Home » Member Rides: The Kia Stinger Is A Great Everything-In-One Car

Member Rides: The Kia Stinger Is A Great Everything-In-One Car

Member Rides Kia

The Kia Stinger is not long for this world, axed by the brand as it looks forward to its electrified future. While the Stinger is here, though, the sporty sedan is a great allrounder for car enthusiasts. Our own distinguished Autopian family member Cristiana snagged one for a great deal and uses it as an appealing daily. If you look deeply into her car history it makes a lot of sense.

(Welcome to Member Rides. This is the weekly feature where we look at people who became members of the site by signing up here and parting with a little of their hard-earned dough to keep The Autopian going. Our plan is to do these every week! Today it’s Cristiana’s turn!)

Autopian: Thanks for doing this! Tell us who you are and what you’ve got:
Thanks for getting to me so soon! I am quite happy to hear from The Autopian team.  I lived in NYC for a while, and now I am on Long Island. I work in tech as an iPhone app developer I only have one car, but I’ve been wanting one ever since it came out. A Kia Stinger GT2. I think it’s one of the best looking cars out there, and to top it all off it has a twin turbo V6. It gets a respectable 365HP which makes it quite fun for me. Granted, 365 isn’t much when compared to the EV beasts with crazy horsepower, but it’s still quite fun.
I was quite lucky when I got it too. I saw that a dealership by me had a leftover 2019 in 2020. It was the beginning of the pandemic when nobody was buying cars. I went there and got 10k off the car. It wasn’t quite the one I wanted, it was black, and I wanted the orange one. I also would have preferred the red interior to the black one I got too. Pulse it’s the AWD model, and I really wanted the RWD one. But, beggars can’t be choosers when you get 20% off the car. I’ve had the car for a couple of years and it still is my favorite car that I have ever had.
Autopian: Yeah, 20% off is a great deal! Seems like an excellent car. How has it fared?
I love the Stinger, I wanted one ever since it came out. It is so much fun jamming on the accelerator and flying ahead of everyone. My biggest problem is the gas mileage, around town I can get as low as 13mpg. But, I am 100% sure that it’s because of my lead foot. However, it’s not like it can get much higher, with long highway drives it maybe can reach 24.
I am upset that they are getting rid of the car, and I really hope the possible electric replacement is still a liftback sedan. But, I have my doubts.
Autopian: How’d you get into cars?
BeetleAs a Gen Xer, I was a child in the 80s, and that’s where my love of cars began. I remember having a poster of a Testarossa, and a 300ZX on my wall. I had a couple of car picture books that I looked through so many times I broke the bindings. In those books I lusted after one of the most 80s-tastic supercars, the Vector. Then as I got older cars fell by the wayside. But in the early 2000s I got into car websites. I was one of the first readers of the old lighting site. That and other sites rekindled my love of cars to what it is today.
My car history starts when I was 17 in the early ’90s, and my first car was a 1980 yellow Cadillac Coupe De’ville. It was a pretty good first car, it was huge and fit so many of my friends and it was reliable for a malaise era vehicle. Even though it only got 8mpg, that didn’t matter because the early ’90s was a super cheap time for gas. It was regularly below 90 cents a gallon, so a twenty would practically fill my car.
1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Sl
Photo Credit: Classic Auto Mall
A few years later my parents gave me another car, a white ‘93 Oldsmobile Cutlass supreme. At the time it was only a few years old, and I really liked that car. It looked pretty good and was quite reliable. Plus it had an old wired in cellphone that looked cool, but did nothing. One day the car got broken into, and they only took the worthless wired cellphone handset. I guess they didn’t care for my taste in ’90’s industrial music, so they left all the CDs I had in there. The funny thing is, at that time those CDs were all rare imports and worth hundreds of dollars on their own. That car lost its life when my mom backed into the car in the driveway and even though it was a slow speed collision, she buckled in the passenger door so bad it wouldn’t open, which pretty much totaled it.
Next, my dad leased me a brand new Cavalier coupe. Despite its fairly good reliability, it was by far my least favorite car. I remember having to turn the AC off while accelerating because it robbed the car of so much power it couldn’t go anywhere with it on. I had that car for a few years, and by that time I had graduated college and wanted to buy my own car.
GtiThat car was a ’98 New Beetle. Now that car is met with derision, but when that car came everyone wanted it, there was so much hype surrounding the car too. When I got it, I really wanted a yellow manual version (even though I couldn’t drive manual at that time), but I had to settle for an auto silver model. Since it was the ’90s, I also got yellow vinyl stripes put on it. I was one of the first people to get a New Beetle, and that car by far garnered the most attention I have ever gotten. People would take pictures, ask to sit in it, and all that jazz. It was crazy. I remember driving my coworkers around Wall St., and people were looking and waving and even taking pictures. Taking pictures at that time was a big deal because it was before the popularization of digital cameras, so people took them with film cameras. However, even though I loved the car, it was by far the least reliable of all my cars. Being a late ’90s VW product was the main cause. The first year I had it, it was in the shop getting warranty work around 50% of the time. The car was so bad, they even had to replace the fuel tank under warranty because the tank wouldn’t fill. After a few years the car died an ignominious death by its constant overheating. Even though the car was only a few years old, it was pretty much worthless.
Golf RI traded it in for another car I really wanted, a first gen Scion Xb. It’s funny because the Xb was a box, and the Beetle was nice and round. The Xb was a great car. It fit tons of stuff and being a Toyota product it was super reliable, a big change from the VW. But the car was gutless, even with the manual it was terribly slow.
Photo Credit: South Atlanta Auto Sales 

