• You’re Going to Like the New Mid-Range Four-Cylinder In the 2021 Kia Stinger

The 2021 Kia Stinger arrives with new 2.5-liter engine and bigger displays inside

LISTEN 04:09

The Kia Stinger is barely three years old as of 2020, but the Korean automaker decided it’s time for facelift. As most mid-cycle upgrades, it doesn’t add much in terms of styling, but it brings a brand-new engine and some tech. The range-topping, 3.3-liter V-6 remains largely unchanged, while the old 2.0-liter four-banger carries over with no changes, but the Stinger now comes with a new mid-range option in the form of the 2.5-liter turbo-four.

The 2021 Kia Stinger features a new, powerful four-cylinder

You're Going to Like the New Mid-Range Four-Cylinder In the 2021 Kia Stinger Exterior
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Making its debut in the sleek sedan, the new 2.5-liter four-cylinder, called the Smartstream, cranks out 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.

This is a big upgrade over the Theta II 2.0-liter four-cylinder, rated at 252 horses and 260 pound-feet. That’s an extra 48 horsepower and 51 pound-feet for the new engine, which makes it the perfect mid-ranger. It also slots below the Lambda II, 3.3-liter V-6, now rated at 368 horses and 376 pound-feet, only three horses more than the outgoing version.

You're Going to Like the New Mid-Range Four-Cylinder In the 2021 Kia Stinger Exterior
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The really good news is that this engine will be offered in the United States alongside the bigger V-6.

Just like the 3.3-liter V-6 and the 2.0-liter four-pot, the new 2.5-liter four-cylinder mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

There’s no word on performance for the 2.5-liter model, but it should be significantly quicker than the base version. The latter hits 62 mph in six seconds, so expect the mid-range sedan to get there in less than 5.5 clicks. However, it won’t be as quick as the V-6 model, which reaches the benchmark in 4.9 seconds. Top speed should be around the 155 mph mark.

The 2021 Kia Stinger looks slightly different

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The Stinger carries over mostly unchanged design-wise, but look close enough and you’ll notice small upgrades to the front and rear fascias. Up front, it sports revised headlamps with a crisper LED pattern and a slightly reshaped lower corner. The same applies in the rear, as the taillight bar now features red lights at the top and reverse lights at the bottom, toward the outer corners. There’s also a bigger "Stinger" badge on the trunk lid, as well as larger exhaust pipes in the bumper.

The 2021 Kia Stinger boasts new technology

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The cabin also carries over in terms of design and materials, but it’s been upgraded on the technology front.

The old seven-inch infotainment display was replaced with a slightly larger, eight-inch screen and you can now order an even bigger, 10.25-inch display.

This one comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and also adds voice control. The instrument cluster went through a similar upgrade, with the old 3.5-inch screen replaced by a 4.5-inch unit. You can also opt for a fully-digital cluster with a 7.0-inch screen with better graphics.

You're Going to Like the New Mid-Range Four-Cylinder In the 2021 Kia Stinger
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Kia also added a remote engine start system, the option of activating the car’s heating and ventilation function remotely through the UVO app, and a range of new and upgraded active safety features. Brand-new system include Safe Exist Warning, Lane Following Assist, Highway Driving Assist, and Rear Occupant Alert.

You're Going to Like the New Mid-Range Four-Cylinder In the 2021 Kia Stinger Wallpaper quality Exterior
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The list of standard and optional safety systems you can have includes:

  • Forward collision-avoidance assist
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Blind-spot collision-avoidance assist
  • Intelligent speed limit assist
  • Driver attention warning
  • Navigation-based smart cruise control
  • Rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist
  • Blind-spot view monitor
  • Safe Exist Warning
  • Lane Following Assist
  • Highway Driving Assist
  • Rear Occupant Alert
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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More tech, power and safety for upgraded Kia Stinger

New design packages for Kia’s gran turismo fastback sports sedan
New ‘Smartstream’ 2.5-liter T-GDi launched for Korea, U.S. and Mexico
New variable exhaust valve for improved 3.3-liter T-GDi exhaust tone in several markets
Updated technologies with ‘connected’ 10.25-inch infotainment system
Enhanced safety features include new Blind-Spot View Monitor
Upgraded model on-sale globally starting from the third quarter of 2020
The updated Kia Stinger is revealed in full detail for the first time today, with the high-performance fastback sports sedan boasting a range of upgrades to amplify its gran turismo character.

In addition to its refreshed design, revealed earlier this month, the enhanced Kia Stinger includes Kia’s latest driver assist and safety features, as well as improved interior packaging for greater space and comfort. For North America, the upgraded model is also now offered with a powerful new ‘Smartstream’ 2.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine.

“The Stinger remains the standard-bearer for the Kia brand, almost a decade after we first revealed the Kia GT Concept in 2011. It remains our most driver-focused car, and is capable of covering great distances in comfort and style,” said Thomas Schemera, Head of Product Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “The upgraded model builds on the Stinger’s well-established grand touring ethos, with a renewed sense of design flair, new powertrains and technologies, and greater usability enhancing its appeal for buyers in markets around the world.”

The new Kia Stinger will go on-sale in Korea during the third quarter of 2020, with sales due to commence in many of Kia’s global markets later in the year.

New 2.5-liter T-GDi added to high-performance powertrain line-up

The upgraded Stinger offers a revised range of three powerful turbocharged gasoline engines, in line with its reputation as the most performance-focused car that Kia makes. Each engine offers swift acceleration and rapid responses to driver input, while offering a refined grand touring experience for steady cruises.

