Buyer's Remorse? Help Me Out, Y'all...

<pollux>

Member
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Hey, All. I need someone to talk me down off a cliff. Or at least help me with the issue(s) I am having that CAN be helped.

I traded in my white 2013 Kia Optima SX-L on a whim in June. It only had 75,000 miles and was an excellent car with an amazing sound system, Napa (Nappa) leather, and incredible gas mileage for a car that performed as well as it did. Would've lasted another 5-7 years. But the chrome wheels had seen better days and the backup camera had stopped working, and when I saw that Kia was ending the Optima line this year, I thought I could replace it and keep the same payment for a car that was 7 model years newer. The dealer found me a black one not too far from me and made an offer. But while I was there, the salesman asked me if I had a chance to check out the Stinger. I told him I saw it online, and wasn't interested because I didn't like the styling cues (I prefer the angular, squared-off front of Audis and Lexuses) or the hatchback-looking rear-end. But when he showed it to me in-person, I kept an open mind and noticed the "hatchback" wasn't nearly as pronounced in real life as it is on the Kia website. So I took a test-drive in a Special Edition they had there with the "High Chroma Blue" exterior and a beautiful chestnut brown interior. I liked it... a lot. But then I saw the one I eventually bought, a GT2 in Ceramic Silver (he told me finding one in Federation Orange would be impossible, but I later found 2 one state north of me), and he went over the options that one had above-and-beyond the Special Edition. After that discussion, I decided I needed the driver assist features and signed for it-- $55k later.

Anyway, I drove it off the lot and pulled up my Spotify app to play some tunes. I immediately noted a huge difference in sound quality from my 2013 Optima-- something I had neglected to try on the test-drive-- and not in a good way. Tones are WAY understated, and you have to crank up the volume to get anywhere close to what I remember from my Optima, even with the treble, mid, and bass cranked to +10. This is NOT the case with the satellite radio, which I have no intention of paying for past my 3-month trial, BECAUSE I pay for Spotify and I can play whatever I want on demand. I scoured this forum looking for solutions, but the only ones I saw were: 1.) don't use Android Auto (I tried using just Bluetooth, and it sounded exactly the same), and 2.) change settings on Google Play (which I don't use; I use Spotify). I even went as far as syncing up the song that was on satellite radio with the same song on Bluetooth/Android Auto to hear the difference, and saying it was profound is an understatement. SO much better on radio. I NEVER had this problem with my Optima. It was loud as hell at even low volume.

Additionally, there are some things that can't be helped and that I should have researched before I bought. First, my gas mileage is absolutely abysmal. I only do city driving, because my job is literally 3 minutes away and I'm working from home anyway. But the little bit I have driven it, even with 93 octane, I am getting an average between 15.1 and 15.5 miles per gallon. My Optima got over 25 with a turbo in-line 4-cylinder that I drove like a banshee, and quite honestly, I feel like IT accelerated FASTER than the Stinger. I could be wrong about this, because I WILL say the Stinger feels much smoother at higher speeds, but I sure do miss the gas mileage.

I also miss that my Optima had a CD player. I didn't use it all the time, but enough that I am missing that feature. Is there a way to add one after-market without having to install a header? Because I might just do that.

Lastly, the rear window is way smaller than my Optima's, so seeing behind me is harder, and I miss the panoramic sunroof I had in the Optima and the leg room in the back, namely for my main homeboy, my nephew. Those things can't be helped, but I would be remiss if I didn't suggest improvements.

Anyway, I guess what I am saying is 1.) someone please help with the sound and CD player issues, and 2.) someone please tell me I didn't make a huge mistake.

Thanks, everyone! Looking forward to your responses.
 

Slip_Angle

Member
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18
Price aside, the Stinger is a great car. I don't even own one and I think you made the right choice! it's practical, has a long warranty, powerful etc.. Now, gas mileage.. well get used to it, LOL the 3.3T isn't good on gas but it will improve a bit as it breaks in... Contrary to what others may say, run 87 octane to save some money. Just make sure it's from a top tier station to keep the motor running well. I've done testing on a stock G70 (same engine/transmission) and in moderate ambient temperatures, the car gets it quickest 0-60 time on 87. Not sure about the stereo but I was under the impression the Stinger has a good system. Maybe just needs something adjusted.
 

