2021 Kia Stinger Review - Trims, Prices, Features, MPG, Performance, And Rivals

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Anant Vats

Automotive Journalist June 30, 2020 at 05:17 PM
The Stinger is Kia’s take on the German-dominated luxury sedan segment. The 2021 Kia Stinger is expected to continue with its 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 and the more chunky 3.3L Turbocharged V6 engines. New bits include an improved infotainment system, more safety features including driving aids, and subtle styling updates. Pricing is also expected to be bumped up for the 2021 Stinger and start from $34,900.

The luxury car segment has seen some new players coming up to compete with the giants like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz and one such recent addition is Kia Stinger. The Stinger was launched in 2018 and brought in some interesting set of specifications and features. The Stinger is said to have evolved from Kia’s GT Concept and the Kia GT4 Stinger of the 2014 North American International Auto Show. For 2021, the Stinger stays true to its bold outlook and undergoes subtle updates only.

The Stinger has recorded some decent sale-numbers in the US in its first three years of existence, with 4824 units sold in 2020 till May. There were numerous speculations on a generation facelift for the Stinger, but that will have to wait till next. For 2021, it will get subtle but notable design updates along with refreshing technology and safety features. Competition remains the same with the likes of established ones like Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A6, and in the good company of the brawny Dodge Charger.

What are the price and new features of the 2021 Kia Stinger?

The 2021 Kia Stinger is speculated to have a mid-cycle facelift. Its prototype, being recently spotted in the roads of Nurburgring, raises the hype surrounding its mid-cycle upgrade this year. The spy shots showing heavily disguised ends indicate updates to the front and rear fascia. Pricing will be bumped up and the 2021 Kia Stinger is speculated to start from $34,900.

The 2021 model shall in all probability, retain its current engine configuration, although with a power upgrade using a bi-modal exhaust. Some interior changes are also expected with the most viable one being an updated infotainment system with a bigger display. Various updates that are in line for the 2021 Kia Stinger are:

  • Redesigned front and rear fascia
  • New 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Performance bump across the line-up
  • Bigger infotainment system with revamped software
  • New performance exhaust system
  • Added safety and driver assistance features

What are the engine updates in the 2021 Kia Stinger?

The 2021 Kia Stinger is expected to have the same engine configuration as its 2020 model. However, the point of appreciation in this regard is the speculation of some more power packed into the system with the new set of exhausts. The standard engine for the base model shall be the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine expected at 262 hp and 268 lb-ft, while the higher trims will be getting the same throaty 3.3L turbocharged V6 engine that is expected to produce 378 hp and 385 lb-ft. 

Both the engines will be coupled to the same slick-shifting 8-Speed Automatic gearbox. The bumped up figures are yet to be confirmed but with the update being confined to a lighter and performance-centric exhaust system, we expect it to come close by these figures. The Stinger has been the fastest car in Kia's stable and this bump in performance will make it unbeatable. 


2021 Kia Stinger (Expected)

2020 Dodge Charger

2020 Audi A6

2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class







2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4







8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic 7-Speed Automatic 9-Speed Automatic


262 hp @ 6200 RPM

292 hp @ 6350 RPM

248 hp @ 4300 RPM

255 hp @ 5800 RPM


268 lb-ft @ 1400 RPM

260 lb-ft @ 4800 RPM

273 lb-ft @ 1600 RPM

273 lb-ft @ 1800 RPM

0-60 MPH 

5.7 secs

6.4 secs

4.5 secs

5.7 secs

Quarter Mile 

14.5 secs

14.8 secs

13.5 secs

14.1 secs

Top speed 

167 MPH

196 MPH

155 MPH

155 MPH

In its segment, the 2020 Stinger already has made a mark with its impressive base engine and powerful V6. With the 2021 upgrade, the Stinger is expected to do even better in this front, surpassing most of its rivals in terms of engine capacity and power. Both the Germans, Audi A6 and Mercedes Benz C Class pump out the highest torque figures but cost much more as compared to the 2021 Kia Stinger. Dodge Charger is the only one that has superior performance figures but is let down badly by its higher curb weight.

