I found a love, and her name is Kia. I found a love, and her name is Kia.

Posted in Life by Garrett Hammerel | Views: 3948

Imagine being really excited about something, but not being able to tell anyone, like winning the Powerball but keeping your mouth shut long enough for the rest of the people in your office lottery pool to realize you aren't coming back. Ok, maybe not that bad, but pretty damn close. I had a confession to make: I fell in love with a Korean car, and I couldn’t tell a seoul.

I was raised in a very strict household. Men grew up and had relationships with American cars. That was it. My brother once dabbled in Toyota, but that was as far east as we went. That little pickup had great mileage and all, but what I felt for this car was completely uncalled for. What car, you ask?

It's called the Kia GT-4 Stinger, and it's fucking incredible. Was I crazy?

I tried justifying it to myself - “Volkswagen used to be a shitty brand. No one wanted to own Datsuns back in the day!”

I knew I couldn’t shake it. The more I tried to forget what I had seen, the more it drew me to do more Google image searches. I was head-over-heels and coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs.

Roughly a week later, I broke it to my wife. “‘Honey, I have something to tell you. You’re gonna want to sit down for this. Please don’t leave me.”

Almost immediately after telling her, she shook her head and walked away. Maybe she was disgusted by me. Maybe she just thought this wasn’t worth her time. Maybe she was going into the kitchen for a glass of water. Either way, she came back a few minutes later and agreed that I wasn’t so far off base. After telling my car friends, they were just as receptive. Vindication!

The first time I saw this car was on my first break at work. I was checking out the auto show news, and stumbled upon its Parrot fish maw. I thought it was hideous until I read some more. 315 hp, 6-speed manual, 2800 pounds, analog. Analog. ANALOG! That’s the word that encapsulated everything I wanted in cars! Suddenly, Kia had my attention.

Looking past the previously dismissed grille, I started really looking at it. There’s something very Sport 800 about this car. Something very old, and yet very new. That long, low hood, the nonexistent rear end, the vertical headlights, the simple grille, the fender flares, the simple, the simple, the simple. The more I looked at the car, the more I saw what wasn’t there and the more I loved it. There was no useless venting and fog-lampage in the front. Chris Bangle didn't get his grubby and oddly-shaped mitts on it. No crazy ridges on the rear. This thing was simple, and simple is amazing. 

I was so mesmerized, that I was able to forgive the GT-R-esque C-pillar and roofline. It’s still 2014, after all.

Now that I've had more time to consider the GT-4 and it’s implications, I'm in love without a shadow of a doubt. I knew from the beginning of the Toyobaru experiment that light, fun cars would change the car landscape forever. Gone would be the days where our only options for fun cars were cars that weighed over 3000 lbs or Miatas. This would be a new generation of hooning. Manufacturers would see again that there was interest again in cars that stirred the soul and the imagination.

We're on the brink of a very exciting time. A time where the concept of “analog” has re-entered the conversation. A time where lightweight is a commodity. A time where simplicity and purity trump complexity.

A time where being in love with a Kia isn’t such a bad thing.

Want to read more from Garrett Hammerel?

Check out more articles at Let's Just Drive

Also, consider supporting us by bookmarking the Amazon.com link below and using it before you buy anything. It costs you nothing extra, and it lets us keep producing free content for car people everywhere. Thanks for your support!




  • Here's The Real Reason Why /DRIVE Started Charging For Content

    Views: 15675

    If you're a car enthusiast, chances are, you've seen a /DRIVE video, but you probably also saw that they were one of the first major channels that have moved to a premium model of content, meaning that each month, the subscriber gets charged to watch the high-quality videos the channel puts out. Admittedly, people were pissed and many theories came about as to why a channel with that many loyal followers would do such a drastic move. Mike Spinelli, one of /DRIVE's main personalities, puts all the rumors to rest in a quite reasonable way. 

    | Read More »

  • How Can You Get 200,000 YouTube Subscribers Starting From Nothing?

    Views: 6218

    Regular Car Reviews may be the funniest car channel on the internet today, bar none. It combines quick-witted, super-specific references with toilet humor and insightful commentary to make something that you can't help but binge watch. In this edition of Offtrack, I sat down with Mr. Regular as he explained to me why Delaware isn't such a great state and why people get weird when they meet celebrities. This may get odd. 

    | Read More »

  • Here's The One DIY Guide Every BMW Owner Must See

    Views: 20823

    BMWs are great cars for the most part. Their performance per pound make them a serious competitor in the market for people that want a thrilling driving experience. But they do have an achilles heel: The cooling system. As the system is sealed, meaning that there's nowhere to bleed off air when in normal running condition, bleeding the system properly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your car running for years to come. Here's how to do it, the right way. 

    | Read More »

All auto modifications and repairs listed at APiDAOnline.com are to be done at your risk. APiDAOnline.com does not, at any point, assume responsibility of any injury, damage, or charges that may occur through modifying or repair of your or anyone else's car. Car modifications are to be done at your discretion and should be done by qualified individuals. Please check your motor vehicle regulations regarding any car modifications or car tuning you may do to ensure they are street legal.