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

Launched in 2018, we have 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 record. 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. Effectively, Kia mounted 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 would give to any Stinger shopper, which is to strive 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 non-obligatory twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 is among 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 yr, 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 automated transmission. That was one other merchandise on our want record—a little bit extra suggestions, a little bit extra sense of drama and engagement. The brand new soundtrack actually helps.

The inside acquired an replace as properly, though you’d virtually must 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 screen and options analog-tube-like stereo tuning graphics and the choice to take heed to the prerecorded sounds of a hearth or, unusually, a busy restaurant. There’s additionally new stitching on the seats and a few completely different trim items. However largely, this is similar good-looking and properly 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 contemporary 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, in fact, as a excessive praise.

Whereas the uncorked exhaust makes the 2022 Stinger sound prefer it’s method faster, our take a look at outcomes show that its gusto is theater of the thoughts, with acceleration figures equivalent to these of an identical 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, nonetheless, 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 previous automotive got here to a halt from that pace in 164 ft, however at the very least fade wasn’t a problem this time round, in contrast to our expertise at our 2018 Lightning Lap occasion. In contrast to the most recent G70 and the previous Stinger GTS, the brand new all-wheel-drive Stinger did not get a drift mode. If you need that, the rear-drive Stingers will drift simply wonderful.

The rear-drive 2.5T GT-Line’s base worth of $37,135 marks an enormous improve from final yr’s $34,135 entry level. However at the very least you get a large horsepower improve for the better outlay. The bottom $40,635 Stinger GT is now gone, so stepping as much as the V-6 requires at the very least $44,735 for the GT1 trim—which is definitely a reduction from final yr’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 strains, so perhaps Kia is taking note of its personal customization scene. We’ll know for certain if, like him, in addition they add non-obligatory methanol injection and KDM (Korean home market) badges.

We might’ve cherished it if Kia rolled out some 500-hp monster Stinger (code identify: Tremendous Scorpion), however largely we’re simply appreciative that they are preserving their large rear-drive-based hatchback round in any respect. Kia sells round 10,000 Stingers a yr, which makes it viable however not one thing you see every single day. That is nonetheless an necessary automotive for Kia, greater than its gross sales numbers counsel, as a result of there is a neighborhood 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 realize, you realize. However please, permit us to let you know once more.

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