<pollux>

Member
23
20
3
Price aside, the Stinger is a great car. I don't even own one and I think you made the right choice! it's practical, has a long warranty, powerful etc.. Now, gas mileage.. well get used to it, LOL the 3.3T isn't good on gas but it will improve a bit as it breaks in... Contrary to what others may say, run 87 octane to save some money. Just make sure it's from a top tier station to keep the motor running well. I've done testing on a stock G70 (same engine/transmission) and in moderate ambient temperatures, the car gets it quickest 0-60 time on 87. Not sure about the stereo but I was under the impression the Stinger has a good system. Maybe just needs something adjusted.
Thanks, Slip Angle! I appreciate you taking the time to respond. P.S.: Canada is beautiful. And long live Trailer Park Boys!
 

MerlintheMad

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As long as your paint is good, in my humble opinion that's all that is important; color is just a conceit. I'd take any of the Stinger colors, they all look great.

Harman Kardon surround sound should not be causing any issues. Mine is by far and away the best rolling "soundroom" I've ever experienced. Yes, my experience is limited, but I know good sound when I experience it. After moving around the different sound options and playing with the bass, mid and treble settings, I settled on ClariFi OFF, "stage" setting, and bass +8, mid +4 and treble +1. Try that, and adjust the volume accordingly. Putting all three at +10 is right out. :eek:

The consistent complaint I read is that the volume clicks are not very granular unless you have to crank the volume up quite a bit to get where you want. If the volume is loud at, say 8, then each click is either a bit too much or too little; you want something in between the clicks. Radio is the loudest for me, and I usually listen to it way down at 4 or 5; and any adjustment makes it too quiet or too loud at times.

My music otherwise is entirely USB sourced. So, I can't speak to Spotify or any other pay-for service.

Mileage. Well, it is a muscle car with European design and tech going in. :p You must do quite a bit of stop and go, and go slow driving, to get that kind of low miles per gallon. In order to make yourself feel better, you need to go on drives where you can let her run. And enjoy some digs from a light once in a while (where the speed limit is 45 or higher, so that you can push to almost ten over and get in some acceleration before you have to back off). That'll convince you that an inline 3.3L is all over that 4 cylinder. On road trips, passing at sudden speed (that torque) is one of the most satisfying experiences in the 3.3L.

You are right about the stability. And the Stinger feels just as stable and smooth at 150+ MPH as it does at 70.

I'm afraid that not liking hatchbacks is just alien to me. That was one of the main attractions and selling points. With the seats down and the hatch cover out, that 43.3 cubic feet is like two refrigerators of cargo space.
 

SafetyPilotCal

Active Member
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Audio complaints - Check all the Clari-Fi settings and make sure they're either off, or set to a way that sounds better for you. Mine was set to a very jacked up setting when I very first got the car. Outside of that, I'm surprised whatever came in the Optima would be better than the HK in these cars. I won't say the HK is "knock your socks off, holy shit am I sitting in a concert hall?!" good, but it's definitely above average given it's competition. As for a CD player, well.. cars really just don't come with removable media options outside of USB anymore. There's no way to cleanly install an aftermarket headunit and even if you installed an old-school remote mount CD player, those generally use an FM transmitter and would sound like dick. (I guess you could plug a portable CD player into the aux-in jack, though).

As for gas mileage, it will improve over time, but at the end of the day, it IS a twin-turbo V6 after all. It will never be as miserly as the 4 banger in the Optima when it comes to fuel economy. On long highway drives, I can stretch 29-30 MPG out of it while barrelling along at ~80 MPH and that's good enough for me given the size of the car and the power. Around town it's less than stellar, but again you have to consider the powertrain.

All in all, the Stinger is far and above a MUCH more driver-oriented, long road trip/grand touring kind of car versus a third-gen Optima. They're not really built for the same mission. And if your mission is primarily short city trips, the Stinger really just doesn't excel at that whereas an Optima certainly would. If I only did strictly city driving I may not have gotten this car either, but I needed something to take me across the state multiple times a month and do it comfortably so it ticks all the boxes for me. There's nothing wrong with the car not being what you needed if it truly isn't. How long have you had it? Some dealerships offer an X amount of days return policy. Maybe you can work out something with them.

