2021 Kia Stinger

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in Sedans
2021 MODEL
$33,090 - $52,590 See Inventory Prices
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8.3

Overall Rating

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2021 Kia Stinger Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: October 12, 2020

Anant Vats's image
Anant Vats

Automotive Journalist


The Stinger is a compact luxury performance sedan from the Korean manufacturer Kia that is offered at a very affordable price. It is also one of the top-selling cars in the US market. The 2021 Kia Stinger is offered in four trims and the price range starts from $33,090 for the entry-level GT line variance with the rear-wheel drive train and $50,300 for the top-spec GT2 variant with the all-wheel drive train. Delightedly, an all-wheel drive is available in the vehicle. Also, the 2021 Kia Stinger is expected to come with cosmetic changes and some upgrades under the hood

The 2021 Kia Stinger is a direct competitor for cars like Alfa Romeo Giulia, Infiniti Q50, and the Mercedes Benz C Class. Here’s our take on the 2021 Kia Stinger that is soon going to be on sale in the market.

See detailed review »

Pros

Powerful and Responsive engine

Great Value for money

Easy to maintain and affordable as a daily driver

Cons

Cramped Rear Seats

Not the most fuel efficient vehicle in the segment

What's New?

The 2021 Kia Stinger is expected to receive a mid-cycle facelift and will get some updates in the looks.

The major change is the engine. It is said to offer a 2.5L engine with more power at its disposal.


Pictures & Videos

Videos
2021 Kia Stinger Review video

Styles

2021 Kia Stinger in Black color
Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.5

Engine And Performance

9.0

Fuel Economy

7.7

Interior

7.8

Exterior

8.8

Safety

8.0

Competition

8.5

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Kia Stinger GT-Line

GT-Line

power
255 hp @ 6200 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
25 combined

$33,090 - $35,590


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $33,090 MSRP (22/25/29) 255 hp @ 6200 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (recommended)
8-Speed Automatic rear wheel drive 5
GT-Line 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $35,590 MSRP (22/25/29) 255 hp @ 6200 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (recommended)
8-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

2021 Kia Stinger GT

GT

power
TBD
fuel
TBD
mpg
TBD

$39,590 - $41,790


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
GT 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $39,590 MSRP (22/25/29) 365 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.3 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
8-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5
GT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.3L 6cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $41,790 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD

2021 Kia Stinger GT1

GT1

power
365 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
25 combined

$45,490 - $47,690


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
GT1 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $45,490 MSRP (22/25/29) 365 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.3 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
8-Speed Automatic rear wheel drive 5
GT1 4dr Sedan AWD (3.3L 6cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $47,690 MSRP (22/25/29) 365 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.3 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
8-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

2021 Kia Stinger GT2

GT2

power
365 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
25 combined

$50,390 - $52,590


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
GT2 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $50,390 MSRP (22/25/29) 365 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.3 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
8-Speed Automatic rear wheel drive 5
GT2 4dr Sedan AWD (3.3L 6cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $52,590 MSRP (22/25/29) 365 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.3 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
8-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

8.3

Overall Rating


The 2021 Kia Stinger continues the legacy of the Korean automotive giant. The latest iteration packs even more grunt under the hood and its distinctive look, sets it apart from its competitors. The new Stinger is expected to get a 2.5 standard engine and the more performance oriented 3.3L is also said to have a power upgrade. 

The 2021 Kia Stinger is a direct rival to the likes of Alfa Romeo Giulia, Mercedes Benz C Class and Infiniti Q50. Read our in-depth review and pricing analysis for the 2021 Kia Stinger to get a clearer picture of how it is strategically placed in the U.S market.

2021 Kia Stinger front third quarter view
2021 Kia Stinger rear third quarter view

8.5/10
Features

9.0/10
Engine and Performance

7.7/10
Fuel Economy

7.8/10
Interior

8.8/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety

8.5/10
Competition


2021 Kia Stinger Features

8.5/10

The 2021 Kia Stinger will be offered in four trim options: GT-Line, GT, GT1, and GT2. Kia has equipped all Stinger models with advanced safety and interior tech features. The base GT-Line trim cost around $33,090 with the RWD and top-of-the-line GT-2 comes with the AWD at $50,300

With a mid cycle facelift on cards for the 2021 model year, it is expected to get a revamped front and rear fascias, upgraded infotainment, performance boost, new performance oriented exhaust system and more safety and driver assistance features as standard.

