The Kia Stinger Gets New 2.5-Liter Engine Trim With The Correct Amount Of Horsepower

Illustration for article titled The Kia Stinger Gets New 2.5-Liter Engine Trim With The Correct Amount Of Horsepower
Image: Kia

The Kia Stinger sports sedan has had a big 100-horsepower gap in its lineup for years, forcing buyers to either live with the base four-cylinder or pay at least $6,000 more for the big V6. But now that problem is solved with the new 2.5-liter four-cylinder introduced to the 2022 Kia Stinger.

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While pricing and trim details have yet to be announced for some reason, Kia has confirmed that the 2022 Kia Stinger is getting a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 300 HP—the perfect amount for a car—and 311 lb-ft of torque. It will likely be priced between the current GT-Line and GT trims. It’s the Goldilocks Stinger.

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Illustration for article titled The Kia Stinger Gets New 2.5-Liter Engine Trim With The Correct Amount Of Horsepower
Image: Kia

Via Roadshow, new 2022 Stingers with the 2.0-liter engine will now produce 252 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque, and the V6 now comes with a new variable exhaust system that boosts power by 3 HP up to a total of 368 HP now. All 2022 Stingers keep the current 8-speed automatic transmission.

The current Kia Stinger starts at $33,090 for the base GT-Line trim level, which comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 255 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque through the rear axle. AWD is optional at a charge.

Illustration for article titled The Kia Stinger Gets New 2.5-Liter Engine Trim With The Correct Amount Of Horsepower
Image: Kia
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The more powerful 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine in the current GT trim produces 365 HP and 376 lb-ft of torque, comes with all-wheel drive and currently starts at $39,500.

But the previous two powertrain options left quite a significant power and price gap for a sporting sedan. There was a lot of room for competitors offering sedans around the same price point with around 300 HP, like the Toyota Camry, Infiniti Q50, Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 and Acura TLX, undercutting the pricy Stinger V6 and operating in a sweet spot the Stinger couldn’t compete with until now.

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Illustration for article titled The Kia Stinger Gets New 2.5-Liter Engine Trim With The Correct Amount Of Horsepower
Image: Kia

The new 2.5-liter option could also give the Stinger an advantage against cars like the Volvo S60, Buick Regal, Cadillac CT4, and others that have even larger power and price gaps between their entry-level and highest-performance trims around the same price margin.

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Listen, 300 horsepower is a perfect amount of power, particularly for a car like the Kia Stinger. I’ve only driven the more powerful V6 on an ice course once, which taught me absolutely nothing except how to have fun. But I could see the appeal of having a fun all-wheel-drive car with slightly less power. (You can get AWD with the GT-Line trim, but it seems 255 HP isn’t selling!)

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DISCUSSION

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Personally, and I have no idea of if my sorta-gripe jives with the overall market, but I am probably going to buy a Stinger GT2 rwd within the next year, so...

Kia needs to build more rwd Stingers, and give more not-black interior options.

From searching for Stingers, the cars available at dealers are about a 4:1 ratio of awd:rwd. I know awd is popular on luxury cars in general, but with all the hype about the Stinger when it originally came out centering on it being rwd, it’s curious that so few of the actual cars built are rwd.

Almost all of them have super boring all-black interiors. Black dash, upholstery, carpet, headliner. The decent amount of aluminum trim unfortunately does little to liven up the overall vibe of the interior. There’s a red upholstery option that technically can be had on many of the available exterior colors, but for the most part it’s only ever put on Ceramic “Silver” (actually flat gray) cars. There had been a cream upholstery option on blue cars at some point in the past but it’s not showing in the configurator for 2020.

Maybe I’m the weirdo wanting rwd and the red interior, but I feel like if someone is willing to buy a Kia that’s trying to compete with proper European performance/luxury cars, they’re already going to be a bit different, and might appreciate wider availability of rwd and not-black interiors.