For what it's worth, the Optima is not going away, it's simply adopting the Korean market "K5" name.
 

SteveCo

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I don't use Spotify, but it sounds like that's where your issue is. I play music primarily from both Google Play and my local library (Flac files) and the sound is really impressive. Comparing it to the sound from Sirius XM (I dropped the temporary subscription as soon as it lapsed) is not even close. The XM channels varied a little in quality, but for the most part sounded absolutely terrible.

This was my first car that had no CD player, and that was pretty simple to get around by ripping my CDs to lossless Flac files - and I'm loving how much easier it is to play music without fumbling around with discs (and without any loss in quality). Play some uncompressed audio files off your phone or a USB stick for a start, to restore your faith in the car's HK audio - then maybe somebody can help you out with how to improve the Spotify audio. Pretty sure it's not the fault of the car, as it has what it takes to play excellent quality sound!

As for the other stuff, make sure the Stinger is in 'Sport' mode if you're comparing acceleration. It won't affect the actual engine power, but the difference in driving feel by simply remapping the accelerator pedal response is huge. Fuel mileage can be really good if you are driving it with an eye to mileage - and low if you're driving it like you stole it. I consider that an advantage of this car over the old 'cubic inch' muscle car era - with those, you simply got poor mileage regardless.

The back window size has never bothered me, but I've always driven with my mirrors anyway - adjust those properly and I'm sure you'll soon forget it was even a concern.

Congratulations on what sounds like a great car - I've had mine over two years now and still loving it! :thumbup:
 

<pollux>

Member
23
20
3
As long as your paint is good, in my humble opinion that's all that is important; color is just a conceit. I'd take any of the Stinger colors, they all look great.

Harman Kardon surround sound should not be causing any issues. Mine is by far and away the best rolling "soundroom" I've ever experienced. Yes, my experience is limited, but I know good sound when I experience it. After moving around the different sound options and playing with the bass, mid and treble settings, I settled on ClariFi OFF, "stage" setting, and bass +8, mid +4 and treble +1. Try that, and adjust the volume accordingly. Putting all three at +10 is right out. :eek:

The consistent complaint I read is that the volume clicks are not very granular unless you have to crank the volume up quite a bit to get where you want. If the volume is loud at, say 8, then each click is either a bit too much or too little; you want something in between the clicks. Radio is the loudest for me, and I usually listen to it way down at 4 or 5; and any adjustment makes it too quiet or too loud at times.

My music otherwise is entirely USB sourced. So, I can't speak to Spotify or any other pay-for service.

Mileage. Well, it is a muscle car with European design and tech going in. :p You must do quite a bit of stop and go, and go slow driving, to get that kind of low miles per gallon. In order to make yourself feel better, you need to go on drives where you can let her run. And enjoy some digs from a light once in a while (where the speed limit is 45 or higher, so that you can push to almost ten over and get in some acceleration before you have to back off). That'll convince you that an inline 3.3L is all over that 4 cylinder. On road trips, passing at sudden speed (that torque) is one of the most satisfying experiences in the 3.3L.

You are right about the stability. And the Stinger feels just as stable and smooth at 150+ MPH as it does at 70.

I'm afraid that not liking hatchbacks is just alien to me. That was one of the main attractions and selling points. With the seats down and the hatch cover out, that 43.3 cubic feet is like two refrigerators of cargo space.
Thanks so much, Merlin! I really deel welcome here and appreciate the feedback. It's making me feel better about my decision. I'll have to check out the ClariFi settings.
 

<pollux>

Member
23
20
3
Audio complaints - Check all the Clari-Fi settings and make sure they're either off, or set to a way that sounds better for you. Mine was set to a very jacked up setting when I very first got the car. Outside of that, I'm surprised whatever came in the Optima would be better than the HK in these cars. I won't say the HK is "knock your socks off, holy shit am I sitting in a concert hall?!" good, but it's definitely above average given it's competition. As for a CD player, well.. cars really just don't come with removable media options outside of USB anymore. There's no way to cleanly install an aftermarket headunit and even if you installed an old-school remote mount CD player, those generally use an FM transmitter and would sound like dick. (I guess you could plug a portable CD player into the aux-in jack, though).