What are the expected MPG figures of the 2021 Kia Stinger?

The Stinger is a decent performer in its class, as fuel economy is concerned. Despite the proposed performance bump, the 2021 Kia Stinger is expected to return 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. The key here is its added flexibility due to the available driving modes. It helps you keep a tab on that adrenaline rush, thus conserving fuel.

However, the fuel tank is a bit on the smaller side with just 15.9 gallons, reducing the driving range of the car a bit. But the better MPG figures help it stay afloat in the game. With the addition of performance-oriented components, it would be interesting to see how Kia finds its way around in keeping the MPG figures intact.


2021 Kia Stinger (Expected)

2020 Dodge Charger

2020 Audi A6

2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

MPG (City)





MPG (Highway)





MPG (Combined)





Fuel Capacity (Gallons)





Range (City/ Highway/ Combined) (mi.)

349.8/ 461.1/ 397.5

351.5/ 555/ 425.5

386/ 501.8/ 424.6

417.6/ 609/ 487.2

While the Mercedes-Benz C-Class possesses the best MPG figures in this bunch, the competitors like Audi A6 and Dodge Charger lose to Kia in this respect. However, most other cars in the segment bear a bigger fuel tank than the Stinger which adds up to better-touring potential due to the heightened range figures.

What are the changes in the 2021 Kia Stinger interior?

The 2021 Stinger will continue to have a very well-put and attractive interior, at least in consonance with what you can expect at such an affordable price tag. The seats are comfortable, wide, and well supportive. The driver and front passenger enjoy some impressive amount of legroom and headroom. The rear seats are also quite comfortable, though the headroom can feel a bit limited for taller passengers due to its slanting roofline.

The dash and the controls are well laid out for ease of access. For the upcoming 2021 model, not many changes inside the cabin are expected, and the vehicle may have a similar cabin layout. Among others, the 2021 Stinger is speculated to bring in new adaptive seat bolstering for a sportier seating, which may be complemented with an available steering-controlled headlight adjustment feature as well. A confirmed update is of the infotainment system which is getting bigger.


2021 Kia Stinger (Expected)

2020 Dodge Charger

2020 Audi A6

2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Seating Capacity





First Row (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)

38.3/ 56.4 / 42.6

38.6/ 59.5/ 41.8

38/ 57.8/ 41.3

37.1/ 55.3/ 41.7

Second Row(Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)

37/ 54.8/ 36.4

36.6/ 57.9/ 40.1

38.1/ 56.5/ 37.4

37.1/ 55/ 35.2

Trunk Capacity (cu. ft.)





The Stinger brings in some impressive amount of cargo capacity, beating most of its rivals in this respect. The materials used are fine in themselves, though not quite matching with the expensive German competitors. Overall, the amount of comfort offered by its well-cushioned seats and in-cabin space is difficult to match. Various comfort features expected in the 2021 Kia Stinger are:

  • 3 12V DC power outlets
  • Dual-Zone Automatic climate control system
  • Homelink garage door transmitter
  • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
  • Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters
  • Leather upholstery

What are the expected infotainment updates for the 2021 Kia Stinger?

In the entertainment section, the Stinger already boasts of some attractive set of features. It will include a reworked infotainment software, a fully digital instrument cluster and an available premium-quality audio system among others in the already well-bundled package.

To add to these long lists, the 2021 model of the vehicle may get an even bigger infotainment screen (the 8-inch one may be replaced with a 10.25-inch screen), as well as some replacements to the analog switches. Having all these in place, the 2021 Kia Stinger can surely be capable of keeping you entertained. Notable infotainment features expected in the 2021 Stinger are:

  • 6 speakers audio system
  • 720W Harman/Kardon Premium audio system with 15 Speakers
  • SiriusXM AM/FM/HD/Satellite with seek-scan
  • Steering-wheel mounted audio controls
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Voice-activated radio
  • Hands-Free Bluetooth
  • Wireless smartphone charging

What are the changes for the 2021 Kia Stinger exterior?

