- The 2022 Kia Stinger is objectively a better car
- Buying a TLX Type S nets you a more fun sports sedan
- Kia’s 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty can’t be beaten
It’s not often the words “bargain” and “sports sedan” are used in the same breath, but these two cars from Acura and Kia are perfect examples of, well, bargain sports sedans. The 2022 Kia Stinger is a much better car. It has better warranties, more cargo capacity, and the lower-spec models have more power. But you should ignore all that and buy the 2022 Acura TLX Type S if you want to go sports sedan fast.
2022 Acura TLX: Do you need the Type S?
Before we get to all that, let’s discuss the base model, and why you should buy the Kia Stinger if you’re not buying a TLX Type S. First, there’s the infotainment system. First impressions are everything, and much like Toyota’s infotainment, the current Acura user experience is marred. A mouse-like touchpad is unnecessarily distracting, especially when the car is in motion. You’d better have your settings just right because that touchpad makes changing anything downright frustrating.
KBB notes that there isn’t a hybrid model available, but that’s almost a non-issue. Both the 2022 Kia Stinger and the 2022 Acura TLX are supposed to be sporty, not thrifty. If that’s your aim, a Toyota Camry Hybrid is more your jam. While the drive of the TLX is fitting for a car at its $38,745 price point (with AWD starting at $40,945), the trunk space is severely limited.
2022 Kia Stinger: Not dead yet
While rumors that the 2022 Kia Stinger could be the last one continue to circulate, the Korean brand continues to refine and improve the model’s lower trim: the Stinger GT-Line. That pseudo sports sedan got a nice bump to 255 hp from its 2.0L four-pot, but the Acura’s 272 hp wins out. However, you won’t really miss that lost 20-odd hp when you see the warranty on the Stinger. It’s well worth it over the Acura for the brand’s 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Plus, the Kia has a much larger trunk at 23.3 cubic feet to the Acura’s 13.5.
So, why is all of that irrelevant? The TLX Type S is why. First of all, you can’t say no to the Tiger Eye Pearl paint. Plus, with a 355 hp turbocharged V6, Acura’s SH-AWD, and special Type S tweaks, the TLX Type S is a serious sports sedan. While the Kia Stinger GT has more power, the delivery is far too sterile to elicit much of a response from speed-crazed drivers. In short, the TLX manages to inject some soul into the heavy, AWD sports sedan that even the Audi S4 can’t muster.
Which luxury sports sedan is right for you?
“Soul” and “passion” buzzwords aside, the Kia Stinger GT is absolutely the more realistic choice for 99% of buyers that want “something quick.” And the 2022 Kia Stinger GT does do quick better, but the TLX Type S does fast better. And if you’re not buying a sports sedan to go fast, then what’s the point?