2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line RWD new car reviews

Photography by David S. Wallens

New for 2022: a bit more power for the Kia Stinger GT-Line.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

I really wanted to love this one–like, run away with it and join the circus.

So what happened here? The transmission logic just seemed a tick off. Take away that gearbox issue–and maybe it was just me–and the Stinger is very much aimed at our crowd.

It’s the right size. It feels good behind the wheel. It’s practical. And it looks way cool.

The interior is a bit traditional, the usual for Kia. The Stinger gets a mechanical shifter–only the eight-speed automatic is offered–along with the right mix of buttons and screen. I dig the three round center HVAC vents as they’re almost a bit old-school.

The gauges, as they should be, are big, round and legible. The seats, likewise, are appropriate for the car: good bolsters with solid lower cushions.

Does a street car need a D-shaped wheel? I’ll allow it.

New for 2022: mo powa as a 2.5-liter engine replaces the old 2.0, adding 45 horsepower to deliver 300 total. Kia still offers the twin-turbo V6 but notes that it’s only half a second quicker to 60: 4.7 seconds vs. 5.3. (One update for the V6, and this comes right from the media kit: “New electronic variable exhaust system enhances Stinger’s audible “calling card” – especially as it leaves other performance cars far behind”)

I wouldn’t call the 300 horsepower overwhelming but rather par for the course. It doesn’t deliver that top-end rush, but it’s not lacking, either. It just chugs along. I hate to call it just adequate. Proper?

Something else that might boost its cool factor: This body isn’t shared with Hyundai, giving Kia something totally unique.

And that hatchback body is so useful. Today’s market has given us a number of “coupe-inspired” SUV-like things that tend to just compromise a bit too much. This might be the correct answer: It’s a car and not a jacked-up SUV. So it delivers SUV practicality along with sedan driving dynamics.

When the Stinger landed, it got a lot of chatter. Things seems to have died down a bit.

Does the extra power help rekindle that romance? Is this a more grown-up alternative to a GTI or even a Civic? Is this a baby Porsche Panamera?

At less than $40,000 delivered–and that’s with $2300 for our car’s Sun and Sound Package–it might offer more than some would expect.

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Comments
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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
6/17/22 5:03 p.m.

Kia says there's a hair over 23 cubic feet of space in that trunk, definitely pretty useful.

I'm in the early stages of buying a new family vehicle and I think the Stinger–at least in GT-Line trim–could make a solid wildcard option.

Sine_Qua_Non
Sine_Qua_Non SuperDork
6/17/22 10:38 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

Kia says there's a hair over 23 cubic feet of space in that trunk, definitely pretty useful.

I'm in the early stages of buying a new family vehicle and I think the Stinger–at least in GT-Line trim–could make a solid wildcard option.

I own a 2020 GT2. I absolutely love my hatchback sedan. It can carry a lot of stuff. I actually use it more for hauling stuff than I do with my wife's Mazda CX-9 as long as the items in question is not too tall. 

ganseg
ganseg New Reader
6/19/22 5:19 a.m.

What is the take on dual intake systems?  Do they improve on carbon buildup in a major way without causing long term reliability or even diagnostic  issues?

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/19/22 9:51 p.m.

I'm always amazed how much these look like the 4 door Maserati in person.  They don't make the same sounds, but I'm sure its a lot more reliable. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/20/22 9:29 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

It is a very attractive shape. 

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