The sleek-yet-muscular design of the Kia Stinger gives it a unique appearance in itself. To make it more unique, the car is expected to get a mild facelift for 2021, which would surely bring about the much-needed refresh for the long-running design. 

From the spied prototype of the vehicle, we can well expect that the new model is going to have some re-designed front and rear fascias. Taking these together, the 2021 Stinger is expected to be even more beastly and attractive in looks as it is in performance. The tiger grille will be retained as it is the design element that has bought in the buzz for this car.


2021 Kia Stinger (Expected)

2020 Dodge Charger

2020 Audi A6

2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Curb Weight (lbs.)





Length (in.)





Width (in.)





Height (in.)





Ground Clearance (in.)





Wheelbase (in.)





The Stinger has some appealing looks with a cool design. Dimension-wise, the Stinger is not as long or wide as the Dodge Charger or Audi A6, but it appears bigger than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. For a car of its size, the Stinger holds its ground well among well-established competitors. Some of the interesting exterior feature updates in the 2021 Stinger are:

  • Redesigned headlamps and taillamps
  • Redesigned front and rear fascia
  • New performance exhaust system with refreshed quad tips
  • Rear integrated spoiler
  • Tiger nose front grille
  • Vertical LED DRL strips

What are the updated safety features for the 2021 Kia Stinger?

The 2020 Stinger received an extremely good crash-test rating from the IIHS, which earned it the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award as well. For the 2021 Kia Stinger, we expect these ratings to be retained as the updates will be confined to aesthetics and interior.

With some innovative and important safety features and driver-aid technologies in place, the new model may even add a few more to the list. Some notable safety features in the 2021 Kia Stinger are:

  • 7 standard airbags (Frontal, seat-mounted side, curtain and front passenger knee)
  • Blind-Spot Collision Warning
  • Lane Change Assist
  • Brake Fade Compensation
  • Cornering Brake Control
  • Surround View Monitor
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning

When will the 2021 Kia Stinger launch and is it worth the wait?

This question can very well be answered in the affirmative. The Kia Stinger, in the past few years of its existence, has done surprisingly well in the segment. The car is favored, not merely for its low entry-price, but also decent engine configuration, stunning exterior design, comfortable interior, decent fuel economy and impressive safety, and reliability.

The 2021 Kia Stinger is expected to launch by fall 2020. It was earlier slated for summer 2020 but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has altered the timeline a bit. But better late than never and expectations are high for a redesign with some exciting set of changes. So, buying this radical yet efficient sedan is a decision worth considering and you will surely have an extra dose of fun bundled to it.

 Also Read:

Meet the new sharper and sleeker Lexus IS 300.

The "Trailblazer" badge makes a comeback in the US after 12 years.

2021 Kia Stinger FAQs

Is Kia Stinger AWD?

Kia Stinger is available in both RWD and AWD configurations.

Is Kia Stinger reliable?

Kia has offered its customers with some of the most reliable cars in the industry and the Stinger is no different. Despite offering impressive performance, Kia has made sure to make it accessible to a wide audience. J.D. Power Report gave it a wholesome 79 out of 100 which is well above the average of 70. Recalls have also been kept at bay and the 2020 Stinger hasn't been recalled even once. Apart from these, Kia also offers a comprehensive warranty package for the Stinger that includes:

  • Basic Coverage Warranty lasts for 5 years or 60,000 miles (whichever is earlier)
  • Powertrain Coverage Warranty lasts for 10 years or 100,000 (whichever is earlier)
  • Anti-Perforation warranty lasts for 5 years or 100,000 (whichever is earlier)
  • Roadside Assistance lasts for 5 years or 100,000 (whichever is earlier)

Which is the fastest Kia?

Kia Stinger does the 0-60 MPH run in just 4.7 seconds, making it the fastest car from Kia.

Is Kia Stinger a hatchback?

Yes, Kia Stinger is a 5 seater hatchback that has been designed like a coupe. But it provides equal and even better features as compared to mid-size sedans, it competes against.

Does Kia Stinger come with a manual transmission?

No, all the trims of Kia Stinger are equipped with an 8-Speed Automatic transmission only.

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