We started in Burbank and headed through a driving course that took us through the mountainous terrain outside of LA. This is easily the fastest vehicle I’ve driven in some time (possibly ever), and I thrilled at the engine’s response to my foot on the gas.
I have to admit (now that I’m out of LA and can no longer get a ticket for it (I hope)) that at one point Helena, my navigator, told me to turn too soon. We were at a stop light, in the turn lane, and we needed to go straight to turn right at the next exit. I waited for the light to change and then punched the gas to get ahead of all the other traffic in the competing lanes. I felt like I was controlling a rocket! The Stinger GT took off like a bolt, left all the other traffic behind, and as I whipped into the correct turn, I even managed to do a little fishtail. It was exhilarating, and a little bit scary because at that exact moment I had no doubt that the car was a badass.
Cruising on the highway, the Stinger chewed the pavement; 80 is a great cruising speed — but I had to remind myself that we were in California and not Texas; 65 was actually the speed limit, oops. If we’d had 10 hours to drive (rather than just 4 or 5), or if I’d had a further destination to get to, I would have been happy to do it; the Stinger was that comfortable and that fun to drive. The Harman Kardon sound system was impressive, and it served up great music for our drive.
True story: I walked out of our hotel in Burbank to wait for a Lyft, and there was this gorgeous red sports car sitting in front of me as I exited, pulled up at the curb. All I really saw was the rear end in front of me. Based on the other vehicles in the parking lot, I just assumed it was a Maserati or something similar. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I noticed the Kia emblem on the wheel closest to me.
We ended our driving day at Magic Mountain, where Kia had set up a course for us. Vincent Nguyen of SlashGear drove, and I came along for the ride; it was fun, my iced coffee survived, and if you watch closely he only made me scream once. 😉
If you’ve dreamed of driving a car that is capable of crazy speeds yet can comfortably fit your family, then you’ve probably dreamed about the Porsche Panamera. If you can get over the fact that the Stinger GT is a Kia and not a Porsche, then you’ll be able to enjoy and even faster car for half the price. If I was looking to buy a GT-type vehicle, I know which one I’d pick; my only quibble is that the Stinger isn’t available as a stick shift.
You can get into a Stinger for as low as $31,900; the premium model is $37,100. The Kia Stinger GT is $38,350, the GT1 is $43,250, and GT2 is $49,200 (that’s the model we were driving); you can add AWD to any of them for $2,200. You can learn more about the 2018 Kia Stinger here.
Disclosure: Kia paid for my room and meals; there were no conditions or expectations made regarding what I chose to write about regarding my experience.