Model

GT-Line

GT

GT1

GT2

MSRP(RWD)

$33,090

$39,590

$45,490

$50,390

MSRP(AWD)

$35,590

$41,790

$47,690

$52,590

Key Features:

Smart Device Integration

Satellite Radio

Sun/Moonroof

Head-Up Display

 

Steering Wheel Audio Controls

Leather Seats

Vinyl Seats

Power Liftgate

 

Telematics

Back-Up Camera

Premium Sound System

Cross-Traffic Alert

 

Bucket Seats

Lane Departure Warning

Adaptive Cruise Control

Traction Control

 

Leather Steering Wheel

Stability Control

Brake Assist

Premium Synthetic Seats

 

Bluetooth Connection

Power Passenger Seat

Universal Garage Door Opener

Multi-Zone A/C

 

Heated Front Seat(s)

Remote Trunk Release

Blind Spot Monitor

19-inch Front Wheel and Back Wheel

The GT-Line trim starts at $33,090 and comes with a 2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 8-Speed Automatic transmission along with standard features like Blind Spot Monitor and Navigation System.

The GT trim cost around $39,500 for the RWD and $41,700 for the AWD model. It comes with Steering Wheel Audio Controls as standard along with a backup camera and Lane Departure Warning system.

The GT1 trim priced at $45,400 comes with the Panoramic Sun / Moonroof, Power-adjustable Cloth seats with heating functionality and 3.3-liter Twin-Turbo V6.

2021 Kia Stinger rear view

The GT2 trim completes the lineup with a price tag of $50,300 and it gets a long list of premium features like a Premium Synthetic Seats, 720-Watt Harman/Kardon QuantumLogic Surround Sound System with the 15 speakers, 19-inch Front and Back machined finish wheels which gives the sedan premium and sporty look.

2021 Kia Stinger Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

Kia is well known for making cost-effective and reliable cars. And the 2021 Kia Stinger is going to have some cosmetic and engine updates further enhancing its reliability quotient. The Stinger is known for its affordable price, reliability and also for less maintenance and service costs compared to other brands. 2019 reports say that Stinger is the one of top-selling cars with good customer satisfaction reports.

Reliability and Ownership Costs

The Kia Stinger has got a good overall reliability rating of 82 out of 100 from J.D.Power. It also scored 74 out of 100 for resale value. The Stinger won the Motorweek Drivers Choice Award in 2018. Kia is also awarded for better performance, good quality, and dependability in 2019. 

The average cost for the Kia Stinger Sedan comes out to be about $32,500 across the U.S. The price of individual vehicles differs for different states as it is dependent on various factors like sales taxes, destination charge and individual dealership discounts. The people from the states of Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Delaware and Montana enjoy the best prices as the sales taxes are exempted from these states.

Category

Price (For 5 years)

Fuel

$9,880

Insurance

$6,560

Financing

$3,192

State Fees

$6,899

Maintenance

$2,578

Repairs

$721

Depreciation

$21,700

True Ownership Cost

$51,530

The true ownership costs for the Kia Stinger, over a span of 5 years and 75,000 miles comes to be about $51,530. However, the maintenance costs for the Stinger, over the 5 year period comes out to be about $2,578. The Kia Stinger is one of the most reliable cars on sale in the U.S market.

The Kia Stinger has been recalled twice, once in 2018 and the latest recall was announced on 07/22/2020 for the vehicles with the 2.0L Turbo-GDi Engine. The latest recall was made for the defective rack mounted motor driver power steering component which in turn could lock the steering wheel or become very heavy while driving. Kia will notify the customers and will replace the part for free of cost. The recall is expected to begin on August 27, 2020. Kia’s recall number will be SC193. So if you have bought a 2020 Kia Stinger recently, you can check out the same. 

Warranty

Kia Stinger does live up to its reputation of being one of the most reliable brands owing to great warranty figures. The 2021 Kia Stinger will be offered with a roadside assistance plan for five-years/60,000-miles, to make the ownership more easy and tension free.

