Instead of the Axe, 2022 Kia Stinger Survives With Refresh, New Engine

Recently we were armchair quarterbacking the theory that the Kia Stinger was not long for this world. Even though the Stinger itself is a great car, lackluster sales are a sign that potential buyers aren't as fired up as us critics. But we're happy to report that, for now at least, we've been proven wrong. Kia just announced a slew of updates to make the Stinger both more handsome and more upscale. Plus, the sedan is getting a more powerful four-cylinder engine.

a car parked on a beach: 2021 Kia Stinger Refresh3 © Motor Trend Staff 2021 Kia Stinger Refresh3

For starters, the exterior of the car gets some slight revisions. Up front the tiger nose grille gets wider—a trend Kia has been executing throughout its lineup these days—and the headlights get a slight redesign to give them a sharper look. There's a new tail light design at the back, and the rear-facing turn signals get a design that's meant to mimic a checkered flag. The rear bumper gets a slight redesign too, with larger exhaust ports that can now be finished in bright silver.

Kia is also introducing two new wheel options—one 18-inches in diameter, the other measuring 19-inches—that it says enhance the sporty, GT personality of the Stinger. There are also two new exterior packages. The Dark Package features a gloss back rear diffuser surround and blacked-out exhaust tips. The Black Package adds?19-inch matte black wheels, a spoiler for the rear liftgate, and blacked out mirror caps.

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Inside, the cabin is more GT and less sports car than before. Buyers can now spec?Nappa leather in either Saturn Black, Red or Beige—and that's on top of the colors that were already on offer. The instrument cluster ditches physical dials in favor of a fully digital driver's display, and the infotainment screen swells to 10.25 inches (up from 7.0 inches).

Now on to powertrains. Kia is offering a new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine just for North America and Korea. This mill produces 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. That makes it more powerful than the current 255-hp, 260-lb-ft base 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, but less potent than the 365-hp, 376-lb-ft 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6. It's unclear if the new engine will eventually replace one of these existing choices here in the U.S. Globally, the two older engines remain unchanged, except for the 3.3-liter gaining a more prominent exhaust note with the addition of an electronic variable exhaust valve system. All three engines pair to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

A Kia spokesperson told us that the U.S.-market Stinger will be a carry-over for 2021, meaning it won't have any of these updates. We expect these changes to make it here for the 2022 model year.

Gallery: 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 (motor1)

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