Once I was tired of the Xb, for some reason I went back to the VW well, and bought a new MKV GTI. It had a big step up in HP over the Xb, and it was super fun to drive. Unlike the Beetle, it was relatively reliable, it only was in for warranty work a few times. After a few years of the GTI, I wanted something more exciting. I kept my GTI, and I went back to my childhood love of the 300ZX, and bought a brand new manual yellow 370Z.

Scion

I know it’s not the most loved of the Z series, but I thought that car was beautiful and fast. At the time I was living in NYC, and I had two cars, which is quite crazy for a New Yorker. I ended up paying for two parking spaces in my apartment, which in hindsight was probably not the best idea. But, I had the best of both worlds, a sporty hatchback and a two seater sports car. After a but if paying for two cars, I realized I mostly took out the Z. I even tried to drive it in a New York winter on summer tires (which was a terrible idea). So, I decided to sell the GTI, after a few months it was gone. I drove the Z for a few years, and I loved every minute of it, but only having a two seater was getting impractical. I decided to sell it and get another car. Again I went back to VW, and got an MK7 Golf R. That car was great, it was quite reliable and loads of fun. Not only did it have respectable power, it was super practical. At the time I was a professional DJ, and that car swallowed up tons of equipment, including large speakers.
370zI had a great time in that car, but a 100 mile 4 hour daily commute in the worst NYC traffic dampened my love for a manual transmission. And that leads us to the Stinger.
Autopian: Those Oldsmobiles were cool when they came out. A Cavalier isn’t terrible, but what did you really want?
I really did like that Olds, it looked quite good. If I had a choice of a car instead of the Cavalier, at that time I would have said a Neon. I was into cute cars then and the first gen Neon was adorable. That would have been a realistic choice, but I did like a few other cars from the early 90s like the 3000GT, Subaru SVX, VW Corrado, and the Mercury Capri (yeah another cute car, lol)
Autopian: What’s in your dream garage?
Lamborghini Miura, Lamborghini Countach, Chevy Nomad, Mitsubishi Starion, Lamborghini LM002, Lamborghini Sterrato, Hyundai N Vision 74, Nissan 300ZX, 4th gen Supra, Toyota 2000GT, Singer Porsche, and many more
Autopian: It’s a Lambo, but the LM002 kind of stands out there to me. Why that?
So, the LM002, that is a weird one for me. The main reason I would want was is that I loved it in my 80s car books. I thought it was ridiculous that Lamborghini had this truck which didn’t make any sense to me. At the time I didn’t know they made tractors, and my only frame of reference was the Countach.
I also thought of some other cars to add to my dream garage.  A 22B STI, Lancia Stratos with the required Alitalia livery, Lancia Delta Integrale, Ford GT40, v1 GT and V2 GT all in Gulf livery.
Autopian: Thanks! I can’t get mad at any of those choices. All good choices.

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33 Responses

  1. I really wanted a Stinger but a test drive proved it wasn’t for me. Six feet tall, 220 pounds. Left shoulder touched the door and right leg in constant contact with the console. For those it fit, I’m happy for you.

  2. Nice car and past history.

    I have a 1998 Old Cutlass International 2 dr with a 3.8L Fun to drive at some point the broke me could not afford the attention it needed (starter, heater core, other high dollar items). I kick myself for selling it. I would fix it’s issue and keep it as daily. Oh well.

    1. Not really I would say. This site is about your rides and why you selected/enjoy them.

      Just because I may not see the appeal, I appreciate the passion behind the choice. Sometimes it is best you can afford, sometimes you can get what you want.

      1. Hell, I submitted my Niro and Silverado. I told some stories in the survey and if they want to select me, I trust that they will have questions that add depth to part of my story. If they don’t select me, I totally get that, too.
        This is a site with staff that collect Smarts, buy cheap electrics from China, tell stories about wrenching on cars they bought cheap, and so much more. There’s room for car folks of all types.