Criteria

Period

Basic warranty

5 Years/60,000 miles whichever is earlier

Drivetrain warranty

10 Years/100,000 miles whichever is earlier

Roadside assistance

5 years/ 60,000 miles, whichever is earlier

Kia Stinger is one of the most reliable vehicles on sale in the U.S market. The new 2021 Kia Stinger will also offer a basic warranty for 5 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Kia even offers complimentary maintenance for three years. The brand also offers an unbeatable 10 Years/100,000 miles Powertrain warranty.

Miles Per Dollar

The miles per dollar is an estimated value, that is derived as per the number of miles driven in a given span of time and the maintenance costs incurred during the same period. The average maintenance cost for the Kia Stinger over a span of 5 years and 75,000 miles comes out to be around $2,578. Therefore, the miles per dollar estimate for the Kia Stinger comes out to be about 29.09 miles per $1

2021 Kia Stinger Buying Advice

The 2.5L engine of the Stinger is the best feature of the vehicle. It feels responsive enough to make the drive around town feel effortless and packs in enough grunt to outpower many on the freeways simultaneously. The trims like GT, GT1, or GT2 progressively build up features over the previous one. For the new owners, according to our opinion, GT1 offers features with a great value proposition. So if you pay $5,900 more over the price of the GT you get the additional features like Panoramic sunroof, high-beam assist, 15-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with the standard eight-inch display and navigation, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink.

Is buying a used Kia Stinger a good idea?

Kia Stinger also maintains a good resale value like some of its other rivals. Kia vehicles are offered with a 10-year and 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, along with other lucrative schemes, which provide a great ownership experience. Therefore, buying a used Kia Stinger can prove to be a fruitful idea. Maintenance cost of the Stinger is less when compared to the other brand's rivals, which makes it even more preferable to buy a used car.

A pre-owned 2019 Kia Stinger with a low mileage on the clock, can be obtained at a very lucrative price range of about $27,000 to $30,000. The maintenance cost of the Stinger over a span of 5 years comes to be around $2,600. Considering all the factors and the valid warranty plans, a used Kia Stinger can be a great idea. In case you do not want to go for a new vehicle for your next buy, check out the Car Indigo used car inventory to find some great deals over used Kia models near you

2021 Kia Stinger Engine and Performance

9.0/10

For the 2021 Kia Stinger will be offered with a choice of three engines. The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 255 hp, an all-new 2.5-liter Smartstream T-GDi unit. The 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 on the higher trims is has gained Electronic Variable Exhaust Valve system, however, the power output remains the same. The 2021 Kia Stinger's new 2.5L T-GDI engine will reportedly produce 304 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque and comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

2021 Kia Stinger engine

The 2021 Kia Stinger will also get a new variable new exhaust system for the first time ever and the new Stinger will have a better acceleration as compared to the 2020 Stinger. The new 2.5-liter engine is also going to be used in the upcoming Genesis GV80 and G80 and the de-tuned version will be used in the Kia K5 GT.

Models

2021 Kia Stinger (Expected)

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2020 Infiniti Q50

2020 Mercedes Benz C Class

MSRP

$32,900

$38,195

$35,550

$43,400

Engine

2.5L Inline-4 turbocharged

2.0L Inline-4 turbocharged

2.0L Intercooled Turbo I-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 

Drivetrain

RWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

RWD

Transmission

8-speed Automatic Transmission

8-speed Automatic Transmission

7-speed automatic transmission

9G-TRONIC 9-Speed Automatic

Power

304hp@6200rpm

280 hp @ 5200 rpm

208 hp @ 5500rpm

255 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque

311 lb-ft@ 1400 rpm

306 lb.-ft. @ 2000-4800 rpm

258 lb.-ft. @ 1500 rpm

273 lb.-ft. @ 1800 rpm

The 2021 Kia Stinger is speculated to be the most powerful sedan in comparison to its rivals. All the vehicles in the segment are offered with a choice between a rear-wheel-drive and an all-wheel-drive configuration. The Alfa Romeo Guilia offers a great amount of torque however still lacks behind the Stinger, in comparison. 

2021 Kia Stinger Acceleration and Braking Performance

The 2.0-liter engine of the 2020 Kia Stinger makes it sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Kia's 8-speed automatic gearbox is very efficient at low revs and keeps up the pace when you push it further. With the new 2.5L unit in the cards, acceleration times are sure to get better with sub 5 second 0-60 MPH runs in the upcoming model. However the official numbers have not been released yet, so we will have to wait till the new Stinger is released. 

