Generally, a automotive will get a mid-cycle refresh and is completely reinvented. New engines, new bodywork, and a brand new inside—the total Overhaulin’ remedy. When that occurs, it is actually because the unique product was lackluster sufficient to warrant a fast do-over. On the alternative finish of the spectrum, if an organization actually nailed it within the first place, a automotive may get a steady-as-she-goes refresh that brings minor updates to an primarily interesting package deal. The 2022 Kia Stinger positively falls into that second class.

Launched in 2018, we had been smitten sufficient with the Stinger to drive one for 40,000 miles, plus we named its upmarket Genesis cousin, the G70, to our 2019 10Best checklist. Our greatest gripe with the Stinger (and, for that matter, the G70) was that its base engine, a 255-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, was type of a bummer. Nicely, Kia fastened that: The brand new commonplace engine for 2022 fashions is the two.5-liter turbo-four that robustly animates numerous Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis merchandise. With 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, it is a mill that ought to higher match the Stinger’s feisty perspective. We are saying “ought to,” as a result of we’ve not examined that one but. As a substitute, we adopted the recommendation we might give to any Stinger shopper, which is to attempt the V-6 first.

HIGHS: Stronger worth than ever, vocal new energetic exhaust, good-looking cabin execution.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

The massive Kia’s optionally available twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 is likely one of the sweeter engines of its ilk, easy and highly effective seemingly from idle to redline. That is barely hyperbole—its 376 pound-feet of torque arrives at 1300 rpm and stays at that plateau till 4500 rpm. The V-6’s 368 horsepower represents a rise from final 12 months, however solely by three horses. That, you will not discover. However you’ll discover the brand new energetic exhaust, which endows the Stinger with a throatier growl underneath throttle and makes it extra rewarding to make use of the steering-wheel-mounted paddles to shift the eight-speed computerized transmission. That was one other merchandise on our want checklist—somewhat extra suggestions, somewhat extra sense of drama and engagement. The brand new soundtrack definitely helps.

The inside obtained an replace as nicely, though you’d virtually should park an older Stinger alongside a brand new one to identify the variations, like with these comics-page cartoons you’d scrutinize after splitting your sides over the most recent “Household Circus.” The first distinction is the ten.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, which is usefully upsized from the prior 8.0-inch display and options analog-tube-like stereo tuning graphics and the choice to hearken to the prerecorded sounds of a fireside or, unusually, a busy restaurant. There’s additionally new stitching on the seats and a few totally different trim items. However largely, this is similar good-looking and nicely executed cabin we lauded on the Stinger’s introduction.

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

LOWS: No faster than earlier than, lackluster grip and braking on all-season tires.

The 2022 mannequin’s exterior options subtly reworked headlights and taillights, and recent wheel designs. However probably the most noticeable distinction is the brand new Kia badge, which seems like one thing a goth child would have tagged on the wall of an deserted sewer substation throughout a rave in 1997. We imply that, after all, as a excessive praise.

Whereas the uncorked exhaust makes the 2022 Stinger sound prefer it’s means faster, our take a look at outcomes show that its gusto is theater of the thoughts, with acceleration figures similar to these of an analogous all-wheel-drive GT we examined in 2018. The brand new automotive ran to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds—identical because the earlier model—and its quarter-mile time of 13.1 seconds at 107 mph was additionally the identical as earlier than however with a 1-mph slower lure pace. Its skidpad grip, nevertheless, was a less-than-impressive 0.85 g. That is largely because of our take a look at automotive’s Michelin Primacy Tour A/S all-season tires; on Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer time rubber, the earlier automotive demonstrated 0.91 g of stick. These all-seasons additionally contributed to a prolonged 187-foot cease from 70, regardless of the Stinger GT’s Brembo brakes with four-piston entrance and two-piston rear calipers. The outdated automotive got here to a halt from that pace in 164 ft, however a minimum of fade wasn’t a problem this time round, not like our expertise at our 2018 Lightning Lap occasion. In contrast to the most recent G70 and the outdated Stinger GTS, the brand new all-wheel-drive Stinger did not get a drift mode. If you’d like that, the rear-drive Stingers will drift simply superb.

The rear-drive 2.5T GT-Line’s base worth of $37,135 marks an enormous enhance from final 12 months’s $34,135 entry level. However a minimum of you get a large horsepower enhance for the larger outlay. The bottom $40,635 Stinger GT is now gone, so stepping as much as the V-6 requires a minimum of $44,735 for the GT1 trim—which is definitely a reduction from final 12 months’s GT1 that value $46,535. The lineup tops out at $54,535 for an AWD V-6 in GT2 trim. Atop that mannequin now you can add a brand new $1295 Scorpion package deal, which blacks out some trim and the exhaust suggestions, brings model-specific 19-inch wheels, and provides carbon-fiber inside items. We all know a Stinger proprietor who modified his 2019 GT2 alongside these traces, so possibly Kia is taking note of its personal customization scene. We’ll know for certain if, like him, in addition they add optionally available methanol injection and KDM (Korean home market) badges.

We might’ve cherished it if Kia rolled out some 500-hp monster Stinger (code title: Tremendous Scorpion), however largely we’re simply appreciative that they are holding their massive rear-drive-based hatchback round in any respect. Kia sells round 10,000 Stingers a 12 months, which makes it viable however not one thing you see on daily basis. That is nonetheless an essential automotive for Kia, greater than its gross sales numbers recommend, as a result of there is a group round it, full with an aftermarket and boards the place homeowners brag about their quarter-mile time slips. The Stinger is an insider factor—if you recognize, you recognize. However please, enable us to inform you once more.

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