2022 Kia Stinger adds power and fresh style to BMW-baiting sports sedan

Kia has upgraded its sports sedan, adding more power and sharper styling to the 2022 Stinger. Tapping new geometric alloy wheels and a more potent standard engine, the Stinger stays true to its ethos of relatively affordable performance, with pricing kicking off at $37,135 including destination when they arrive in dealerships this spring.

Though the bulk of the market may be headed down the crossover and SUV line, there's still a loyal cohort for whom nothing but a sports sedan will do. For the 2022 model year, the Stinger gets standard LED headlamps with a new daytime running light (DRL) signature, or optional "Stinger-signature" LED DRLs and headlights. Rear LED taillamps are standard too, with a new liftgate-spanning design.

The 18-inch and 19-inch wheels are redesigned, with more technical geometric shapes, and there's a more aggressive quad exhaust design. Inside, there's now more black gloss and chrome detailing, plus new stitching on the inside door panels. Higher trims get Nappa leather with a "chain link" stitching design. LED ambient lighting is also included.

As before there'll be three versions to choose between. The 2022 Stinger GT-Line remains the entry-level, with a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine good for 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. Top speed on the standard 18-inch wheels is 130 mph, and Kia estimates 22/32/25 mpg for city/highway/combined for the RWD, or 21/29/24 mpg for the AWD.

If you want more cylinders, the 2022 Stinger GT1 and GT2 both use the same 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. That packs 368 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Both will do 167 mph when the standard 19-inch wheels are running on summer tires, or 149 mph on all-season rubber, and feature a new electronic variable exhaust system for an improved soundtrack. They're expected to get 18/25/20 mpg for RWD, or 17/24/20 mpg for AWD.

All three will come with an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard – sadly there's no manual option – and in a choice of RWD or AWD.

Pricing start at $36,090 (plus $1,045 destination) for the GT-Line RWD, with the AWD version from $38,290. The GT1 starts at $43,690 for RWD and $45,890 for AWD. Finally, the GT2 starts at $51,290 for RWD and $53,490 for AWD.

The Sun and Sound Package – with a power tilt/slide sunroof, 720W Harman Kardon audio, and 8-way power front passenger seat – will be $2,300 on the GT-Line.

Standard is a 10.25-inch touchscreen display with navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, plus multi-connection Bluetooth. You get a wireless phone charger, too, and a 4.2-inch cluster display; a 7-inch version is standard on the GT2, as are memory seats, Nappa leather, and a power-adjustment wheel. GT-Line and GT1 cars get leather seats with heating; the GT2 throws in front ventilation and rear heating. A heated steering wheel is optional on all trims.

As for safety tech, navigation-based smart cruise control is standard, as is forward collision avoidance assistance and warnings, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, and lane departure warning. Blind spot collision warnings, safe exit warnings, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, and front and rear parking sensors are standard too. The GT2 gets a 360-degree camera and head-up display as well.

Still to come, the 2022 Kia Stinger Scorpion

Come the late spring, Kia will have a 2022 Stinger Scorpion Special Edition. That will come in three special colors – Snow White, Aurora Black, and Ceramic Silver – with a blacked-out fender garnish, side mirror caps, and darkened exhaust tips. It'll also roll on special black wheels.

There'll be a rear spoiler, and unique carbon fiber pattern interior trim. Pricing for the Scorpion Special Edition is still to be confirmed.