Winter Is No Match for the 2021 Kia Stinger GT AWD

Unless you live in the South, sports car enthusiasts have it rough. You want to be able to enjoy your vehicle, but winter driving can get scary with no AWD. Fortunately, newer models like the Kia Stinger have been designed with more accessibility in mind for these drivers.

Nowadays, there are sports cars with optional AWD and safety features for drivers in hazardous weather. U.S. News shows that the Kia Stinger GT is one of the cheapest on the list, plus has a high score from critics. Is the Stinger really a good car for every season?

The Kia Stinger GT’s AWD system

The Kia Stinger doesn’t come standard with AWD, but you can add it to any trim for $2,200. Heated seats also come standard in every Stinger, another feature everyone appreciates during the snowy months. The Kia Stinger GT also has Brembo brakes that work better on wet, slushy roads.

Sizing up to the Kia Stinger GT1 nets you some extra safety features that might prove useful during a winter storm. Forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking can help prevent accidents on roads where ice has accumulated. The Kia Stinger GT2 features adaptive headlights that can help you see through even the heaviest snowfall. 

The only downside to the 2021 Stinger’s winter capabilities is the decreased gas mileage. The EPA rates it for 17/25 mpg city/highway. The 2021 Kia Stinger GT-Line AWD’s mileage is basically unchanged, but it won’t benefit from the most powerful engine.

What about its performance?

The Kia Stinger GT has an upgraded engine, a twin-turbo V6 capable of 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which reportedly shifts just as quickly as the motor accelerates. The Stinger GT also adds a limited-slip differential.

According to MotorTrend, a Kia Stinger GT with AWD is a tad slower than one with FWD. AWD-equipped sedans can reach 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, while FWD models are 0.5 seconds quicker. However, testers were impressed that the Stinger with AWD required less braking distance.

Steering feels responsive on all kinds of roadways, especially around twisty turns. You can also expect a smooth ride from the suspension, even when there are some thick snowy patches under the wheels. However, MotorTrend notes that the Kia Stinger loses its momentum if it’s been pushed too hard. 

Pricing for the Kia Stinger

U.S. News says the 2021 Kia Stinger GT retails for $41,790 if it’s equipped with AWD. If you don’t mind getting the base engine, the GT-Line AWD model only costs $37,290. The standard motor only makes 255 hp, but it’s still fast enough for most drivers.

For 2022, Kia eliminated the GT from the lineup entirely, but the GT1 and GT2 models are still available. The 2022 Stinger GT-Line now costs $36,090, but it can’t be optioned with AWD. Adding AWD brings the 2022 GT1’s cost to $45,890 and the GT2’s final cost to $53,490.

It’s a bit of an upcharge from last year, but the 2022 GT models are just as worth it. The 2022 models feature AWD with dynamic torque vectoring, which can turn itself off and on depending on road conditions. This can help drivers make up for the big drop in fuel economy when switching to AWD.

Both GT models still come with Brembo brakes and electronically controlled suspension, but the limited-slip differential is reserved for FWD models. Both of these trims also come standard with summer tires, which might need to be switched out during the winter. Even so, the Kia Stinger GT models can tackle snowy weather easily with the right equipment.

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