“It” just doesn’t go away.

Notes and complaints:

It’s been nine months with the car and it’s been a fantastic machine all around except for fuel economy. Mexico City’s thin atmosphere, aggressive traffic, and my own mods have made this car pretty inefficient, getting around 16.5L/100km in the last year. It’s still way less than my jeep, which used to average 27L/100km. This car is very noisy in the highway, even with the special glass it’s a heavy cabin. But this could probably be fixed with some better rubber.

The paint has predominantly survived but it’s still really thin, and it gets scratched up on everything. However, the interior is pretty much perfect except for one noise when the speakers are at a high pitch. Though this probably comes from the modifications; not Kia. I did spot a manufacturing mistake however; the headliner did not snap correctly with the pins on the roof, so the car did make some odd vibrations in the very first days since delivery, but this was fixed later on.

Another weird thing is that the cover for the physical key on the driver’s door broke out of nowhere... just some cheap piece of plastic....

When it comes to maintenance, my car has had it’s first inspection done at a cost of 150 dollars, and an oil change. Despite some fire-y recalls on other Kias, the Stinger models have been pretty much exempted from this malady. On the other hand, the car loses alignment quickly and loves tracking ruts on the road, but that’s a common thing here in Mexico City, plus, the added weight can’t be helping at all.

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One complaint is that if you have auto hold and the stop-start system working, at times the ignition is jerky, but the solution to that problem is to be more patient with the car.

The rest

This car is still unreal to behold. While I spend most of my days on Eco mode, the few off days when I get to play on Sport are a true reminder of what this car is capable of. Yes, it’s a pig of a chasis, and yes, the engine is boosted to death, but it’s still a car no one sees coming. It’s almost like a muscle car that doesn’t feel the need to prove anything about itself. Perhaps it’s shown some battle scars by now but I still park it as far away as possible, and I still give it a double glance; it hasn’t lost the special thing about it. It’s still abnormal to me.

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In the end, it’s a hard car to understand. People still think it’s bad or good depending of which corner of the internet they read on the day they first saw it, and I’m yet to see them in double digits around the city. But this is a double edged sword.

When I see someone looking at my car, I know they’re true car-people, and not someone looking for a big-badge, and when people don’t know what it is; it makes it better. It’s a quiet car because of the badge; no one gives it a second glance, and that has benefits for safety and, erm, legality.

I mean, one day some person at a condominium thought I was an uber driver. I didn’t take offense to it, of course, but it does show that people still have lower expectations for Kias in general.

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Do I still recommend it?

Well. Not the V6. The Stinger is best enjoyed with the smaller engine because it’s a compromise of a car. It’s not meant to be excessive; it’s meant to be just enough to bother BMW owners. The fuel economy is bad and it’s an expensive car to run. With hindsight, I think it wasn’t the right car for what I use it, but it’s so flexible and capable that in 9 out of 10 situations it doesn’t matter.

Would I change anything about it?

Well, I do ponder whether getting the Borla exhausts someday, but the thing I want the most for now is the alcantara steering wheel from the Korean version. As for something more serious, it’s a shame Kia didn’t release a hybrid version of the Stinger because it would’ve been transformative for the urban fuel economy; the car is so large that fitting a battery pack and a small motor can’t be a big issue, so why not? I mean, FCA is putting electric motors on trucks!

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I also have to do something about my front license plate solution, I need to find a way to cover those hideous holes that came from factory and maybe get a tow-hook holder: