The Kia Stinger GT is a Lot More Than Just a Pretty Fascia – It’s Fearless. #StingerIsHere

kia Stinger highway

The Kia Stinger is a lot more than just a Pretty Fascia

No one will disagree that the all new Stinger is a remarkably appealing vehicle. Even at its lowest trim level without custom add ons now available at time of purchase or upgrades, it is undeniably striking. Cars are built for a lot more than sitting still and looking pretty though. The 2018 Kia Stinger GT is so much more than its exterior. It’s precise and powerful and at a price accessible to everyone. What I love most about this addition to the Kia line up is that they aren’t attempting to create a new story but additional chapters to the existing one. The thing is where you’ve been ALWAYS plays a part in who you are today. For many of us that means we’re stronger, wiser, and more capable than in previous years. It gives us confidence. It makes us fearless. The Kia Stinger doesn’t negate the road that Kia traveled in the years preceding. It just offers a new layer of depth and makes the miles ahead a lot more exciting.

2018 Kia Stinger

What happens on the inside is just as important, if not more so, than what is shown on the outside. During the course of a few days in California, hosted by Kia Motors North America, I had the opportunity to really get to know the Stinger and put its capabilities to the test. After being thoroughly impressed getting to drift at SEMA a few weeks ago, I kinda already knew what I was getting into but this time I would get to drive distance as well.


We were hosted at The Garland hotel which if you have the opportunity to visit, you’ll find bathed in hues of orange, warm woods, and plenty of retro vibes. If you are looking to do a little Hollywood sightseeing, you definitely don’t have to go far from property. Located only a couple blocks away is the exterior of the famed Brady Bunch house. I took a short walk with friends before dinner to catch a quick glimpse myself and of course, take a selfie or 7.

Brady Bunch House

That evening we dined under the stars in the courtyard at The Garland with a menu theme based on the movies and stars of yesteryear. The Godfather offered an Italian selection while Jaws encircled the seafood, The French Connection… well you get the idea. After dinner, we played a few groovy games in the hospitality suite and listened to vinyls on record players courtesy of Harmon Kardon.

From the moment of its unveiling in Detroit, early this January, the Kia Stinger has been turning heads. All over the internet and in print people have commented on how well designed it is. Those within the company have held an air of confidence from the very beginning knowing how well it would perform. The thing is, Kia has been designing more than just “pretty cars” for quite some time now. The K900, the Cadenza, and the Optima all hold their own in the line up and in recognition. J.D Power has ranked Kia #1 in initial quality for two straight years. Consumer Reports lists them as top 3 in reliability and in the top 6 best car brands in the market. They have been the ONLY non-premium brand to earn three APEAL awards( J.D.Power).

What’s wrong with being “pretty”?

Nothing is wrong with being “pretty”, “hot”, or “sexy”. To me, it’s just not the most meaningful part about well, anything or anyone. Reducing something to mere aesthetics alone will always initially overlook the more powerful capabilities, potential, and personal story. Looking beyond the surface will ensure you get the whole picture and Kia is no exception. Their story has been one with plenty of ups and downs. It has been thrilling one to follow and personally be part of for the past several years. The way the Stinger GT plays into their story is perhaps the most intriguing part of all for me.

So, what’s the story?

Kia Stinger GT Magic Mountain

In a few sentences or less, The Kia Motors story holds all the elements of a classic heroic story-line. A brand underdog that with time and determination has risen to the top, quite literally. Knowing it takes a team to win, they carefully curated a dynamic team, leading in design, performance, and engineering. From concept to showroom, they were able to develop something that nobody could say no to.

The Kia Stinger GT doesn’t negate the road that Kia traveled in the years preceding. It just offers a new layer of depth and makes the miles ahead a lot more exciting.

Kia Stinger GT

It’s Fearless

There was once a time in my life where I cared what other people said. I carefully considered who was watching and behaved according to what I though their perceptions might be. The problem with this is that you limit yourself and your potential to your past accomplishments or mistakes. One day all that faded away. I began to move forward not even thinking about who may be watching. I don’t know that there was this defining moment that shifted things either. Shifts like that typically happen in a series of events or over time. It didn’t mean I behaved in ways that were reckless or less than thoughtful- I was just finally free to be who I was. I’ve never considered “fearless” an attribute I posses but actually that’s exactly what I’m describing here and I think it’s the place Kia has arrived at too.

