2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line RWD Review

The lifespan of this model is far too short


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Way more power than last year's turbo four, elegant fastback profile, improved trim inside and out, bigger optional infotainment screen, great driving dynamics, awesome hatchback.
Negatives: Slightly skittish under hard driving, some cheap interior trim bits, shift knob looks and feels dated.
Bottom Line: We love the Stinger even when it's not in top turbo V6 AWD trim. The new, more powerful turbo four is phenomenal, and the trim improvements make it even more attractive. We love this car.
The Kia Stinger is one of our favorite cars, but it highlights exactly what mainstream America doesn't want to buy. It's a sporty sedan with a hatchback, which is exponentially worse than either segment all by itself. Proof of that fact is that it's going away after the 2022 model year due to poor sales, and that's a travesty. After all, it's roomy, quick, attractive, fun to drive, and it has that wonderful hatchback that opens up to a truly useful cargo section. We drove the 2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line with the surprisingly powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Read our full review below.
 

Driving Experience

8.7

 

The huge jump in power for the turbo-four is palpable. There's definitely more grunt, and acceleration is stronger than the old 255 hp mill. It's not as composed in the turns as sister-car Genesis G70, but it's still a very fun sports sedan.

Ride Quality: The Stinger GT-Line's ride quality is on the firm side, but it handled bumps and gaps very well. We never felt jarred or unsettled.

Acceleration: The 0-60 time is 4.6 seconds, seriously fast. The turbo four exhibits virtually no lag, and the 300 horsepower mill makes for ample power. The 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters works well with rev-matching downshifts.

Braking: The Stinger GT-Line has good, progressive brakes that bring it to a stop quickly and progressively.

Steering: Steering is quick, and effort is good. We just didn't get as much communication back from the road as we would've liked.

Handling: The Stinger manages body roll well, but taking turns fast and hard feels a little bit unsettled. It's still fantastic to drive, and it mostly feels well-controlled.

Technology

8.8

 

The Stinger's standard 8-inch infotainment system was good for a while, but it needed an upgrade. The new, optional 10.25-inch screen and upgraded OS are much better.

Infotainment System: The floating 10.25-inch touchscreen is great to look at, easy to read, and simple to operate. Menus are easy to understand, and responsiveness is good.

Controls: The two rows of buttons for audio and climate, along with physical knobs are well laid out. The triple circular HVAC vents prevent the buttons from being positioned higher and better located for driving, though.

Styling

9

 

It's no easy feat to make a sports sedan that looks different from BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Lexus, but Kia manages to pull it off and for far less money. They Stinger GT-Line looks very original and adds an elegant, sloping fastback roofline. The GT-Line's dark chrome trim bits look fantastic.

Front: The fascia is aggressive but not overstyled like so many cars these days. We love the mesh in the tiger-nose grille, and the vertical and functional intake vents add to the menace.

Rear: The Stinger GT's taillights have been redesigned with a split-lens setup. They are also now full-width with a connecting LED strip. Our tester's right half of that bar went dark during our test period, unfortunately. The Kia logo is also gone, replaced by "Stinger" lettering. The qual oval tailpipes look superb.

Profile: The long, sloping roofline gives it a sleek look, but the rear overhang seems a bit long. We like the functional fender vent and that dark trim. The new wheel style is also very nice.

Cabin: The interior has been upgraded with metal-like trim and less black plastic. The overall aesthetic is sporty. We don't like the

Comfort

8.8

 

The Stinger GT-Line feels everyday comfortable for four adults, and it's an easily livable sports sedan that doesn't compromise on practicality.

Front Seats: The Stinger has sport seats that provide a solid level of comfort, as well as very good bolstering. The leather feels good, too, even though you can't get the diamond-quilted Nappa at this trim level.

Rear Seats: There's good room for adults in back, though the middle position is tight. It surpasses the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4 in terms of legroom and seems more like a mid-size luxury sedan.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The cabin is pretty quiet and well made. There were no rattles or squeaks, and the wind and road noise are kept at bay at highway speeds.

Visibility: The driving position and overall visibility are very good. It's easy to place the Stinger GT-Line where you want.

Climate: The automatic climate controls system works well and warms up quickly, as do the heated seats.

Safety

9.4

 

The Stinger hasn't been crash tested yet, but the GT2 trim level does come standard with some pretty great safety technology that's optional on competitors.

IIHS Rating: The 2022 Stinger was tested and ranked at the top, earning it a Top Safety Pick+ rating, with "good" in virtually all categories, except for headlights (acceptable) and LATCH ease of use (marginal).

NHTSA Rating: The Stinger in RWD earned a full five stars from the federal government.

Standard Tech: The Stinger GT-Line comes a great set of standard safety tech including Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Warning, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist - Pedestrian/Cyclist, Smart Cruise Control w/ Stop & Go, Lane Keeping Assist, and Lane Following Assist.

Optional Tech: None

Storage/Cargo

9.2

 

In addition to a wealth of power and seriously good looks, the Stinger is truly practical with a useful cabin and great hatchback space that's surprisingly convenient and spacious. Just make sure you don't let any items protrude, or you'll shatter the rear glass.

Storage Space: The center console has great storage options, including a deep and long armrest binnacle, a compartment tray right in front of the armrest that's deep enough to prevent your change and keys from flying out, and a nice retractable door compartment just below the center stack. All very useful. We're not sure why doing this right seems to be so hard for some automakers.

Cargo Room: The cargo section in the hatch has 23.3 cubic feet, which isn't massive, but fold down the rear seats, and you get a solid 40.9 cubic feet. The access via the rear hatch door beats any sedan, too.

Fuel Economy

7.5

 

The Stinger GT-Line's new engine did better than we thought, and we came away with a very respectable number given the fact that we drove it in Sport mode and pretty aggressively, at that.

Observed: 23.5 mpg

Distance Driven: 97 miles

Audio

8.6

 

Our tester came with the excellent Harman Kardon premium audio with Clari-Fi as standard equipment, a very nice touch at the base trim level. The sound was clear, the bass was strong, and we experienced no distortion.



Final Thoughts

We're sad to see the Stinger go because it does so many things so well. Kia really did a great job with it, as well as with the trim and power upgrades. It's quick, a blast to drive, and truly practical to use as an everyday driver. Now, with the base model providing 300 horses from a turbo four (in RWD or AWD), it's that much better. It's a car we would consider for our own household.

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