2021 Kia Stinger accelerate 0-60 mph just in 5.9 sec

There are no changes reported in the brakes department for the 2021 Kia Stinger. The outgoing version flaunts 12.6” rotors in the front and 12.4” rotors in the rear wheels, which give the Stinger a stopping distance of 125 ft, from 60 mph, that was already an impressive number in the segment.

Models

2020 Kia Stinger 

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2020 Infiniti Q50

2020 Mercedes Benz C Class

0-60 MPH

5.9 sec

5.1 sec

7.0 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14.1 sec 

15.4 sec

14.1 sec

Top Speed

155 MPH

155 MPH

155 MPH

155 MPH

60-0 MPH

125 ft

124 ft

NA

127 ft

Mercedes Benz C Class and Alfa Romeo Guilia post similar acceleration times by crossing 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds, dominating the Stinger and Infiniti Q50. Among these rivals, Infiniti Q50 is the slowest car as compared to the rivals.

2021 Kia Stinger Fuel Economy

7.7/10

The new 2021 Kia Stinger with a 2.5L engine under the hood, might not be as efficient as its predecessor. The new facelift will get more grunt under the hood and the fuel efficiency is expected to take a hit because of it. The 2020 Stinger with its 2.0L turbo unit had a decent fuel efficiency. 

The 2020 Stinger returns 22 miles per gallon in cities, 29 miles per gallon on highways and 25 miles per gallon with combined driving. The more powerful 3.3-liter V6 engine on higher trims managed to return 17 mpg in cities, 25 mpg for highways, and 20 mpg both combined. Stinger comes with a large fuel tank. Hence you'll be able to travel between 318 and 398 miles on a full tank.

Model

2020 Kia Stinger

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2020 Infiniti Q50

2020 Mercedes Benz C Class

MPG (City)

22

24

23

22

MPG (Highway)

29

33

30

33

MPG (Combined)

25

27

25

26

Fuel Capacity

15.9 gal

15.3 gal

20.0 gal

15 gal

Range (City/ Highway/ Combined) 

349.8/ 461.1/ 397.5 miles

367/504/413 miles

460/ 600/ 500miles

417.6/ 609/ 487.2 miles

Compared to rivals, the Alfa Romeo Giulia outperforms all of its rivals in terms of fuel efficiency. On the other hand, the Infiniti Q50 comes with the largest fuel tank thus offering the maximum range between the fuel stops, as compared to the competition.

2021 Kia Stinger Interior

7.8/10

The 2021 Kia Stinger will be offered with a surround-view monitor system while the 16-way power-adjustable driver's seat with Nappa leather seats and two-way side bolster is also made available. Seats are made of high-quality material and should last for the lifetime of the car if taken care of properly. The seats are naturally more bolstered than your average sedan and relatively low-slung roofline does make the rear seating area feel a bit cramped. Since the Stinger is rated as a five-seater, seating three adults in the rear will somewhat be an uncomfortable squeeze.

2021 Kia Stinger dashboard

Kia’s R&D department has done a lot when it comes to their interior, but it somehow lacks the exclusivity of its German equivalents. The quality of materials and general fit and finish of the 2020 Kia Stinger, wasn't as good as its other competitors, however, with the latest facelift, Kia might have taken care of the issue. The first few features you'll notice once you step inside the Stinger are the wireless phone charging pad, keyless entry, push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate controls. 

Model

2021 Kia Stinger (Expected)

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2020 Infiniti Q50

2020 Mercedes Benz C Class

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.2/55.9/44.8

38.6/56.1/42.4

38.3/56.4/42.6

37.1/55.3/NA

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

36.9/53.4/32.2

37.6/53.6/35.1

37/54.8/36.4

37.1/55/NA

The Kia Stinger offers 23.3 cubic feet Cargo space with the rear seats upright and 40.9 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded and also the hands-free power tail gate is made available. It also offers the most spacious interiors among the rivals but cannot beat the luxury feels Mercedes has on offer.

How’s the 2021 Kia Stinger infotainment system?

