Oh you know, I wanted to see what the Kia Stinger was like to drive.

It is certainly a handsome looking car. I think they did a really good job with the styling. I don’t really much care for the reflector on the rear quarter panel, but it does make the car stand out somewhat.

After talking to two salesmen about it for a while, it was time for a test drive. Normally I find the electric power steering in Kias/Hyundais to be too sensitive, over-boosted is the word I usually use, and very numb. I was very interested to see if it was any better in this. It was, it actually felt really good. Not as good as the 997 I drove two weeks ago, but it still felt good. I would say it felt comparable to the steering in the Giulia or even an LCI F30. I did change the driving mode, but I couldn’t really tell if it had any impact on the steering; I spent 90% of the test drive in Sport.

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I drove a GT, it’s got the 3.3 GDI V6 turbo. That engine produces 365 hp and 376 ft/lbs. It’s certainly fast. I couldn’t tell if it was faster than the M3, it felt as if it was about the same. I made a nice pull on an empty interstate on ramp. I was also outside when the salesman originally started it and it did sound good, for a V6. It’s obviously got a differnt personality than my M3; the Kia has loads of low down torque were you need to bring the S65B40 in the M3 to over 4,000 to really get any performance out of it.

I did notice that visibility out of the back wasn’t that great. The rear window seemed pretty small in the rear view mirror. It does have a lot of anti-collision stuff on it, so I guess that makes it better. I would still like to be able to look though. The cabin was a nice place to be, didn’t feel like I was in a sea of cheap plastic. I sat in a GT2 and drove this GT and will say that the GT2 had an adjustable bolster and the GT did not.

Other than that, there really isn’t too much to say about it. It felt like a quality car to drive. To me, it felt like a LCI F30, which I guess could be considered a compliment. I will say Kia/Hyundai does load these things up with features. My M3 has $10k worth of options on it, but that’s the BMW way.

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This is now when I would like to talk about something related to car buying, but not necessarily this car, and that is underwater loans.

They asked me if I wanted to see the numbers on the Kia, and since I didn’t have anything else to do I said why not. So they got the numbers together assuming that I would be trading in the 328i. I gave them the VIN and they gave me an estimate. I owe about 13.5k on it still and all they offered me was 7k for it. Which means I would have had to roll 6500 into a new loan, if I was to take that offer. I can see how people can end up with mahoosive car payments. I bought the 3 knowing both I would be upside down on it for a while and that if something happened I had the money to pay it off.

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Also, I recently got a Google Voice number so I don’t have to give out my real phone number to car dealers. I don’t know why it took me until now to get it, figured I should make it a Greenville SC number, since that’s where I’m moving.