Kia Stinger GT2 with the Scorpion Package, review five months later

Submitted by k-admin on Tue, 02/01/2022 - 04:15

Five months later, I have driven the car in hot summer weather, in torrential downpours, through the below-zero Maine winter, and have driven it in the snow. and have put about 5,000 miles on the car.

I had the dealer change the oil, and up to the oil change at around 5k miles there was no apparent consumption and the oil looked good. I haven't had any issues with squeaks nor rattles. No hatch rattle issues, no trim finishes crazing or chipping. The only real complaints I have are that that the 2022 model's cameras don't see as closely to the car as pre-refresh examples, so parking really close to the back of a garage is sometimes tricky. All of the exterior cameras should ideally be aimed downward a couple degrees to making parking tighter, easier. 

I had a scare from a piece of stiff wire on the road; when I drove over it, it got kicked up into the belly pan cover (there is a flat panel covering most of the length of the underbody to improve aerodynamics) and got dragged along, making a loud metallic screeching noise. I could not find any obvious cause vibration and when I could finally safely pull over I found the wire had gotten caught in that belly pan. I pulled it out and all is well.

The longest nonstop I've driven the car is about five hours, and it was comfortable for the duration. The extendable thigh supports were appreciated after three hours. I've driven through an ice storm, and the car was steady. I tried it out on an unplowed lot, and the car was really stable. In Eco and comfort modes, it is a nice 50/50 split with the handling being sure and confidence-inspiring. In sport mode with traction control on, it can be a little squirelly but the car brings things in check, but if you want to drift, you can turn off traction control and drift and do doughnuts to your heart's content. It accelerates quite well in snow. It handles well in snow. I ended up driving in Custom mode, with powertrain set to sport and drivetrain set to comfort for the 50/50 split. 

It would be nice if fuel economy were a little better, but with the temptation to accelerate quickly at every opportunity it's difficult to get better than 18mpg. I have gotten as good as 27mpg on one long drive but I more usually get 23mpg on longish drives, and on that note, I wish it had a larger fuel tank.

It's been a lot of smiles, the car is comfortable, I subscribed to XM Radio and have been listening to that almost exclusively. With the latest software update I notice the fake engine noise much less. I used to keep turning it off but it resets when switching driver profiles so I gave up on that. I do wish that would be a setting saved to each driver profile. I don't hate the fake engine noise, though, because it's subtle and only adds back the notes you'd hear if the car didn't have such good sound deadening. Earlier software updates, the fake engine sounds were much louder so with it being quieter I just leave it at the default.  Kia, please fix this - let the sound enhancement/fake engine sound setting be a per-profile preference? 

And last complaint: Android Auto is displayed in low-resolution, fullscreen UI, and the screen is pillarboxed (or really, just the right 1/3 of the screen blanked out). Apple Carplay takes advantage of the full screen, and displays the widescreen UI by default. This has me very nearly considering switching back to the iPhone. Fortunately I have an AAWireless dongle which adds android auto wireless (AAWireless is basically a proxy server) and by adjusting the dpi I can force the widescreen android auto to render, and for it to run at a higher resolution, but that doesn't fix the 4:3 confinement bug. Kia, this is a HUGE defect in your software; PLEASE fix it. Also, PLEASE leverage the Android Auto Nav hinting API, to display nav hinting in the HUD driven by Android Auto and Apple Carplay (google maps, waze, apple carmaps, Here, etc. can provide the data from the phone). 

Oh - and I timed a 4.2 second 0-60 last August with TrackAddict. I found that number suspect and super optimistic so I didn't believe it. I bought a Dragy on black friday and timed 0-60 on cold salt-covered Maine pavement at 4.41s and averaging 4.5-4.6 seconds, so the Track Addict numbers on warm pavement and sticky tires may not be so optimistic. 

It's a fun car. If you're in the market for a sports sedan, shooting brake, sportback, hatchback, grand tourer, or any variant of this sort of scheme, do yourself a favor and check out the Stinger. Yes, the Mopars above scat pack will walk away from the Stinger with ease, but those aren't available in all wheel drive and the interiors.... yeah. The Dodges' interiors leave a lot to be desired, not to mention horrible long-term reliability ratings. 

Basically, apart from the Android Auto bug, complaints about the Stinger are a matter of quibbling over levels of perfection. It's shy of BMW 5-series and Audi S fit and finish and technology refinement, but it's head and shoulders above anything else at the Stinger's price point, except maybe the Golf R.