2022 Kia Stinger GT review

The Kia Stinger has been around for a while now, but its appeal isn't fading. It's a comfortable alternative to the classic Aussie sedan.

Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Deputy Editor
Published
PROS
  • Twin-turbo V6 is a torquey beast
  • Comfortable, luxurious interior
  • Spacious boot beneath liftback
CONS
  • Tight rear seats
  • V6 never raises its voice
  • Infotainment is good, but not great

The Kia Stinger doesn’t draw headlines like maybe it once did, but it’s still ticking along.

Sales of the large, powerful liftback have remained strong in Australia, as the Stinger fills the void left by the Holden Commodore SS and Ford Falcon XR8 for both private buyers and police forces.

It’s been updated once with a fresh look and more technology, but it’s fundamentally the same car revealed in 2017. That’s a good thing.

Powerful, comfortable, rear-wheel drive large cars are hard to come by in 2022, but the Stinger is still going strong.

WATCH: Atko’s performance review of the Stinger GT

How much does the Kia Stinger GT cost?

Even the range-topping Stinger is sharply priced, with a sticker just shy of $65,000 before on-road costs.

You pay handsomely for the jump from the cheapest V6, the 330S, to the GT however.

Pure rivals are few and far between. With Holden Commodore SS and Ford Focus XR8 gone, along with the Chrysler 300, the Stinger competes with the all-wheel drive Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line ($71,240) and entry-level versions of the BMW 3 Series ($73,500) and Audi A4 ($63,900).

None of the Stinger’s rivals can match its outputs, nor its old-fashioned rear-wheel drive dynamics.

2022 Kia Stinger pricing:

  • Kia Stinger 200S: $51,250
  • Kia Stinger 330S: $55,030
  • Kia Stinger GT-Line: $58,930
  • Kia Stinger GT: $64,960

All prices exclude on-road costs.

What is the Kia Stinger GT like on the inside?

By now, Kia has ironed out most of the bugs with Stinger behind the wheel.

At launch, the car had a chunky gloss black bezel around its central screen. Now, it’s a flush-fitting unit running the same infotainment system you get in the Hyundai Group’s top-end products. The screen between the dials now has the Blind Spot View Monitor system offered elsewhere in the range, too.

The leather-trimmed seats in this GT are finished with a bold stitching pattern that’s part six-pack, part throne, and the ambient lighting has been freshened up.

One thing that has always been right with the Stinger are the fundamentals. The driving position is one of the best in the business, with seats that drop low and are ideal for long-haul driving, thanks to a well-judged mix of padding and bolstering. The electrically-adjusted steering wheel telescopes right out to meet taller drivers, and feels great in your hands.

Everything you need to poke or prod falls within easy reach, and the silver row of switches beneath the display look high-end. They also make it easier to jump between functions on the touchscreen, which is a bit of a reach away if you’re sitting a long way back.

Touches like the rocker switches (which actually is a two-way rocker) for the heated and cooled seats feel a bit more special than a regular button, and show Kia has put real thought into the little touches.

The new 10.25-inch infotainment system is pure Kia and Hyundai, for better and for worse. It’s quick to respond and easy to navigate… but it’s a bit of a stretch to reach, and the fact the primary function is on the left side of the display when it’s running in split screen suggests the system was developed for left-hand drive.

The 7.0-inch trip computer display between the clear, simple analogue dials is clear and easy to use on the move, and the blind-spot cameras are a handy addition given the liftback shape does impact over-the-shoulder vision.

Storage space is good, with a wireless phone charging pad under the dashboard, cupholders on the transmission tunnel, a shallow storage bin under the central armrest, and spacious door pockets.

It all feels well put together. Even after hopping out of a Mercedes-Benz C-Class with a steeper price tag, the Stinger felt solidly screwed together with buttons that clicked and clacked as you’d expect.

Rear seat space isn’t great, despite the car’s oversized exterior. The sloping roofline eats into headroom for taller passengers, and the chunky transmission tunnel means the middle seat isn’t particularly accomodating.

You’re best to fold down the central armrest and just use the rear as a two-seat bench.

Legroom is acceptable though, and the presence of air vents and a USB charger will keep kids and their devices happy back there.

Boot space under that massive, powered liftback is 406L with the rear seats in place, and 1114L with them folded.

Although neither number is ground-breaking on paper the load bay is broad and flat, and the liftback shape is far more practical than a conventional sedan if you’re carrying bikes or other bulky objects.

What’s under the bonnet?

Power in the Kia Stinger GT comes from a twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6 with 274kW and 510Nm.

That grunt is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed torque converter automatic.

The 100km/h sprint takes a claimed 4.9 seconds, and claimed fuel economy is 10.2 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

Interestingly, the Stinger can run on 91 RON regular unleaded, and has a 60L fuel tank.

How does the Kia Stinger GT drive?

The twin-turbocharged V6 in the Stinger is a powerful beast, and it makes the car feel effortlessly quick in day-to-day driving.

There’s just a breath of lag when you lean on the accelerator, but when the turbochargers spool up at around 2000rpm the Stinger squeezes you back in your seat and reels in the horizon faster than anything other large car at the same price now the Commodore SS and Falcon XR8 are dead.

Kia says it’s a 5.0-second car to 100km/h but in the real world, in the meat of the torque band, it feels quicker than that.