A new engine has been added to the Stinger line-up exclusively for North American customers. The new ‘Smartstream’ 2.5-liter T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine sits directly between the two existing gasoline powertrains, producing 304 ps at 5,800 rpm. The maximum torque of the new four-cylinder engine, 422 Nm, is accessible from 1,650 to 4,000 rpm, making it easy for drivers to build and maintain speed in all conditions.

The most powerful engine in the Stinger line-up, a twin-turbo 3.3-liter T-GDi V6 from Kia’s ‘Lambda’ engine family, remains unchanged, save for a new Electronic Variable Exhaust Valve system*. This features a small butterfly valve in the exhaust which opens and closes, producing a more prominent, deeper exhaust note in Sport driving modes, or a quieter, more subdued exhaust note in Eco or Comfort mode. As well as enhancing the sound quality, the revised exhaust flow path helps to liberate an extra 3 ps from the engine (for a total of 373 ps at 6,000 rpm). Its 510 Nm torque is accessible from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm, giving the Stinger effortless performance everywhere.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder ‘Theta’ engine, also available since the car’s launch in 2017, is unchanged, producing 255 ps at 6,200 rpm and 353 Nm torque from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm.

All three engines are paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, matching the car’s long-legged gran turismo personality.

New widescreen infotainment systems and digital driver displays

At the center of the Stinger’s upgraded cabin is an upgraded touchscreen infotainment system, providing new functionality to meet customers’ changing expectations of in-car technology.

Depending on market and specification, the upgraded Stinger is now available with an optional new 10.25-inch touchscreen display. Bluetooth multi-connection enables users to connect up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and multimedia use; the other for media use only. Its advanced split-screen display lets users control or monitor different vehicle features at the same time, customizing the screen with a series of different widgets. The 10.25-inch system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, with a voice control system for many of the car’s features, such as heating and ventilation, audio and navigation.

A new 8.0-inch touchscreen display with a narrow-bezel design is also available, replacing the previous 7.0-inch system. Depending on market, the larger display also offers wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Drivers have a choice of two instrument cluster displays, based on vehicle specification. The standard 3.5-inch mono-TFT cluster is now replaced with a larger 4.2-inch color-TFT LCD cluster, delivering improved visibility and displaying a wider range of information to the driver. In addition, a fully-digital, high-resolution 7.0-inch ‘Supervision’ cluster is available – a full-color display with vivid graphics for different driving modes, delivering crystal-clear information to the driver.

Technologies to improve everyday usability

The upgraded Stinger features a series of new ‘connected car’ features to improve convenience for owners in many countries. Depending on market and vehicle specification, among these technologies is a Remote Engine Start system, which allows owners to start their car remotely using the Stinger’s smart key.

In certain markets, Kia’s UVO App can be used to pre-activate the Stinger’s seat heating and ventilation functions remotely, creating a comfortable temperature before entering the car and avoiding the inconvenience of sitting on a hot or cold seat.

New ADAS technologies to assist drivers and protect passengers

The upgraded Kia Stinger carries over the same Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that it offered previously, as well as a series of new features and updates to provide even better protection for the driver, their passengers and other road users.

Depending on market and vehicle specification, the ADAS range in the Stinger is comprehensive, with many of the existing systems newly updated:

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) now offers protection when turning across the road into a junction by identifying oncoming traffic on the other side of the road. Furthermore, it offers increased activation range when detecting a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) is now able to detect the edge of a road, as well as the lines in the road, providing steering assistance to prevent the driver leaving their lane without signaling
Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) provides an enhancement over the existing Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW). Instead of simply warning drivers of cars in adjacent lanes on the highway, BCA helps drivers avoid a potential collision by applying differential braking
For Europe, the upgraded Stinger now features Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) based on traffic sign recognition
Driver Attention Warning (DAW) now has an increased operating speed of up to 210 kph, and also alerts drivers if they fail to notice the car in front move off from a stop
Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) helps drive around curved sections of a highway, automatically reducing the vehicle’s speed to an appropriate level before entering the curve. It reverts to the original speed as the vehicle leaves the curve
A similar updated has been made for reversing out of parking bays, with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) now helping to prevent collisions with crossing vehicles while reversing (previously the system only warned the driver)
The following new ADAS technologies and convenience features have been added to the Stinger for the first time:

Safe Exit Warning (SEW) detects vehicles coming up from behind on either side of the Stinger when parked and stopped, alerting occupants with a sound and visual warning if they attempt to open the door into oncoming traffic
Kia’s cutting-edge Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) technology acts as a ‘second pair of eyes’ for drivers by eliminating a driver’s left- and right-side blind spots. It displays a high-resolution video feed within the ‘Supervision’ digital instrument cluster if the driver indicates to change lane with another vehicle in their blind spot. The video feed comes from discreet wide-angle lenses hidden beneath the door mirror housings, giving drivers a wider viewing angle of their blind spots
Lane Following Assist (LFA) helps the vehicle stay in the center of its lane
Highway Driving Assist (HDA) helps maintain a set distance from the vehicle in front on the highway, and keep the car in the center of its lane, even on a curved road
Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) provides a warning to the driver if they leave behind any pets or children when they exit the car

*Electronic Variable Exhaust Valve fitted as standard to all 3.3-liter T-GDi models except those sold in Europe and Russia (which produce 370 ps at 6,000 rpm, and 510 Nm across 1,300-4,500 rpm)

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Press release

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