For performance enthusiasts, there’s no shortage of different vehicles to choose from when looking at speedy coupes and convertibles. If you’re looking for an impressive, high-performance sedan, on the other hand, your options are much more limited. Anyone looking for a four-door with a bold engine, stunning performance, and a startlingly luxurious interior should head to their favourite Kia dealer to see the 2022 Stinger GT. This is a car that’s redefined what I expect to see in a performance sedan, from its elegant and sleek exterior design to the powerful engine and comprehensive feature list––it really has it all.
Of course, you don’t have to just take my word for it––even if you’re not ready to head to a Kia dealer and see the Stinger for yourself, just looking at what it has to offer is enough to make my point. Those who know, know; but for everyone else, I’m going to take you through some of my favourite aspects of the 2022 Kia Stinger and what it has to offer. You’ll see why it’s getting so much attention amongst thrill-seekers and how it’s changing what I and many others have come to expect from a performance-focused sedan.
Only One Place to Start: The Engine
There’s a reason the word “performance” comes first when talking about a performance sedan (and not simply due to adjective placement in the English language)––it’s what these cars are all about. As we look at the 2022 Kia Stinger, I can’t think of a better place to start because the engine in this beauty is definitely impressive. They have two different engine options in the US, starting with a 2.5L turbo-four; you’ll find no such engine on Canadian models, however, which only offer the more-impressive V6 instead (that’s just fine with me!).
The 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6 engine in the Stinger delivers an exhilarating 368 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque for a fantastic driving experience. This is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission; if you’re a manual transmission fan, then you’re out of luck. That’s the only possible downside I can see with the performance of the Stinger, but honestly, the lack of a manual transmission is hardly unique to this model.
You get MacPherson struts and gas shock absorbers with dynamic dampers on the Stinger for a responsive, comfortable, and effortless driving experience. Brembo brakes on the front and rear ensure you have the power to stop this beast––the way their red colour peaks through the rims on the wheels reminds you that you’re not driving just any old sedan. Finally, all-wheel drive is standard on every model, giving you fantastic control and traction in any conditions.
A Spacious Interior
Of course, the second word in “performance sedan” is just as important––there are plenty of sports cars out there with fantastic performance, but fitting more than two people comfortably into them is an exercise in futility. Even a second person in some coupes can feel like too much––I’m not even going to talk about what happens if you want to use a sports car for shopping or a road trip. They’re just not built for it.
A performance sedan like the Stinger gives you impressive power for a fun and speedy driving experience while also having an interior that’s actually functional. The Stinger has comfortable seating for four or five people, with plenty of headroom and legroom both up-front and in the back. You also get more than 1,150 L of cargo volume behind the front row of seats and 660 L of volume in the trunk behind the rear seats. This makes the Kia Stinger incredibly fun to drive and practical for your everyday life and routine.
The Lap of Luxury
Even more impressive than the space you get inside the Kia Stinger is how it’s used; in other words, the stylish and sophisticated features inside. For starters, the baseline Stinger GT Limited features leather seats with a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory, heated front and rear seats, air-cooled front seats, and much more. If you go up to the GT Elite trim, then you get premium Nappa leather seating with air cell lumbar support and upgraded headliner and pillar materials for an even more luxurious interior. Finally, the GT Elite with the Suede Package adds suede inserts to the leather seating, with red stitching for added contrast and suede dashboard details that create a rich and luxurious environment.
Impressive Technology Inside
The feeling of acceleration from the powerful engine of the Kia Stinger is only half of what makes driving it so fun––the fantastic tech inside is the other half. For starters, every model features dual-zone automatic climate control, a 26 cm multimedia infotainment interface with integrated navigation, and a 15-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system. You also get an 18 cm LCD instrument cluster, shift-by-wire transmission control with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, and a wireless phone charger––all standard.
If you choose the GT Elite trim, then you get an innovative Head-up Display (HUD) system. This projects vital information onto the windshield to provide you with real-time safety alerts, navigational cues, and more while letting you keep your eyes on the road. All of these features come together to make driving the Stinger easy, intuitive, and a lot of fun––whether you’re simply getting around town or letting loose on the highway.
There’s nothing surprising about a Kia model having great safety features, but it’s not necessarily what you expect from a performance vehicle. A great performance sedan is all about having fun, and to me, there’s nothing more fun than knowing you’re safe on the road. The Kia Stinger comes with robust safety technology standard on every model. This includes Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, which warns you when someone is in your blind spot and can help you avoid colliding with them, along with a Lane Keep Assist System to help you avoid drifting out of your lane.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Rear Parking Sensors are also standard on every model, which makes it easier to safely navigate parking lots and pull into or out of a parking space. There’s a Blind-Spot View Monitor and 360-degree Camera Monitoring system available for the Stinger, and they’re the only safety systems not standard. As you can see, the majority of these great safety features are provided on every model.
That’s a running theme with the 2022 Kia Stinger: very little difference in trim level. I’m all for having lots of options, but I’m not a fan of having to pay more for what should be basic features, especially on an impressive and luxurious performance sedan. While the GT Elite trim is excellent, the upgrades you get with it are mainly limited to the type of leather used for the interior, a head-up display, and a couple safety features. You don’t have to pay more for comfort, performance, or great systems like the Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist; no matter which model you choose, you’re getting an amazing experience.
The Kia Stinger Stands Apart
That, to me, is really at the heart of what sets the Kia Stinger apart. It’s easy to look at some other performance sedans out there and start having to consider different trims for added power beyond a potentially tepid baseline. With the Stinger, every model has the same powerful engine, the same impressive brakes, and a luxurious and sophisticated interior. That frees up your time for doing something silly, like going for a drive and enjoying life a little bit.