As a self-described car guy, William Ha is a proud member of RCLUB – a private social club for petrolheads located in midtown that started in 2019. Having worked at the head office of both Kia Canada and Mercedes-Benz, the Milton resident recently left his role in sales at a foodservice distribution company to unwind, travel and work on various automotive projects.
However, Ha confesses that he hadn’t considered a Korean car until fall 2018.
“I started working for Kia right around the time when the Stinger launched,” Ha said. “The company built it as their halo performance car and it’s a stunning vehicle. There’s so much value in this car: good style, good performance, and luxury features at a good price. Working for Kia I got to know the car really well; I actually had Stingers as company leases before ultimately deciding to buy one with my own money.”
Picking up his 2021 Kia Stinger GT from Lockwood Kia in Oakville, Ha continues: “It’s about practicality because I’ve owned a Lexus IS 350 and have friends who have nice cars that I’ve driven before, but symbol doesn’t always mean substance. I’ve worked at Mercedes-Benz and even though the cars are expensive and prestigious, they have a lot of issues and are not always the most reliable.
“The Kia Stinger is very practical; in my opinion there’s no better sports sedan on the market right now for the money. There are three trim levels available, and I got the fully-loaded version with a heated steering wheel and ventilated seats. If I were to buy a similarly equipped car from another mainstream manufacturer, it might be only available on the highest model or would cost a lot more.
“What I love most is that a lot of people will approach me in parking lots or at gas stations and compliment the car. The best part is when they ask who makes the car and I tell them it’s a Kia, they’re shocked that Kia has a car like this. It kind of looks like an Audi and that’s what a lot of people assume. That’s one of the coolest things with this car.
“Unfortunately, there are rumours they might discontinue this car soon (I suspect that it’s because it hasn’t sold well), so this car probably will only be a one generation run, but it’s a phenomenal vehicle and I am quite in love with it.”
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A CLOSER LOOK: 2021 Kia Stinger GT
“What’s great about the Stinger is that unlike most premium cars, it has rear seats that fold down so that you can carry longer things in the trunk. Not only that, it’s hatchback style so when you open the rear hatch the rear window also comes up, which increases cargo space. It’s perfect for my lifestyle.
“I’ve done some bolt on modification and enjoy doing maintenance on my car; I have lots of tools and stuff in my single garage. Since I have limited parking space, I can only have one car. The car looks longer than it really is, and many sports sedans probably wouldn’t fit in my garage, but this car fits in perfectly.”
Using torque vectoring control to adjust power output to specific wheels, the Stinger can confidently manoeuvre through any season or road condition. “It’s got all wheel drive, so it’s very stable and surefooted in winter,” Ha explains. “You just need a good set of winter tires and you’re good. And I use the car for everything, to go everywhere. I even take it through dusty areas, including junkyards that I go to get parts.”
“One feature that I really like that’s really rare in a car at this price point is its head-up display. Originally found in fighter jets, it’s basically a screen that projects images within my field of view that tells me how fast I’m going, if someone’s in my blind spot, the speed limit of the road that I’m on since it’s connected to the GPS, and if I have the radio on. This car’s got Apple CarPlay as well, which I really like because not all cars have smartphone integration so that really stood out.”
The vehicle was provided to the writer by the automaker. Content and vehicle evaluations were not subject to approval.