Chattanooga, TN – Kia has made some nice refinements to the Stinger. When this car first came out back in 2018, it started turning heads and winning the hearts of many. For the first time, we saw Kia release a vehicle that cemented its commitment to performance. Consequently, it also helped some skeptics take the automaker more seriously. When you saw a Kia 20 years ago, you might giggle – thankfully, Kia has made massive changes over the past decade.
This GT2 is powered by a 3.3 liter V6 that has twin turbochargers slapped on it. It’s good for 368 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Its claimed 0-60 time is 4.7 seconds — not bad for a car that weighs over 3,800 pounds. The twin-turbo setup is very responsive in all drive modes but gets especially lively in sport mode. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
There’s very minimal turbo lag and the torque kicks in rather quickly. The EPA gives a fuel economy rating of 18mpg around town and up to 25mpg on the highway. However, if you drive it as we do, you’ll be lucky to get 18 as it’s far too easy to keep your foot deep into the accelerator pedal.
Driving the Stinger is a very rewarding experience. It handles extremely well with not much body roll, especially in sport mode and the Brembo brakes bring it to a quick, controlled stop in no time at all.
Driver aids include a blind-spot view, an active 7-inch screen that turns on in the middle of the gauge cluster, show you what’s in your blind spots when you activate the blinker, forward collision alert with emergency braking, lane keep assist, parking assist, rear cross-traffic alert, back-up camera, lane exit warning, and adaptive cruise control. All of these features are adjustable within the infotainment system.
This latest Stinger gets all of the current Kia technology updates as well. You’ll find a crystal-clear 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen display with built-in navigation as well as native support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It features multi-connection Bluetooth and split-screen functionality. There’s also wireless charging for cellphones.
Excellent audio playback comes from the Harman/Kardon system with UVO link telematics. This UVO system uses cloud technology to provide you with info such as traffic, weather, preferred routes of each driver, voice assist that allows the driver to do voice control over climate settings and audio system. Each drive of the Stinger can set up their own customized profile. There are also built-in apps for Alexa or Google-Assistant. And if you valet your car, the valet mode will lock the touchscreen to keep your personal information private.
Inside, you’ll find it to be very well-appointed. Kia’s use of top-shelf materials from the leather seats to the stitching all around – it looks expensive and has a nice tactical feel. We love the round air vents that look very European.
Front seats are extremely comfortable with 4-way lumbar and bolster support with multi-adjustable seats. Three-stage heating and cooled seats for the front with heated only for the rear passengers. Tons of legroom is present for all passengers. While it technically seats 5 passengers, the rear middle location might be a bit tight for adults. There is a USB as well as a 12-volt port for rear passengers, along with rear climate vents.
We love the exterior design. The bold wheels, red Brembo brakes, and the triple intake vents. The only cheesy thing is the faux vents on the hood. While they look cool, they are non-functional. Think of them as bling. The functional side vents behind the front wheels help warm air from the brakes to easily vent out. While many auto journalists have taken issue with the little red reflector that wraps around the back-end, we have to admit, it’d look a bit odd without it. The quad exhaust tips and the air diffuser, help give it a very aggressive look and curb appeal.
There’s not a whole lot to not love about the 2022 Kia Stinger GT2. The rear-wheel-drive with torque vectoring is the real gem in the Stinger line-up. While there is an all-wheel-drive option, why would you want that, unless you really need it? There’s something more organic about having a sports sedan that’s rear-wheel-drive. This car can easily go toe-to-toe with the competition.
If you’ve never drdriven Stinger, what’s wrong with you? Get out and drive one today. You’ll be impressed with what Kia has done with this car and its brand equity in the minds of performance lovers.