Updated: Apr 1, 2022
Until this year, Kia Stinger buyers had a wide gulf of performance between the base model (255 horsepower) and the GT1 and GT2 models (368 horsepower).
For 2022, Kia narrows the gap considerably. The base Stinger is now the GT-Line.
The GT-Line arrives with a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 300 horsepower and 311 pounds per foot of torque. There's an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and selectable drive modes. Kia says 0-60 is 5.2 seconds, which is half a second quicker than the old base Stinger and only half a second slower than the hot GT2. There's still incentive for the high-performance minded to opt for the GT1 or GT2, as the GT-Line is limited to 130 miles per hour. The GT1 and GT2 have a limit of 149 on all-season tires and 167 on dedicated summer rubber. They also get vented front and rear Brembo brakes. The upside for the GT-Line comes at the fuel pump---an EPA estimated 22 mpg city/32 highway compared to 18/25 for the GT1 and GT2.
There are all-wheel drive versions of all three trims available, but our tester was rear-wheel drive. Still, if you're only driving two of the four wheels those are the right two for spirited driving on winding Sierra foothill roads.
The other big upside to the Stinger GT-Line is price. $36,090 is minivan money. And beyond 0-60 in 5.2, that gets you an updated interior with a new 10.25-inch touchscreen replacing last year's seven-inch unit, dual zone automatic climate control, a wireless phone charger, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The test car had just three extra-cost options---the Sun and Sound Package (Harman-Kardon premium audio system, a sunroof and a power-adjustable front passenger's seat) for $2,300, a cargo mat for $125 and carpeted floor mats for $155. So, with $1,045 inland freight and handling, the as-tested price of the 2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line is $39,715.
Under $40,000 all-in for that level of performance and features is a bargain. The 2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line is good enough to erase the stigma of a "base" performance model.