The 2022 Kia Stinger Could Be An Instant Classic

Illustration for article titled The 2022 Kia Stinger Could Be An Instant Classic
Photo: Kia

The Kia Stinger, you probably have heard by now, is the real deal, an honest challenger to a car like the BMW M340i. And cheaper, too. On Tuesday, Kia confirmed that the base model will get 300 horsepower, or 45 horsepower more than the outgoing, as we first heard in August. The Kia Stinger is edging toward the ideal.

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Not that 255 horsepower out of the four-cylinder is anything to sniff at in the 2021 base model, and you could always step up to the twin-turbo V6 and get 365 horsepower. But, and perhaps this is merely an aesthetic thing, 255 horsepower always felt agonizingly close to the correct amount of horsepower, but just short and thus inadequate. Three-hundred-sixty-five horsepower, on the other hand, felt like overcompensating a bit.

Which leads us to today, when Kia confirmed it had corrected its grave error. The base Stinger will get 300 horsepower from a turbo 2.5-liter four-cylinder; that power will be sent through an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Kia is also very excited about some new LEDs.

  • Standard LED headlamps with a new DRL signature or optional “Stinger-signature” LED DRLs and headlights
  • Standard rear LED taillamps bridged by an eye-catching new taillight design that spans the full width of the liftgate; GT trims get a full LED treatment with LED turn signals
  • New 18- and 19-inch wheel designs defined by lean and technical geometric shapes
  • More aggressive exhaust tip design for enhanced visual appeal

I am more excited by the Scorpion trim, which will come in addition to the GT-Line, GT1, and GT2 trims.

The Scorpion Special Edition set to arrive this late Spring further accelerates Stinger appeal with:

  • Select exterior colors: Snow White, Aurora Black, and Ceramic Silver
  • Rear spoiler
  • Blacked out fender garnish, side mirror caps, and darkened exhaust tips
  • Unique black wheels
  • Interior carbon fiber pattern trim

Kia says it has also managed to eke three more horsepower out of the V6 in the higher trims, as it now makes 368 HP, but the fact that the base is up to 300 horsepower destroys some of that engine’s appeal. Both come in either rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive configurations, with gas mileage suffering slightly in the four-cylinder version in the latter. The four-cylinder version gets a combined 25 mpg in RWD, and a combined 24 mpg in AWD, while the V6 gets a combined 20 mpg in both. Still, the four-cylinder numbers are just as good as the outgoing 255-horsepower engine.

The 2022 Kia Stinger also has most if not all of the driver-assistance systems equipped on modern cars, like adaptive cruise control and various collision warnings and a lane departure assist system, all optional.

Here is how much each trim of the 2022 Kia Stinger will start at:

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Photo: Kia

We are fast approaching a time when automakers will be making their Last Good Internal Combustion Engine Cars, given the vast industry-wide shift to electric. Or maybe we are not, and automakers will keep a niche business on the side making ICE cars for enthusiasts. Either way, the 2022 Kia Stinger feels both timeless and also somewhat like a relic already, a 300 horsepower rear-wheel drive sports sedan. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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Photo: Kia
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News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

DISCUSSION

beer-lightguidance
Beer-light Guidance

That green in the top image is awesome.  Not awesome enough to overcome not having enough pedals, but still awesome.