        1. Well put. One of my favorite parts of autopia is how pretty much everyone here has very specific reasons for driving what they drive, from the basest econocar to a fuschia street-legal racecar.

          I enjoy the stories and they make me feel better about the quirks and features of my own choices!

    1. I haven’t driven one, so I don’t claim that it has a GOOD transmission. It might be awful. But it’s at least not a CVT, it’s an 8-speed planetary automatic.

    2. The Stinger transmission is definitely the weak point but the transmission isn’t a CVT- it’s a conventional 8-speed. That said, it’s pretty sluggish to respond when it’s in any mode other than the “sport” variant. Definitely can live with it, but sure would be nice to have a true dual-clutch or manual option.

      (Source- own a Stinger)

        1. Unrelated but this made me wonder if there any modern applications of a CVT on a nonhybrid, RWD vehicle – long after DAF (after Volvo acquired a stake) had last implemented it.

          Wikipedia says that, perhaps unsurprisingly, Nissan offered one in the 2000s-era Cedric and Skyline (aka Infiniti M and G, which were conventional auto here only fortunately), don’t think there were any others.

  3. awesome car journey and awesome kia (remember when “awesome kia” just wouldn’t have been uttered… what a world). I enjoy this segment and this content deeply as it consistently shows us different ways to go about our hobby/obsession and really makes me feel less alone in my auto endeavors.

    Keep it up autopian. I’ll probably be joining the membership experience in the new year since I probably spend more time here than I do on any other website (even if I rarely comment).

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s held value because I keep getting stuff from the dealership asking to buy it back. But there is about zero chance I’ll do that.

  4. Hey Matt, I don’t think the email for the survey is working. I just triple checked – including a month’s worth of logs – and I got zip zilch nada. Account migration, sign in link, and receipt’s it. I can’t imagine I’m alone in that either.
    Is there some way you can add a link to it from the account page or a members-only page so you don’t have to try and spam everyone?

    1. If you click the account link, then menu, then latest posts, there is a post about the first “Member Rides” feature that includes the link to the survey.

  5. Love the Stinger. It’s definitely on my short list if I ever want to consolidate fun car and practical car into one car. But 13mph in the city? OUCH. My heavily modified Z does better than that.

    Which brings me to your taste in cars previously – I also had a Cutlass (’91 Supreme SL Coupe and it was as period-correct as you could be with maroon on maroon and a luggage rack/spoiler combo). Those cars STILL look good to me. Such a clean design. And your 370 is not so different from my 350. I can concur that they do not like the snow and especially in wide summer tires. I almost needed a tow once with .5 inches of slush on the road. It now doesn’t see any precipitation.

    1. Yeah, the gas mileage could be better, but I only really drive around town and for pleasure. So it’s not the worst.
      And the Z hated the snow. I remember I was driving home to my apartment in Queens and it snowed before I got there. I couldn’t make it over the slight incline from the street to the garage. I had to get the super to give me a push.

  6. I have some more stories to tell about the Beetle. It was the first car I purchased with my own money and I felt like I needed to make it my own. So, I painted the center console yellow (because 90s, lol). I also modded the stereo to add RCA jacks to the dash so I could hook up my first gen iPod.
    The beetle was also the first car I tried wrenching on. I changed Ku own oil and did regular maintenance. But the one time I remember is when I was replacing the rear brake pads. I took the lugs off and the wheel was a bit stuck. So I yanked the top to unstick it. Well, that was a bad idea as the wheel freed itself, but my hands were on top and they both got wedged in the wheel arch. My hands were completely stuck and I had no way to get help. So, I had to rip my hands free. That led to me tearing my hands up and I still have a scar to this day. Then as all wrenchers know, you now have to finish what you started and that was not fun.

  7. There’s a 2023 model, so it hasn’t been axed just yet.

    And there’s nothing stopping Kia from making an EV7 that’s basically an electric Stinger. I’d be the first in line because it’d mean I could have a Model S without having to give money to Elon Musk (or look like I did).

  8. Some good choices in cars, all right.
    One that stands out: “Lancia Stratos with the required Alitalia livery”
    Presumably also with the coffin spoke wheels? Those wheels seem de rigueur with the aforementioned livery (and with good reason.)
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4e/Paris_-_Bonhams_2017_-_Lancia_Stratos_Groupe_4_coup%C3%A9_-_1976_-_005.jpg/1280px-Paris_-_Bonhams_2017_-_Lancia_Stratos_Groupe_4_coup%C3%A9_-_1976_-_005.jpg

    1. It really was serendipity when I got it. I was getting bored of my R and I happened to look right when the dealerships reopened. The car was on the lot and I didn’t have to do any haggling to get that price. They really wanted to make a sale.

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