The 2022 Kia Stinger Is Nice but Not Luxury Car Nice

In 2011, South Korean automaker Kia introduced its GT Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany. Its design would later become the basis for both the Kia K9 and Kia Stinger. The Stinger was designed at Kia’s European studio in Frankfurt by Kia’s Chief Designer Gregory Guillaume and Peter Schreyer. The former BMW M Vice President of Engineering Albert Biermann was charged with engineering. The Kia Stinger was first introduced at the 2017 North American International Auto Show as a midsize liftback.

It has been in production since 2017 with Kia unveiling a refresh in August 2020 for the 2021 model year. Despite offering a pleasant, sporty ride and interior comfort, the Kia Stinger still falls short of competitors such as BMW and Audi.

Consumer Reports: “It’s not quite to the level of an Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series”

With an estimated MSRP of $36,090 according to Kia.com, the Kia Stinger is Kia’s attempt at building a somewhat affordable sports sedan. This four-door hatchback does have an aggressive stance and a thoroughbred rear-wheel-drive (RWD) powertrain, as reported by Consumer Reports (CR). In CR’s road tests, test drivers were impressed by its agility. The 2022 Kia Stinger succeeds in fusing practicality, performance, and style. Nonetheless, CR stated that “in terms of luxury and comfort, it’s not quite to the level of an Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series.”

In comparison, the 2021 Audi A4 40 Premium Quattro Sedan has an MSRP of $41,945, while the 2021 BMW 330i has an MSRP of $41,250. Unless one is strictly a fan of Kia vehicles, most buyers may opt to pay around $5,000 more for either the Audi or BMW. 

How the Kia Stinger stacks up against the competition

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CR gave the 2022 Kia Stinger an overall score of 71. However, it gave the 2021 BMW 3 Series an overall score of 83 and the 2021 Audi A4 an overall score of 87. Interestingly, the 2021 Infiniti Q50 scored higher than the BMW with an overall score of 85.

The Stinger did receive perfect scores in several areas including transmission, front-seat comfort, and driving experience. Areas with the lowest scores include its ride (how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections), rear-seat comfort, fuel economy, greenhouse gas rating, and smog rating (which CR scored 3/10, the lowest of all the scores).

Those luxury cars that scored higher than the 2022 Kia Stinger score perfectly in areas that include acceleration, transmission, braking, driving experience, front-seat comfort, comfort, predicted reliability, as well as interior fit and finish.

The 2021 Infiniti Q50 scored very low in terms of trunk/cargo area (2/5) and the same as the Kia Stinger for greenhouse gas and smog ratings. The Audi A4 scored much higher in terms of greenhouse gas and smog, receiving a 6/10 for the former and 5/10 for the latter.

What to expect from the 2022 Kia Stinger

Kia claims its Stinger GT-Line is “born to perform.” It comes standard with an all-new 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s capable of producing 300 hp, 311 lb-ft of torque, and accelerating from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds.

Kia is offering an available 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. It’s capable of producing 368 hp, 376 lb-ft of torque, and accelerating from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Both powertrains are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) comes standard but all-wheel drive (AWD) with available torque-vectoring will be available.

For 2022, you can expect it to be totally revamped both inside and out. Starting outside, the Kia Stinger has a nice aerodynamic design with classic GT proportions that gives it an appearance of being in motion even when it’s parked. The 2022 Kia Stinger has a long front hood, a deeply-raked windshield, and a low-slung cabin. It also features exterior performance elements such as an A-pillar for drag reduction to improve aerodynamic performance. The limited-run model is expected to come this spring, which is a new special edition.