It just needs to be a bit louder. The fact it’s so quiet makes it a great highway cruiser (we’ll get to that), but even the dual-mode exhaust Kia added as part of a mid-life refresh hasn’t turned the mumbly V6 into an opera singer. It only ever delivers an anodyne V6 blare, and it’s never really loud enough to make you feel much excitement.

The Stinger might be powerful, but it’s not a proper sports car. It’s a very capable grand tourer that eats highway miles for breakfast, with the brilliantly-judged ride in Comfort allowing the Stinger to soak up Australia’s average country highways without breaking a sweat.

Where the ride can feel a bit busy on pimply city streets, it has a long-legged feel on the open road. There’s close to no wind or road noise, and the sound system packs enough of a punch to drown out the world around you.

Overtaking is a breeze with the twin-turbo V6 in the meat of its torque band and, while it’s never parsimonious, the car is relatively efficient when it’s chugging along in eighth gear.

Shown a set of corners, the car’s rear-wheel drive balance is immediately clear. Traction from rear tyres is good in the dry, but a heavy right foot and a can-do attitude bring the rear into play. The traction control is quick-acting in normal mode, and means you can dip deep into the throttle’s travel without fear.

While we’re talking electronic assists, the lane-keep assist on the Stinger is quite hands-on, and the lane-centring system (which aims to keep the car in the middle of its lane, rather than simply steering you back to the middle when you stray) is far too grabby. Thankfully, the latter can be permanently turned off.

Flicking into Sport tightens up the ride, makes the seat bolsters grip you a little tighter, and adds some weight to the steering, but it doesn’t ever make the Stinger lighter.

With that said, the steering is quick and the front end is loyal, which means you can flick the Stinger into corners with more intent than maybe you’d expect.

What do you get?

Stinger 200S highlights:

  • 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation
  • DAB digital radio
  • LED headlights
  • Reversing camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Automatic high-beam
  • Automatic headlights
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Remote start
  • “Sports Premium” seat trim
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Paddle shifters
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Tilt and telescoping steering column
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Dual-zone climate control

Stinger 330S adds:

  • Twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6
  • Brembo brakes
  • Mechanical limited-slip differential
  • Bi-modal exhaust

Stinger GT-Line adds over 200S:

  • Front parking sensors
  • Surround-view cameras
  • Blind-spot assist
  • Rear cross-traffic assist
  • Safe exit warning
  • Automatic high-beam
  • Active cornering lights
  • Leather trim
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Eight-way power passenger’s seat
  • Sunroof
  • Flat-bottom leather-wrapped steering wheel with heating
  • 7.0-inch instrument cluster display
  • Alloy pedals
  • Head-up display
  • Suede interior trim for roof, pillars and visors
  • Wireless phone charging
  • 15-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system
  • Colour-adjustable ambient lighting
  • 19-inch alloy wheels

Stinger GT adds:

  • Twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6 engine
  • Brembo brakes
  • Adaptive dampers
  • Nappa leather trim
  • Electronically-adjustable tilt and telescoping steering wheel

Is the Kia Stinger GT safe?

When the Kia Stinger was tested by ANCAP in 2017, it received a rating of five stars.

That rating was based on an adult occupant protection score of 91 per cent, child occupant protection of 81 per cent, pedestrian protection of 78 per cent and safety assist of 70 per cent.

Standard safety equipment includes:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian and Cyclist detection
    • Junction assist
  • Forward collision warning,
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Lane-following assist
  • Front, front-side, side curtain airbags with driver’s knee bag
  • Reversing camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear occupant alert
  • Driver attention alert
  • Leading vehicle departure alert
  • Adaptive cruise control

Stinger GT-Line and GT add:

  • Safe exit warning
  • Blind-spot assist
  • Blind Spot View Monitor
  • Rear cross-traffic assist
  • Front parking sensors
  • Surround-view cameras

How much does the Kia Stinger GT cost to run?

Kia offers seven years of capped-price servicing in addition to its seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

All Stinger models require servicing every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever comes first.

Seven years of servicing will cost $4243 using Kia’s capped-price program.

CarExpert’s Take on the Kia Stinger GT

The appeal of the Stinger hasn’t diminished since its headline-grabbing launch a few years ago.

It’s still a fast, capable liftback with eye-catching looks and a luxurious interior. It’s no surprise the majority of Stinger sales are the GT V6; it’s undoubtedly the pick of the range, and the purest expression of what Kia was trying to do with its flagship petrol car.

There are few nicer ways to cover long distances for the price – or for a fair chunk more than the price, for that matter.

Reports of the Stinger’s demise seem to be constantly swirling, but it’s hard to understand why Kia would axe it yet. Not only is it a reasonably strong seller in Australia, it’s still a car that makes people ask “really, is that a Kia?”.

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MORE: Everything Kia Stinger

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Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

Ratings
Overall8.1
Show Breakdown
Cost of Ownership 8
Ride Comfort 8
Safety 9
Fit for Purpose 8
Handling Dynamics 8
Interior Practicality and Space 8
Fuel Efficiency 7
Value for Money 8.5
Performance 8.1
Technology Infotainment 8
Pricing
Top Line Specs
10.2L
274kW
239g
5 ★
View all specifications

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