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  1. #1
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    New Kia Stinger travels miles with style

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    So much about the new Kia Stinger is interesting and exciting that we could begin and end by discussing the car alone. But the Stinger also represents a noteworthy new alignment among auto companies that deserves some words, too.

    The Stinger is a new model from Kia, introduced at the tail end of 2017. It is a sedan, sort of. The four-door, five-passenger, dramatically styled Stinger resides in the obscure category of grand touring cars, automobiles designed for speedy long-distance transport in luxurious comfort and conspicuous style.

    So here we have Kia, a second-tier auto brand in the United States in terms of size, expanding its lineup of passenger cars. At the same time, some longer established, top-tier car companies by size are backing away from traditional passenger cars, especially sedans, in favor of pickup trucks and sport-utility wagons. Ford has announced its intention to stop selling sedans early in the next decade. And Italy-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles appears interested only in selling Jeep-brand sport-utilities and Ram pickups. Sedans in its old-line American brands Chrysler and Dodge are suffering.

    Look for innovation and leadership increasingly to come from a new crop of motor vehicle makers that are ambitious and adventurous about creating new models. Meanwhile, some old names in the car business will become more like banks, merely making money, sticking with tried and true concepts they feel certain will sell.

    Ambitious new models like the Kia Stinger point toward that transition.

    The model uniquely combines fast-paced, exhilarating movement with spacious, luxurious cabin accommodations and an approachable price. The Stinger starts at $32,800 for a rear-wheel-drive version powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. All-wheel drive adds $2,200, bringing the list price to $35,000 for a starting-level Stinger equipped with four-corner traction.

    “When you look at the performance numbers, and when you look at how it handles on the track, there's nothing to compare it to in that price range,” stated Charles Daher Jr., sales manager at Commonwealth Kia in Lawrence. “Its performance compares with cars priced $30,000 higher.”

    Kia uses the Italian term gran turismo to categorize the Stinger. That's fitting, because Italian car companies are credited with creating the grand-touring-car concept in the early 1950s.

    The gran turismo label fits because Kia's contemporary new Stinger exhibits European qualities. It was designed and engineered in Germany. In addition, Kia created it as a worthy but affordable alternative to grand-touring-style luxury cars sold primarily by the German car companies Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

    Daher of Commonwealth Kia doesn't see the Stinger winning over buyers of those upper-crust brands. For one thing, the luxury brands have a prestige premium that Kia can't match. Also, luxury buyers tend to remain loyal to their chosen brand.

    However the Stinger is attracting people “who want a car that performs like this but who don't want to pay $70,000 or $80,000 for one,” said Daher.

    That group includes a wide cross section of drivers from all age levels, he observed. A recent sale went to a middle-age couple who traded a Chevrolet Camaro SS – a high-performing, V8-powered coupe built in the tradition of hard-charging American muscle cars. As a two-door with a cockpit-like interior, the Camaro can seem cramped.

    “They had a fun sports car, but they wanted something that was bigger and just as much fun,” explained Daher. They chose the Stinger.

    Read more on Eagle Tribune.
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  2. #2
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    After sixteen years of driving strictly Mustangs as daily drivers since the day I first got my learning permit, with the last 12 years driving my '06 Stang to the tune of 192k miles. I decided it was time to move on to something new, and in my mind, that something new was to be a 2018 Mustang GT. But, ever since September 2017 when I first saw Randy Pobst toss a Stinger GT through a winding mountain road and then through Streets Of Willow racetrack, I was smitten. It took a lot for me to admit that I wanted something else over a mustang. Once I actually went and test drive both cars is when I finally made my decision. My '06 Stang could easily swallow me in the back seat(I'm only 5'7") without me hitting my head and it could also fit 2 small car seats in the trunk in a pinch. I've been able to fit my entire 5 piece drum set in the Stang when needed. When I took the '18 Mustang for a test drive, I loved the power, the sound, the suspension and especially the brakes on the performance pack. But when I popped the trunk open, my heart sank. It was smaller than my '06 trunk. I could barely fit my smallest car seat in the trunk and I had to force it in. And when I sat in the back seat I hit my head on the roof. I then went and test drive the Stinger right afterward. Everything just clicked. It was amazing to me how everything just was simply what I wanted and needed. Ever since I found the Stinger I wanted, I've just been amazed everyday with it. As long as I get at least the same amount of miles of smiles and years of service that my '06 has given me, I will be an extremely happy and impressed man.



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