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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"My" dealer is still waiting, but a couple of others popped up when searching local inventory. I went over and drove one yesterday - GT1, black on black fwiw.

I'm very happy to report that it's everything I had hoped it would be.

I only used Sport mode for my 30 minute experience, but did not find the setup to be harsh, it felt very similar to my ('15 SX) Sorento but obviously much more stable, "planted" is the word I would use.

Throttle response was great, very smooth but only a little stab at the pedal was needed to wake it up, and there is no perceptible delay from the turbo.

Took it onto some very tight and twisty roads, that I know quite well. We had significant snowfall a few days ago, so there is a lot of gravel and packed snow in places. I had the tail wagging a few times and it was very predictable, and easy to control. Tried out launch mode, we were off to the side of the road in gravel, and I didn't want to abuse a brand new engine, but it was still very quick and no bad behavior even when we transitioned from the "dirty" lane to clear pavement.

I didn't spend any time playing with interior features, other than adjusting the seat and mirrors before we set off. A couple of reasons I bring that up is that I did find the steering to be "detached" from the wheels. It was super responsive and made controlling the rear easy, but I didn't get much feedback from the front that would help me anticipate things about to happen at the rear. You could feel things in the seat that you didn't notice at the wheel. I'd like to spend some time playing with setup options to see if there's a mode that would correct that a little.

The other features I'd like to play with are the wheel location and seat bolsters - no criticism with either, as I didn't mess with them.

I was heading down a path to purchase a BMW (M3/M4) or Mercedes (C43 AMG) earlier this year when I found out that the Stinger was coming. I've been a happy Kia owner since 2010, and am excited at the prospect of owning this one. The Stinger is fantastic value, and a beautiful vehicle inside and out.

Now to wait and see if I can get one equipped how I want - blue with red interior. I think I'd love the sunset yellow, but those aren't here yet and they are limiting production in that color. Sigh..
 

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Did you by any chance drive those BMW and Mercedes products you were after originally before stepping into the Stinger? Feedback of what its like compared to those long standing leaders in the segment is what i'm after right now.

Looking forward to updates on acquiring your Stinger spec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, although it's been several months.

Both were really impressive, and I was actually leaning towards the Merc for the same reason I now want the Stinger. I'm certain the BMW (M4 is what I drove) is better in terms of handling and power, but it's also more than twice the price. The Stinger is more than "good enough" and much better value. I don't mean it's a compromise - it's a huge step up from my Sorento, and I don't have to unlearn how to use turn signals! Keep in mind - the original Dodge Viper was rated at 400hp (although >480ft/lbs) and posted the same 0-60 times as this Kia. I can easily afford any of them. I choose the Stinger..

Regarding the suspension - that's what my opening comment was about - I put it in sport before we left the lot, and found the ride quality as comfortable as my Sorento, if not better, and the handling, lack of body roll, staying "flat" under hard acceleration or braking, were all "as expected" and hoped for.
 

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Surprised to hear that the ride was comfortable in Sport mode considering how stiff some other cars are said to be when not in normal or comfort mode. That means most owners will just leave the stinge rin Sport mode all the time. :D

Maybe the steering feel can be adjusted if there's a way to custom configure the drive modes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Surprised to hear that the ride was comfortable in Sport mode considering how stiff some other cars are said to be when not in normal or comfort mode. That means most owners will just leave the stinge rin Sport mode all the time. :D

Maybe the steering feel can be adjusted if there's a way to custom configure the drive modes.
It might just be that I'm used to (and prefer) a stiffer ride than others. I used to travel a lot for work, and rent cars wherever I needed to be. I know I would often realize how much stiffer (and - for me - better) my Sorento was on the drive home from the airport.

Steering and suspension are adjustable, I didn't play with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Of course it's different, I said that in my post. I was saying in terms of comfort, ride quality, that it wasn't harsh as some reviewers have stated: "did not find the setup to be harsh, it felt very similar to my ('15 SX) Sorento but obviously much more stable, "planted" is the word I would use. "
 

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It might just be that I'm used to (and prefer) a stiffer ride than others. I used to travel a lot for work, and rent cars wherever I needed to be. I know I would often realize how much stiffer (and - for me - better) my Sorento was on the drive home from the airport.

