but even the trash editions have been shockingly powerful for a while now and at 255/260 this was one of the few that wasn’t. C&D ran a 7.2 5-60 so Kia wasn’t sandbagging there either.

    50 more horses is back to competitive but it’s still a four and 38K isn’t cheap enough to settle for one.

  • avatar

    40K for Kia? For that cheap looking interior and substandard quality? Who is kidding who?

  • avatar
    multicam

    I can’t unsee the new logo as anything other than “КИ” and I’m sure many who are familiar with languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet are with me. I’ll be pronouncing it “Key” from now on.

  • avatar
    EX35

    Didn’t C&D (or maybe R&T)’s long term test of the stinger uncover major quality issues?

    Every single H/K car looks great on paper and every one I have driven has been a disappointment.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      If memory serves, the problems were a rattle in the hatch, and brake pads that gave up the ghost too early. Annoying, but not exactly Vega-level quality disasters.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I’m just glad they make the Stinger, and that it offer RWD and that it’s a hatch. 300HP and 311lb-ft is just about right, similar to my old Lexus GS, which is just quick enough to keep me driving it for the last 20-years.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I have a legit question. Why does it seem that some folks expect certain automakers to basically give their cars away. This is not a Accord or Camry. It might be considered a more expensive alternative to them as well as a less expensive alternative to a 3 series. I dont get it.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Exactly.

      Fastbacks are more expensive to develop and manufacture – which is why the 4 Series GC and A5/S5 cost thousands more than their 4-door counterparts.

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