The 2021 Kia Stinger GT Pushes the Limits of Speed and Affordability

If you need a small sedan with a lot of power, the Kia Stinger is definitely one of your best bets. Contrary to popular belief, you can get a “sporty” car for well under $40,000. Opting for a regular car instead of a sports car also gives you increased cargo space and possibly better gas mileage.

U.S. News praises the 2021 Kia Stinger GT for being fast and relatively cheap. True, rivals like the Subaru WRX and or Volkswagen GLI are less expensive. However, the Stinger has a better engine lineup and one of the best interiors in the segment, making it a well-rounded choice.

How powerful is the 2021 Kia Stinger GT?

The Kia Stinger GT has a twin-turbo V6 capable of 365 hp, the most powerful engine available. This trim also comes with Brembo brakes, a limited rear-slip differential, and 19-inch wheels to enhance the Stinger’s handling. It’s available in either FWD or AWD, and the engine comes paired with an eight-speed automatic.

When tested by Car and Driver, the optional twin-turbo V6 sprints from 0-60 mph in an impressive 4.4 seconds. That beats its official time from Kia, which is listed as 4.7 seconds. The Stinger GT sometimes has trouble around corners, but the Brembo brakes do a good job reinforcing driver confidence. The eight-speed automatic transmission is also a good match for the motor, demonstrating quick and precise shifts.

How much does a 2021 Stinger GT cost?

U.S. News says that a 2021 Kia Stinger GT starts at $39,590 for RWD models. The Stinger’s trim lineup was simplified for the upcoming 2022 model, consisting of just the GT-Line, GT1, and GT2. You can get the twin-turbo V6 standard on the GT1, which Kia sells for $43,690.

If you want to save some cash, the standard motor offered on the GT-Lines still packs plenty of power. It’s a turbo-four capable of 255 hp, starting at $33,090 for a 2021 model and $36,090 for 2022. However, this model won’t have the same fun equipment as the GT models.

The Kia Stinger GT’s other good qualities

Most critics say that the Kia Stinger’s interior isn’t as fancy as some rivals, but the GT models are better. The 2021 Stinger GT has heated front seats, plus power adjustability for both front riders. In the 2022 Stinger GT1, riders can enjoy a power sunroof as well as LED interior lighting.

Consumer Reports warns that getting inside the Kia Stinger might not be easy for taller drivers. The Stinger sits low to the ground and its sloping roofline doesn’t help. Once inside, the driving position is a little tight, but at least there’s sufficient padding around the legs.

In the second row, there’s really not enough headroom or leg space for tall adults to get situated. The seat cushions are also short and lack adequate support for long trips. The suspension makes for harsh ride quality, and the Stinger’s cabin isn’t as quiet as other sports cars.

On the plus side, the Kia Stinger has one of the highest cargo capacities of its class because it’s a hatchback. It has almost 41 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded flat. The loading floor is predictably low to the ground, and a power-opening hatch is available.

Smartphone integration and a wireless charging pad are both standard on every Stinger, but the GT models have upgraded stereo systems. The 2022 Kia Stinger GT1 has a 10.25-inch touchscreen, with user-friendly menus and quick response times. 

The GT models also come with more standard safety features, justifying the slightly higher price tag. However, even at the 2022 Kia Stinger GT1’s price point, it’s still a good value for a sports car.

RELATED: The 2022 Kia Stinger GT-line Got a Hefty Price Increase