Steering and suspension are adjustable, I didn't play with them.
If that'st the case and you can see yourself taking it a step further then I think you should really look into what Tein will be offering. Even other high end brands like KW Suspension. Adjustable dampening can very well the Stinger good if my understanding of it as stock is correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If that'st the case and you can see yourself taking it a step further then I think you should really look into what Tein will be offering. Even other high end brands like KW Suspension. Adjustable dampening can very well the Stinger good if my understanding of it as stock is correct.
If I was going to track it, I would get the base GT and get custom suspension. If I was going to get into track on a regular basis, I'd pick up a used Mustang GT, not modify new $50k Kia! :)
 

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If I was going to track it, I would get the base GT and get custom suspension. If I was going to get into track on a regular basis, I'd pick up a used Mustang GT, not modify new $50k Kia! :)
Good point and I can see what you mean because rarely do aftermarket mods hold value but buying a higher performing model does to a higher extent.
I was even thinking of waiting for the upcoming Mercedes A-Class Sedan. Set to start around $35,000 odds are an AMG version will come close to $50,000.
In production form it could look like this:

 

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It seems to be lacking mostly when it comes to passenger space, which is fine by me. As is the general rule when it comes to cars, the tallest in the front seats and shortest in the back. Hasn't failed me yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Drove a red-on-red GT2 today. Took my girl's dad, who had an Optima and we've talked a lot about the Stinger. For context, he's about 90, but sharp as a tack and just transferred his 80's Corvette to his grandson as a graduation gift. So, he likes cars..

The salesman knew virtually nothing compared to me, so it was basically a "I want to drive one" experience. Apparently, the dealerships aren't letting them drive it!

Anyway, it was good to get back behind the wheel and explore a couple of things I hadn't paid attention to the first time. Ride quality, for example, is FAR superior to my Sorento or his Lexus RX350. You can feel the road, but it cushions the bumps nicely. Even in sport mode. In fact, I found it hard to tell much difference between sport and comfort, but I'd need to spend more time with it. This of course should not be surprising - I'm a bit of a suspension geek (motorcycles) and GOOD suspension can make a world of difference. I'm talking comfort and feel, not handling. Handling is exactly as good as we've read/heard/seen. Matching that to ride comfort is the trick. Mission accomplished, for me..

Roads were dry and this one was AWD, so I didn't get to swing the back end around like last time. I did, however, apply plenty of throttle turning out from side-roads, and you could feel both how planted it was, putting down power like you were on (sticky) rails - but also how close it *felt* to breaking loose. I don't know if it would have, but accelerating that hard while turning is throwing so much mass around, pushing traction, you think it has to go soon. The torque this thing has a relatively low RPM is just fantastic, not just for hooliganism, but even cruising along. You need to pick it up to pass or change lanes, and it doesn't need to downshift to give you a REALLY good shove from behind. The RWD I drove previously snapped away very predictably, recovered easily, but the roads were wet, with some gravel and even snow in places - not a good comparison.

This one had the HUD which was cute, although not much use in sunlight. Power opening hatch for ease of dumping bodies in the back. My girl's dad tried the back seat - there's tons of room when you're in (he's not tall but I'm close to 6') - but it's tricky to get in and out, the door opening is pretty small and the geometry just makes it tricky. Doesn't bother me - or him - I'm not buying this for passenger comfort.

He wanted the dealer to give him a price on a base or premium with his Optima in trade. It's in Tampa, lol..

I really want blue on red but it's not available in the GT2. The manager said they are getting one of the yellow ones - that would be unique but honestly I'm not about "standing out" and I just LOVE the red interior. I'll wait, but I may end up needing to order one.
 

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Sounds like you had an amazing drive with a great man and this was an informative review. If there really is no difference between comfort and sport mode, at least not a noticeable difference, you may as well stay in Sport all the time.
 

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Sounds like you had an amazing drive with a great man and this was an informative review. If there really is no difference between comfort and sport mode, at least not a noticeable difference, you may as well stay in Sport all the time.
That's the biggest problem with cars that don't have too much going for it already, compared to something that is boosted and pushing around 500 horse and 500 torque. Then that's where the modes really start to shine.
 