As for gas mileage, it will improve over time, but at the end of the day, it IS a twin-turbo V6 after all. It will never be as miserly as the 4 banger in the Optima when it comes to fuel economy. On long highway drives, I can stretch 29-30 MPG out of it while barrelling along at ~80 MPH and that's good enough for me given the size of the car and the power. Around town it's less than stellar, but again you have to consider the powertrain.

All in all, the Stinger is far and above a MUCH more driver-oriented, long road trip/grand touring kind of car versus a third-gen Optima. They're not really built for the same mission. And if your mission is primarily short city trips, the Stinger really just doesn't excel at that whereas an Optima certainly would. If I only did strictly city driving I may not have gotten this car either, but I needed something to take me across the state multiple times a month and do it comfortably so it ticks all the boxes for me. There's nothing wrong with the car not being what you needed if it truly isn't. How long have you had it? Some dealerships offer an X amount of days return policy. Maybe you can work out something with them.

For what it's worth, the Optima is not going away, it's simply adopting the Korean market "K5" name.
Thanks, Safety Pilot. Definitely going to check out the ClariFi settings. And point taken about the engine! :) I got it on June 27.
 

<pollux>

Member
23
20
3
I don't use Spotify, but it sounds like that's where your issue is. I play music primarily from both Google Play and my local library (Flac files) and the sound is really impressive. Comparing it to the sound from Sirius XM (I dropped the temporary subscription as soon as it lapsed) is not even close. The XM channels varied a little in quality, but for the most part sounded absolutely terrible.

This was my first car that had no CD player, and that was pretty simple to get around by ripping my CDs to lossless Flac files - and I'm loving how much easier it is to play music without fumbling around with discs (and without any loss in quality). Play some uncompressed audio files off your phone or a USB stick for a start, to restore your faith in the car's HK audio - then maybe somebody can help you out with how to improve the Spotify audio. Pretty sure it's not the fault of the car, as it has what it takes to play excellent quality sound!

As for the other stuff, make sure the Stinger is in 'Sport' mode if you're comparing acceleration. It won't affect the actual engine power, but the difference in driving feel by simply remapping the accelerator pedal response is huge. Fuel mileage can be really good if you are driving it with an eye to mileage - and low if you're driving it like you stole it. I consider that an advantage of this car over the old 'cubic inch' muscle car era - with those, you simply got poor mileage regardless.

The back window size has never bothered me, but I've always driven with my mirrors anyway - adjust those properly and I'm sure you'll soon forget it was even a concern.

Congratulations on what sounds like a great car - I've had mine over two years now and still loving it! :thumbup:
Thanks, Steve! It's gotta be a setting, because nothing changed between when I played Spotify earlier in the day in the Optima and when I drove off the lot later with the Stinger except the car. I thought I checked through all of the settings, but I'll try again. I really should be thankful for what I have. These are such first-world problems!
 
Also, I noticed on the sound system , on radio or XM, the volume is pretty loud by 12 to 15 .. on Bluetooth, with my phone volume set to max, I generally turn up the car to around 20 to 25 to get the same volume it seems. .. haven't played around much because in our car, playing Spotify through Bluetooth is magnitudes times better quality than xm
 

P22Tyler

Active Member
316
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43
Murray, Utah
Step back take a deep breath, and drive the car. You will love it trust me. That's a lot of money to spend and it can definitely cause some panic right after, but this car is awesome and well worth it. It will certainly out drag an Optima too, don't worry about that.

The advice given on the sound system given by everyone else here is good. It's a good system so you just need to play with it a bit to get it where you like it.

Unfortunately there really is nothing you can do about the fuel mileage, it's just not what this car was built for. I came from a VW GTI so I got really good mileage too but honestly it hasn't been back breaking or anything since I bought this car.

I'm curious if the guys at the dealer even showed you all the cool things your car can do, they usually don't but we'd be happy to tell you all about the features.

