If you liked the first-generation Kia Stinger but expected more oomph in the base model, you’re in luck; the 2022 model should better correlate to those expectations. The company formally, if quietly, released the new model March 16.

“The Stinger confidently shows Kia’s ability to build a sport sedan that can compete – and beat – the best the world has to offer. It is definitive proof of our proud and evolving engineering prowess,” said Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia Motors North American and Kia Motors America. “We continue to push Stinger to new heights as it is the catalyst behind our dynamic model lineup. The Kia Stinger is world-class and the refreshed 2022 model continues to evolve expectations.”

The eagle-eyed may be the only ones to spot the exterior differences but the Kia badge did change for 2022 and there are now LED head and taillamp elements. The teaser of the American version appears to closely resemble the global refresh, which isn’t shocking. Expect a revised front fascia that includes more modern LED headlights and a slightly more aggressive overall graphic. There are new wheel designs and larger exhaust tips.

Under the hood, a 2.5-liter turbo four putting out 300 horsepower and 311 lbs-ft of torque replaces the 2.0L as the base motor and its 255 hp and 250 lbs-ft. Kia estimates 60 mph is 5.2 seconds away from a stop and with no sacrifice in fuel efficiency.

Meanwhile, the 3.3L twin-turbo V-6 returns with 368 hp (a 3 hp bump from before), 376 lbs-ft and a new, electronically-controlled variable exhaust system. 0-60 is an estimated 4.7 seconds. Rear-wheel drive is standard with torque vectoring all-wheel drive available across the board for $2,200 extra. Both engines use an eight-speed automatic transmission and paddle shifters. The manual transmission formerly available with the four-cylinder engine has gone extinct.

There will be three trims available -GT-Line, GT1 and GT2. The GT1 is best blend of features, price and performance. It should base under $45,000 but offer a sunroof, navigation, eight-inch infotainment scree, Harman/Kardon audio, automatic high-beam headlamps, a power-adjustable steering column, ventilated front seats, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and a driver-attention monitor.

GT-Line base models will carry a $3,000 price hike over 2021, starting at $37,125 with geometric 18-inch wheels. The range tops out at $54,535 for a loaded GT2 with all-wheel drive. The V-6 Stinger starts at $44,735 in GT1 guise (note there is no longer a base GT model with a V-6), with geometric 19-inch wheels and should cost $1,800 less than in 2021. The GT2 trim, with 19-inch wheels, starts at $52,335, $900 less than last year.

A special edition model, the Scorpion, will bow later and come in three colors, Snow White, Aurora Black or Ceramic Silver; rear spoiler; blacked-out fender garnish, side mirror caps and dark exhaust tips; unique black wheels; and interior carbon fiber patterned trim. In the GT trims, there is a new Ascot Green hue.

Inside, the interior is overall well thought out and handsome. Ambient LED mood lighting is available in a rainbow of hues, GT models have modern stitching on the inner door panels and those with Nappa leather surfaces feature a new chain-link design. One plus the Stinger has over its rivals is a more comfortable back seat. There’s an in-dash, 4.2-inch color center cluster that is more legible plus an available, seven-inch center cluster with live video view of adjacent lines after the turn signal lever is activated.

Stinger’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems5 (ADAS) has expanded and is now the class-leader in this luxury segment:

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Junction Turning
  • Safe Exit Warning
  • Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Rear Cross Traffic Avoidance Assist
  • Lane Following Assist
  • Highway Driving Assist

Kia’s infotainment system, UVO, uses either an eight- or 10.25-inch touchscreen with physical buttons. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is a six-speaker stereo. Those who consider themselves musical can order a 15-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo system. Other tech upgrades include a wireless smartphone charging pad and in-dash navigation.

The Stinger rivals the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. The Stinger shares its platform with the Genesis G70 sedan.

When it comes to mileage, the rear-drive, four-cylinder model is the stingiest with fuel, coming in at an estimated 22/32/35 mpg (RWD) or 21/29/24 mpg (AWD). The V-6 has an estimated 18/25/20 mpg (RWD) and 17/24/20 (AWD).

Kia’s outstanding warranty coverage continues on the new Stinger – a five-year or 60,000-mile limited warranty while the powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles but note that there is no complimentary scheduled maintenance, unlike many of its competitors.

The 2022 Stinger will arrive at Kia dealers during the spring.