QOTD: The Not-cool Cool Car?

qotd the not cool cool car

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]

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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.

  • Theflyersfan If you ever want a review on a 2022 Mazda MX-5 GT RF, I'll be more than happy to type up a few thousand words and add in some great pictures in front of Churchill Downs for y'all!In a nutshell, I agree with this review. I didn't have a chance to try the Recaro seats because the only test drive available was with another GT that someone backed out in buying so it was being used as a demo. But from what I was told, if you're larger than a 38 waist or taller than 5'10", it gets tight. But with the standard seats, and I'm 5'10" and maybe 20 pounds from the 38 waist, I fit fine. Now getting in and out with the roof up after shoulder surgery (especially leaving the surgery center with most of the right arm under a nerve block) is the total opposite of graceful!!! The look on the nurse's face when the MX-5 pulled up and I'm partially wrapped up like a mummy was priceless.I've had mine since the middle of April and have already put 6,700 miles on it, including round trips from Louisville to Chicago and the Philadelphia suburbs. Averaged 38-39 mpg at a steady 75 mph, and it wasn't a torture chamber. The metal top helped a lot. The standard seats are a bit thin on padding, and there was a bit of squirming by around hour 8 on the Philly drive, but it's possible. But even though this design was released in 2015, I still get compliments from total strangers at stoplights, carwashes, gas stations, restaurants, etc. The Soul Red Metallic paint just makes the car pop. I wish it was available with the Terra Cotta leather (the gray above is available with it), and that it didn't have the standard all in black, because it gets thermonuclear in there with the top down and the sun beating on you, but a minor quibble. But it's just fun. Pure driving fun. The best stick shift in any car today. Solid brakes, excellent handling, a sane amount of power to where you aren't going to get into anything reckless and stupid. After a 12+ hour day at work, there's nothing better than dropping the top and driving the 20 minutes home with the better than I thought it would be Bose stereo playing Moby into my ears through the headrest speakers. Mazda has already announced there will be an NE model so I can't wait for that. It'll be interesting how they will keep the weight down with the expected changes to eke more MPG out of what is already an efficient car.
  • FreedMike I don’t know if I buy into the “they’re coming for our cars” stuff - they’ve been saying that for a long time now - but I wouldn’t argue with one word of this review otherwise.
  • Oberkanone It's not a Jimny! Would be nice if we still had a selection of Suzuki auto in the US. Sidekick was simple and affordable.
  • Dave M. I will say this generation styling has grown on me; previously I thought the Fiat version was far better looking. Miatas have always been pure joy to drive.
  • Kendahl A Tesla feature has been free, periodic, over-the-air, software updates that add new features or improve existing ones. Owners brag that their x-year-old car is better today, because of the updates, than it was brand new. Will Tesla start charging for these updates after a few years? Teslas hold their value very well. I suspect losing free updates will do serious damage to that.
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