Just take the car out for a few cruises, really lay into that peddle a few times and you'll feel better;).
 

Travis Wills

Active Member
387
155
43
The Stinger is an awesome car but not necessarily great out of the box. When I first listened to the sound system I really wasn’t impressed at all. However, if you get in there and tweak the settings to your liking it isn’t bad.

My wife has an Expedition with the Bang and Olufsen system and that sounds amazing straight out of the box. Even after adjusting the settings the Stinger doesn’t sound as good but I would still rate it acceptable.

As far as performance goes? Put it in sport mode and use the paddle shifters. If it doesn’t feel fast to you then you need a C8 Corvette or similar. The Stinger is ridiculously fast and has tons of down low torque that you would never get in an Optima.

For gas mileage? This Stinger is actually tremendous..........on the highway............in Eco mode.........with the Coasting feature turned on. The coasting feature disengages the transmission when you aren’t on the gas at all. Once that feature is enabled and activated it helps fuel economy a lot but only if you drive it judiciously.

If you drive it hard it will give you all the performance you should expect. If you don’t drive it hard then it should give you all of the fuel economy you should expect.
 

Desslok

Newish Member
14
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--drove from Boston to Cleveland in my GT, eco mode, with cruise control on most of the time. Was stunned when I looked at my average mpg-it was 34.
--42k miles and no issues at all, until someone ran a stop and totaled it.
--cargo space was a huge selling point, carried luggage for 4, hauled bikes
--safe car--NHTSA 5 star, iihs "TOP safety pick: 2020 Kia Stinger 4-door hatchback
--driver slammed into me (T-boned) at probably 30-40 mph, frame destroyed--no intrusion into cabin, the damn passenger window (laminated glass) didn't even shatter!


practical reasons:
--cargo
--comfort
--back seat room
--safe, bigger than it looks, heavy
--if your north, incredible in snow. (awd of course)
--great warranty
--still getting praise, don't believe me--will you believe motortrend"

2020 stinger review:
Buy This Killer Sport Sedan Before It’s Too Late
America is missing out on this criminally overlooked sedan.

-https://www.motortrend.com/cars/kia/stinger/2020/2020-kia-stinger-gt2-awd-first-test/




not practical reasons:
--incredibly fun to drive
--always gets looks
--just yesterday, i was asked at work "how do you like that car you drive, its beautiful" --and I haven't had it for a month since it was a total loss.
--just made me feel good driving it!
______________________________
 

1RADKIA

Active Member
203
183
43
Southern California
This conversation - reminds me there IS a really decent audio system in my GT2. I just had to go into settings to get things “tuned” to my liking. However, I’ve only had my stereo on long enough to ensure it works... otherwise - when I drive this car - it’s all about the road and car. I LOVE listening to it purrrrrrr when it hits that sweet spot! ...in tune with the car - with the road - with the environment - ahhhh the freedom of an auto induced smile! Drive on my compadres. db
 

Gonzo

Member
20
6
3
As others mentioned, if you want better mileage, engage the coast feature and drive on eco or smart.....coast does not work in the other settings.

On the stereo, I adjusted the positioning of the sound up toward the front and to the driver side. It sounded better.

Also, you can't compare your old optima to a new stinger. Just two different worlds.

Bottom line is, you bought it and you can't go back. Stop comparing it to your old car and focus on all the cool stuff it has and enjoy driving it.

You commute is non existent so mileage is really not a big deal...

You went from a good car to an excellent sports sedan and GT cruiser. It is a ton of fun to drive and own it, you already bought it
 

Aquineas

Member
25
12
3
On the mileage front, make sure your tires are properly inflated. Mine had dropped all the way down to 30psi in only a couple of months of ownership, driving quite a lot.
 

GenesisG70

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You knew that the Stinger is no mom's economy car and that has a monster power compared to your average Camry and even Mustang, so mileage is at par with the power, I have been getting average 28 even not trying but mostly put the car on eco, CD player? LOL who the hell uses CDs nowadays? :laugh: . Life is short for regrets, just be happy that you have one sexy weapon with all the bells and whistles that Germans do except for the over price and German badge. Just enjoy like many of us are doing, Cheers!
 
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