QOTD: The Not-cool Cool Car?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Something appeared on social media yesterday that inspired a healthy bit of conversation among the denizens of the TTAC chatroom/lounge.

On the subject of cars that are not actually “cool,” one participant in the chat — we’ll call him “Adam T” (wait, that’s too obvious; maybe “A. Tonge” is better) — posited that a certain rear-drive sports sedan does not deserve the label of “cool.”

Perhaps you agree.

The original post, which prompted a stifled burst of laughter from yours truly, can be found here. Now, Kia deserves an awful lot of credit for keeping passenger cars alive in a market that shuns them like a coughing passenger on a crowded flight.

So many cars in that lineup, and one of them is a tempting rear-drive liftback sedan that can be had with a potent twin-turbo V6. All-wheel drive is available at the buyer’s request. Interesting, no? On the surface, such a car could be called cool.

Our very anonymous chatroom member disagreed, however.

Claiming that the Kia Stinger is not a bad car, this shadowy voice added, “It’s cool until a cool car pulls up.”

True, the Kia Stinger can’t be had with a manual transmission, and, falling under a Korean economy car badge, it certainly doesn’t pack a sporting pedigree. It’s known to be soft in corners, displaying too much body lean for a car of its stated purpose. Yet few reviewers will claim it’s not a solid attempt at a sports sedan, even if it falls just short of the mark.

Painted black, in GT guise, the Stinger cuts a pleasing profile. That said, it looks better before certain German, Italian, Japanese, and maybe even British sport-luxury sedans appear on scene.

You might agree with this take, you might not. But there’s certainly cars out there that, for whatever reason, are not cool, despite supposedly being just that — at least in your mind. What are they?

[Images: © 2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC, Kia Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jun 13, 2020

    2020 Tip: "Uncool" vehicles help with social distancing.

  • John R John R on Jun 15, 2020

    "True, the Kia Stinger can’t be had with a manual transmission, and, falling under a Korean economy car badge, it certainly doesn’t pack a sporting pedigree." And there it is. I am getting so sick and tired of the "badges" BS; the BS of the Mark V Supra being BMW and not a Toyota; and other BS "arguments" like it. Automakers like Kia et al are doing you, me, and everyone in this space a favor by making and selling cars like the Stinger at all. Why? All of them would be just as well or better off making and selling ANOTHER CUV/SUV instead of a product we, at least ostensibly, would like. What do we do when a legitimately good car like the "Stinger" shows up? Turn up our noses. The writing has been on the wall for a long time, guys n' gals. In 10-15 years the only relatively affordable "cool" car(s) left will be the Mustang and/or the Corvette. And even then the Mustang will have electric CUV variant. We should be at least praising the "Stingers" if we cannot buy them.

  • Bd2 Oh yeah, funny how Trumpers (much less the Orange Con, himself) are perfectly willing to throw away the Constitution...
  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.
  • Kat Laneaux I get the point that Musk is making. I wouldn't want everyone to know my secrets. If they did, they could or would shout it out to the world. But then, if Musk certified certain folks and had them sign Confidentiality agreements, which would allow them to work on cars that Musk had made, that could allow others to work on his cars and not confine vehicle owners to be charged an arm and a leg for the service. It's a catch 22. People are greedy little buggers. If they can find a way to make money, they will even if it wrong. People...sad.
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