Strong powertrain options. The Stinger is no slouch when powered by the 300 hp turbocharged four-cylinder in the base model, but the optional 368 hp twin-turbo V6 really livens the car up. The V6 propels the Stinger to 60 in 4.7 seconds (half a second faster than the base engine), and generally feels more responsive and substantial. The only available transmission is a smooth 8-speed automatic that offers quick shifts, but feels more geared toward comfort in manual mode.

No more GT1 trim. Unfortunately, Kia is no longer offering the mid-level GT1 trim for 2023. This is a shame as it offered a more affordable way to get the V6 without spending big money on the top-of-the-line GT2. Sure, the GT2 comes with more goodies, but now buyers have to pay a $15,000 premium for the big engine.

The base GT-Line trim starts at $36,590 with rear-wheel drive and $38,790 with all-wheel drive. The V6-powered GT2 is AWD-only and has a starting price of $53,990.

Solid Handling. Kia did a great job with this suspension setup. The Stinger is very comfortable when you’re just cruising along, and feels composed during more spirited maneuvers. Though the steering offers ample feedback, the Stinger’s size starts to show when you really thrash it. The 3,700-pound Stinger with its long wheelbase will never be as tossable as say a smaller sport sedan like a 3-Series around a track but offers enough poise for backroad fun.

Head-turning styling. The Stinger has been an attractive car since its inception in 2018, and it got a couple of exterior tweaks for the 2022 model year. Although a hair busy in a few places, the Stinger has an elegant profile with its liftback roof, and one of the more unique rear ends in the industry with its elongated tail lights. Kia did a nice job with the wheel choices too.

2022 Kia Stinger Interior

Sharp interior. The Stinger’s cockpit is comfortable and clean in its design. Leather is standard, and plusher Nappa leather is also available. Although not as opulent or premium in its materials as some rivals, the Stinger is a much less expensive car and still offers everything you’d need. The 10.3” touchscreen is smartphone compatible, and the built-in navigation system is actually rather intuitive.

Sporty yet practical. With its liftback design, the Stinger is able to accommodate up to 40.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded. It has 23.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats in place, which might be on the lower end of what you’d expect for a liftback of this size, but that’s because Kia prioritized space in the cabin. The interior feels much roomier than its smaller German sport sedan competitors, as it’s the size of a midsize sport sedan but priced like a compact one. The 36.4” of rear legroom outclasses other sedans at this price point.

Impressive safety. The Stinger performed quite well in crash tests, earning a 5-star NHTSA rating and being named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. It also offers an impressive array of driver assistance features to avoid crashing in the first place, with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, automatic hi-beams, and blind spot monitoring to name a few. Optional equipment includes a surround-view camera, head-up display, and blind-spot camera system. Pricier luxury cars may offer more hi-tech safety gizmos, but the Stinger is solidly equipped.

Final thoughts. Although its value certainly takes a hit after its lineup changes, the Stinger still gives you a lot of car for your dollar. It offers a unique blend of straight-line speed, solid handling, comfort, practicality, and a unique look, all while undercutting the cost of some of its German (and even Japanese) rivals. Detractors will point out that it doesn’t have the same badge recognition as said rivals, even with Kia entering more premium markets, but that isn’t important to every buyer. The Kia Stinger is a very well-rounded sport sedan for the money, even if it isn’t quite the bargain that it once was.

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