The infotainment system for the 2021 Kia Stinger on offer is a UVO 7”/8" touch screen system that comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth streaming with voice recognition as standard. The GT-Line and GT cars are equipped with a seven-inch touch-screen display which is comparatively small and delivers a bit slower response. Higher trims are fitted with a more premium nine-speaker system while GT-Line models get only a six-speaker sound system. The larger eight-inch touchscreen display with a voice-command navigation system comes in the GT1 and GT2 trims only. Harman Kardon audio system with 15 speakers is available in higher trims. The 2021 model can get an upgraded 10.25 inch touchscreen as standard across the lineup.

2021 Kia Stinger basic Sedan dashboard

2021 Kia Stinger Exterior

8.8/10

The 2021 Kia Stinger is expected to have some cosmetic updates like sharp LED DRLS, Quad-twin Exhaust pipes. Minor exterior changes somehow managed to make it a sporty looking vehicle. The GT1 and GT2 trims get more muscular hood vents that promote the aggressive character of the Kia Stinger. The base GT-Line car gets 18-inch alloy wheels, and single projector-beam headlights but shares features such as a hood trim finished off in black chrome and front grille, LED daytime running lights, mirror-mounted LED turn signal indicators right from the GT-Line trim. 

2021 Kia Stinger third quarter view

The GT1 and GT2 trims of the 2021 Kia Stinger get rain-sensing window wipers, high beam assist, and auto-dimming outside mirrors. The GT, GT1, and GT2 trims get a set of 19-inch GT-style alloy wheels as an option. When coming to the exterior dimensions, the Stinger is a lengthy car, measuring in at 190.2 inches, almost 7.6 inches longer than the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

Model

2021 Kia Stinger (Expected)

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2020 Infiniti Q50

2020 Mercedes Benz C Class

Curb Weight

3,649 lbs

3,521 lbs

3,671 lbs

3,500 lbs

Length

190.2”

182.6”

189.6”

184.5”

Width

73.6”

73.7”

71.8”

71.3”

Height

55.1”

56.5”

57.2”

56.3”

Ground Clearance

NA

NA

5”

3.8”

Wheelbase

114.4”

111”

112.2”

111.8”

Length and wheelbase of the Stinger are comparatively more than the other rivals which is the reason for its spacious cabin. Its sleek exterior improves aerodynamics and gives the Kia Stinger a better handling performance.

2021 Kia Stinger basic Sedan top view
2021 Kia Stinger basic Sedan rear three quarter view
2021 Kia Stinger basic Sedan rear three quarter view
2021 Kia Stinger basic Sedan exhaust
2021 Kia Stinger basic Sedan engine

2021 Kia Stinger Safety

8.0/10

The 2020 Kia Stinger managed to score good ratings from both NHTSA and IIHS. It also bagged the “Top Safety Pick+ award” from IIHS as well. Kia manages to keep people inside as safe as possible by ensuring some of their mandatory safety features which includes Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Lane Change Assist, Brake Fade Compensation, Cornering Brake Control, Surround View Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning.

2021 Kia Stinger Competition

8.5/10

2021 Kia Stinger Vs Alfa Romeo Giulia

In terms of performance Kia offers more power than the Giulia. The Alfa Romeo’s 280-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine matched well to the compact sports sedan’s lightness, while the 3.3-liter V-6 in the Stinger GT packs more punch for the buck.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

In terms of exterior, the classy and modern Alfa Romeo steals the show in comparison to contemporary. Both the sedans have a premium interior feel, however, the Kia infotainment system is easier to use and comes with Android Auto and Apple car play compatibility.

2021 Kia Stinger vs Infiniti Q50

Since the Kia Stinger is a fairly new sedan in the market, the Infiniti Q50 would appeal more to a buyer in terms of brand familiarity even though it produces less power comparatively.

2021 Infiniti Q50

However, the Kia has decent performance, plush interiors and great practicality with updated safety features, and a comfortable ride. But Infiniti is less of a driver’s car as compared to the Stinger.

2021 Kia Stinger Final Verdict

Kia has been consistent in improving its safety, performance, features, handling, and design. The 2021 Kia Stinger is a great option for car enthusiasts who want to buy a more performance oriented car at an affordable price. It is loaded with lots of features, has an outstanding resale value, and reliability ratings and comes with low maintenance cost. The Kia Stinger is a cohesive package that comes with a reasonable price and is expected to hit the dealerships later this year.

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