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I recently drove a base GT and was really surprised how well the car drove and handled. It's been a few years since my 535i M-Sport but this car handled well and from being in back with my buddy flogging it through the turns, we were surprised how comfortable it was in back with the roads the driver was navigating. We initially grabbed the handles preparing to be tossed about but left them alone as that didn't happen, we know we we traveling at a good clip through the corners but the suspension setup was well damped and the car didn't roll like we expected. We commented that this thing handled way better than we expected, mainly due to the ride height of the vehicle being similar to the Optima when we saw the car (holy wheel gap Batman!), but with it being a GT car and not a true sports car, it was quite a great ride. I can live with it as is. Anyone that likes their car lower and firmer can swap out the suspension but for me being older, I like that it feels sporty like a BMW but not so that it is jarring. It manages the speed and handling so you don't realize that you are traveling so fast, just like my BMWs did, it a good thing and a bad thing cause if you are not paying attention, you will be way beyond legal speed fast.
 

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I recently drove a base GT and was really surprised how well the car drove and handled. It's been a few years since my 535i M-Sport but this car handled well and from being in back with my buddy flogging it through the turns, we were surprised how comfortable it was in back with the roads the driver was navigating. We initially grabbed the handles preparing to be tossed about but left them alone as that didn't happen, we know we we traveling at a good clip through the corners but the suspension setup was well damped and the car didn't roll like we expected. We commented that this thing handled way better than we expected, mainly due to the ride height of the vehicle being similar to the Optima when we saw the car (holy wheel gap Batman!), but with it being a GT car and not a true sports car, it was quite a great ride. I can live with it as is. Anyone that likes their car lower and firmer can swap out the suspension but for me being older, I like that it feels sporty like a BMW but not so that it is jarring. It manages the speed and handling so you don't realize that you are traveling so fast, just like my BMWs did, it a good thing and a bad thing cause if you are not paying attention, you will be way beyond legal speed fast.
That means a lot given the fact you come from a BMW which has been the leader with performance of this level.
This should speak a lot to potential owners reading it and contemplating if they want to proceed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That means a lot given the fact you come from a BMW which has been the leader with performance of this level.
This should speak a lot to potential owners reading it and contemplating if they want to proceed.
I stated earlier, I was considering an M-series or AMG, and had driven both. I also drove the Lexus F car. I would probably have loved any one of them, but then I heard about the Stinger and decided I should at least wait until I'd driven one before deciding, especially given the expected price point.

I don't have enough experience with these cars to say whether the Stinger is "better", but it sure as **** puts a smile on my face for a lot less $$.
 

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Here is the thing, a lot of folks are comparing the Stinger to Audi RS, BMW M and MB AMG series cars and giving it flak. I say that's a good thing to even be considered and discussed alongside those cars, vehicles it was never meant to compete with! I hear a lot of complaints about hard plastics on the lower part of the car, fact is most cars do this. Folks says it's not a luxury sport sedan, I don't recall KIA saying it was, they did say it was a GT car. One has to say this is the most talked about car to hit the market in years! Good talk or bad, it is being discussed.

Anyone that pays attention to how the Koreans do things, know that their cars are usually on the larger end of a particular group (sub-compact, compact, mid-sized, etc). The fact that the Stinger competes with the German compact coupe but has room akin to a smaller mid-sized vehicle is a good thing for those of us annoyed by entry luxury cars that are smaller inside than a Corolla or Elantra and cost a lot more. Yeah, my Optima was half the cost of my 535 which had more options but that car was the first KIA that was well designed and had a nice turbo engine, but that car like the Stinger had enough power and handling to put a smile on my face when I mashed the accelerator. The looks of this car and performance number says it should cost a lot more and truth be known, if it was wearing a euro brand badge, the badge snobs would buy them up. The chassis is great, a bit of suspension tune will extract even more from it.

I took an A5 out for a spin, it was brief and the one thing I can say I wished the A5 has that the Stinger could benefit from, it was firmer steering. It made the A5 feel so much more substantial an we know the Stinger is a larger car but feels lighter, maybe that's what they were going for. I really need a long drive with that car, can get one just yet though.
 
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