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Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) puts every new car through extensive testing to determine the vehicles that provide the most protection in a collision. Of the several Top Safety Pick+ winners chosen for 2022, only two Kia cars made the list. Which 2022 Kia vehicles are the safest, and how do the latest models compare? Car and Driver has the latest info.

The 2022 Kia K5 is sporty and safe

The exterior of two different 2022 Kia K5 models. One in blue, one in grey.
2022 Kia K5 | Kia

The Kia K5 has been an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for the past two years. The 2022 model earned “great” ratings in all IIHS crashworthiness tests and “superior” scores in almost every crash mitigation category. However, the high beams and low beams on the standard LED headlights don’t provide the best illumination around curves.

The IIHS was more impressed with the optional LED projector headlights on the GT and GT-Line trims. No glare was detected, and visibility was excellent from every angle. The LATCH tether anchors are easy to find and attach, but the lower ones are too difficult to reach under the seat. 

Though you might struggle with child car seat installation, rest assured every passenger has good head and neck protection. Every Kia K5 also comes with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist systems. Starting on the GT-Line trim, you’ll also get safe exit assist and blind-spot monitors. 

The GT-Line’s Premium package features the previously mentioned upgraded headlights and enhanced automatic emergency braking with junction turning assist. The EX trim’s Premium package adds front parking sensors to go with the standard rear ones. 

A fully loaded 2022 Kia K5 GT has every available safety feature, plus an exclusive 290-hp turbo-four engine. Lower trims still have a 180-hp turbo-four that should provide adequate power for daily driving. 

The 2022 Kia Stinger has competitive safety ratings

The 2022 Kia Stinger shares nearly identical IIHS crash test scores with the K5, though it received only a “marginal” rating for its LATCH connectors. In the second row, the lower anchors on both side seats are too hard to reach and adjust. 

The 2022 Kia Stinger had an MSRP of over $37,000 when it was new, but it has a long list of advanced driver’s assists. Alongside the standard collision mitigation features, you also get standard blind-spot monitors and rear parking sensors. The only features that cost extra are adaptive headlights, a 360-degree parking camera, and front parking sensors.

Adaptive headlights move in time with your steering wheel, which usually provides heightened visibility around sharp curves. However, the IIHS gave the 2022 Stinger’s standard headlights a higher rating. The upgraded high beams offer improved lighting on both sides of the vehicle, but visibility around curves is slightly worse than the non-adaptive headlamps.

The 2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line packs a 300-hp turbo-four, while the higher GT trims have a standard 368-hp V8. Car and Driver reviewers were impressed with the latter engine’s speed and the Brembo brakes on the GT models. However, the Stinger’s wobbly ride quality and loose steering could affect some drivers’ confidence.

Should you buy a 2023 model instead?

Like last year, you can access most of the Kia Stinger’s safety features on the GT-Line trim. For $1,000 extra, you can add Brembo brakes to this model through the Apex package. 

The 2023 Kia K5’s safety technology offerings remain mostly unchanged. The EX and the GT trims can be optioned with reverse automatic emergency braking. Each 2023 K5 also has improved sound insulation to keep the interior quiet at all speeds.

With the same solid body structure and safety tech, the Kia K5 will likely continue its Top Safety Pick+ streak.


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