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Review: 2018 Kia Stinger GT

The headrests. I don’t love the headrests. If you keep the backrest of your seat more on the vertical, the headrests will push on the back of your head. They should really have some back and forth adjustment. Everything else about the Kia Stinger GT is excellent. It looks great. It goes and handles as good as it looks. It’s a world class car that should put every automaker on notice. Go buy one, you’ll love it.

That’s it. That’s the review. 


Edit: The headrests are adjustable forward and back as per the . But, even in the rear-most position they can still tap he back of the driver’s head. 

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First Drive: 2018 Kia Stinger GT

Here’s a car we’ve been looking forward to driving for some time now. The roll out of the 2018 Kia Stinger GT has been happening for awhile and we’ve waited quite a bit to see if the car lives up to the hype it’s generating. First off, you should know it lives up to its own hype because it’s an entertaining, stylish, grand-touring sedan with a hatchback booty and 376 horsepower under the hood.

Is it good *enough* though to get folks with the necessary cash to head into Kia dealerships to pick one up? That’s a far tougher question to answer. This is a good car, with an appropriate price tag but it’s a price tag that keeps it out of reach for the younger enthusiast crowd that might long to own such a machine.

On paper, the Kia Stinger GT is a true competitor to the likes of the BMW 440 and 640 Gran Coupe, the Audi S5 Sportback, and the base (BASE, people… Not the V8s) Porsche Panamera. It’s quick, comfortable, and good looking and it can be had for a good deal less than that mighty competitive set.

My fear with the Stinger GT, however, is that it will be a car beloved by enthusiasts and journalists… and purchased by few. I really hope I’m wrong though, and I truly believe that if it sells well it could be the car that gets people finally worrying about what the badging on the nose and tail.

Quick Spin: 2017 Kia Soul EV+

There is a dirty little problem with electric vehicles that is going unaddressed. The ability to charge EVs for primary target buyers is very limited. Specifically, people living in urban areas with short commutes. I live in a downtown Boston condominium and I park my car in a common garage. Those garages do not have automotive charging stations and an attempt to plug one’s vehicles into a wall socket would result in an immediate outrage from the neighbors and a scalding letter from building management.

That was my biggest issue with the 2017 Kia Soul EV. I had nowhere to charge it – not at home and not at work. There are street chargers within half a mile from my home but I did not want to park someone else’s vehicle on the street. There are garages with charging stations within a mile, but the parking fees were around $50 for a 24-hour period. I wouldn’t use either with my own car just because they are inconvenient.

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First Drive: 2017 Kia Niro

2017 Niro – Blue

The worst part about driving a hybrid, is that you’re constantly reminded of the fact that driving enjoyment is no longer a thing about which you care. Sure, you can spend big bucks and get something with a bit of vigor like a Porsche Panamaniac e-Hybrid, but that starts at $100k and I bet you that you’ll end up with enough options that you could’ve thrown a base Macan into the mix as well. Your standard hybrid, however, is quite boring and manages to remind you of this every chance it gets.

Kia is hoping to change that with the introduction of its all new 2017 Niro. This is a vehicle that was built from the outset to be a hybrid. With that in mind, Kia knew it wanted something that was both a mere sipper of fuel yet also functional and enjoyable on a daily basis.

Much like Roman Emperor Nero looked to make his empire a more pleasing place, the Niro hopes to do the same for the hybrid. To see if that is something that’s actually possible in a vehicle not costing you six figures, I trekked to San Antonio, Texas to find out.

…because we know that Texans are rootin’ tootin’ and straight-up hollerin’ for more hybrids.

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First Drive: 2017 Kia Sportage SX 2.0T

It’s been over twenty years since the first release of the Kia Sportage. Since the mid 90’s, automotive market segments have become quite skewed. Gone are the days of the family wagon and the cross country trips to Wally World. Without question, crossovers are the hot ticket of desire with the majority of manufacturers due to the demands of consumers, and profits being high on their priority lists. Because of this you cannot fault anybody for making crossovers because they simply cannot sell enough of them.

Kia invited me to test the newest version of the Sportage in my lovely Southern California hometown of San Diego, to see how it stacks up in this highly competitive and saturated market.

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Review: 2016 Kia Sorento SX Limited

Kamil Kaluski September 30, 2015 Featured, Kia Reviews, Reviews

2016 kia sorento sx limited turbo

The good news for buyers of new cross-over utility vehicles (CUVs) is that there is a lot of CUVs on the market. Each manufacturer seems to have at least two, and all can be had in various trims and configurations. Secondly, most of them are really good, which makes the decision to pick one either really simple or extremely difficult, depending on your personality and level of obsessive compulsive disorder. With the updated 2016 Sorento, Kia is attempting to grab a few more sales away from its competitors in this very competitive segment.

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First Drive: 2014 Kia Cadenza
Is the world ready for a Kia fit for a King?

2014 Kia Cadenza lead

Kia believes there is an emerging space between the standard road-going machines and the premium and luxury vehicles available. This emerging space has opened up because people are far more careful where and how they spend their money. Gone, supposedly, are the days of flashing your cash by way of your ride. Folks still do this of course, but far fewer want to do so. Still, there’s a desire for a certain level of refinement and luxury that car shoppers are looking for in a full-size sedan.

Enter the 2014 Kia Cadenza.

This is the Kia designed to attract Kings (and Queens… I’m not being sexist, the wording just flows better thanks to alliteration.) The question is, however, if folks really and truly are ready to pony up $40,000 for a car wearing a badge their snobby friends might reject upon a first impression? I spent a day trekking back and forth across some of Southern California’s great roads to find the answer.

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Review: 2013 Kia pro_cee’d



Kamils’ review of the remarkably good Optima started off with an emotionally charged tale of heartbreak involving a Honda Civic and a beautiful girl. I’m afraid this review doesn’t. I’m going to start mine by talking about balls.

Beach balls, actually. When I was little I would be taken away on holiday to Cornwall, year after year. With the geography it possesses, in Englands’ most Westerly county you’re never far from a beach, and that means a great many tourist shops, all selling the same thing. Buckets and spades, beach balls, as you enter these shops your nostrils flare and fill with the rich scent of new, cheap rubber dinghies and the slow decomposition of low grade plastics.

All these memories were triggered the first time I sat in a Kia Rio.

Today, in this brand new Kia, there is no olfactory nostalgia. There are actually no reminders of the past at all.

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Review: 2013 Kia Optima SXL

2013 Kia Optima SXL front

Sometime in the late 1990’s I started seeing “Suzy”, a very cute, petite, and very smart girl. Suzy owned a Honda Civic hatchback (EC) which I probably liked more than I liked her. One day, as we were walking through our college campus parking lot toward where she parked her car, she says to me “I got a new car on Saturday! I traded-in the Civic, my brother picked it out for me”.

These are thoughts that immediately ran through my head: Whaaaaa? Wait… And you didn’t consult me? And you just traded in my beloved Civic? How could you? I loved that car! What’s going to happen to it now?

Being fairly smart and having learned a thing or two (literally) about women by that age, I did not say any of that. I said “oh, really, cool, congrats, what did you get?”

“This” she said.

There, in front of me, was a black Kia Sephia. It wasn’t an ugly car as much it was a generic car. There was absolutely nothing special about it; nothing inviting, nothing warm, nothing original, and nothing descriptive. It was just there, a car, completely bland, so much unlike its new owner. And that was pretty much the beginning of the end of my little relationship with Suzy.

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2012 Kia Soul – A Midterm Refresh on a Best Seller

Kia Motors is currently one of the more successful car companies. Month after month they set record sales with a product lineup that is increasingly desirable. Much of this new found success can be traced back to a single, model which started it all. That model would be the Soul.

Here is a car that was seen as a competitor to the original Scion xB, and the Nissan Cube, with rather unusual styling features. When introduced, Kia stated that the inspiration was of a cargo carrying Rhinoceros! Coupled with a very memorable advertising campaign (The Kia Hamsters), the Soul went on to outsell both the xB and the Cube by huge margins. So, when it came time to do a refresh, Kia worked on improving their best seller without killing any of its character like Toyota did with the xB refresh.

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