During our last laps on the auto-cross course Kia had set up, JB, Eden and I took the Stinger out for a little “Confidence Training”. There was a smoke, squealing tires and a lot of laughter after holding our breath for 30-40 seconds at a time while we trusted the driving abilities of each other behind the wheel. This is something I would never have attempted without permission but I am so glad we did it! In those moments, it wasn’t about showing off, as most of the group had already left for the rest of the scenic drive portion. It wasn’t about proving anything. It was just a drive experience where you could be confident in the skills and capabilities you already have access to in a vehicle that was equally as capable. It was about experiencing life without holding back and living to your fullest potential.

It was about living life fearlessly.

What’s next? Where do we go from here?

As exciting as it was to experience the Stinger in this way, the majority of us don’t have time for drifting and smoking tires during our daily commute. Most of us just want to escape the daily grind. This is the beauty of the gran turismo. An authentic gran turismo means long distance, high-speed, safe driving, and high-speed stability. The Stinger is designed for all of that and more.

2018 Stinger

“A true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving, is not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace,” notes Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Motors Europe. “The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey.  It’s about passion.”

Have you ever wanted to just pack a bag, get in the car and drive? This is the car for that. It’s designed for miles and miles of road and scenery. We’ve all said “one day I’d like to go…..” Don’t wait for one day. Make one day today. Find that place and take in something new. Find the places that feel right and once you get there consider staying an extra day or two. Bring a friend. There is plenty of room for their luggage too (or drone equipment depending on who you bring…. looking at you Yarby).

But wait…. what will this cost?

If I’ve sold you on performance, design and dreams, you’ve probably still got questions. I mean, we’ve all got day jobs and grocery runs after all. What exactly is this going to cost? Probably a lot less than you may be thinking.

This is where the Kia Stinger still shines and makes the most sense. An area where Kia has always excelled: affordability. Offered in five trim levels – Stinger, Stinger Premium, GT, GT1, and GT2:

  • Stinger starts at $31,900
  • Stinger Premium starts at $37,100
  • GT starts at $38,350
  • GT1 starts at $43,250
  • GT2 starts at $49,200
  • All-wheel drive:  $2,200
  • Destination: $900

“The Stinger is a prime example of Kia’s commitment to surpassing consumers’ expectations in everything we do,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “Although the Stinger is unlike any other Kia that has come before it in terms of pure driving enjoyment, it is still very much a traditional Kia in that it offers consumers a very compelling value proposition, providing excellent performance and handling, premium features and functionality when compared to its much higher-priced competitors.”

All in all this is definitely a car worth taking a look at and taking a long drive in. Stop into your local dealership and see for yourself. Fair warning, you are going to want to take this one home.

 

Making Life Changes + New Car Buying Easier


Capital One Navigator Kia Cadenza

Thank you Capital One® for sponsoring this post. Capital One® Auto Navigator® simplifies car buying and financing before you ever set foot in the dealership. With Auto Navigator, consumers can find a car and see their financing options, all in one place. Whether it’s moving to the suburbs, having children or getting a new job…as life changes happen, so do your car needs.

For the first time in 14+ years we aren’t going to be a minivan family. That’s not to say I don’t still love a good minivan. After all they are functional, reliable, can be decked out with ALL the amenities of home. Between soccer, dance, football, errands and shopping my minivan was my home away from home. Sometimes it was my mobile office because it was the only quiet place in my home to make a phone call. This summer everything is changing.

We moved to Austin Texas as a large family of six with an equally sized dog, smaller cat, and much smaller frog. This week we are moving out of the city due to my husband’s new work position and are leaving with only two children. The oldest two have flown the nest, one took the dog,  and sadly the frog died this week. We did pick up a hedgehog, Sunny, during our time here. All of that is to say there have been lots of changes.

Along with these new changes is the possibility of changing vehicle needs. In the past we absolutely needed a minivan or larger SUV to all ride together. Now with our reduced family size, our options are much more open! As life changes happen, so do your car needs.

Have you bought a car recently? Thinking about getting something new? The Capital One® Navigator website can help!

Auto Navigator Capital One

What is the Capital One® Auto Navigator® website?

Capital One developed Auto Navigator to simplify car buying and financing. Auto Navigator focuses on adding transparency to a sometimes confusing process by allowing consumers to pre-qualify for auto financing and see their financing terms before visiting a dealer.

Capital one Auto Navigator

I am a huge advocate of knowing that your time is as valuable as money in the bank. I would rather spend more time with my family and less time at the dealership talking financing. Capital One Auto Navigator makes it easy to do that part on the sofa at home, on the road traveling, or ANYWHERE because I can do it all from my phone.

It’s a big change for our family to make this transition to a new city, new home, new schools, and yes, even a new car. Changes in life are inevitable but they don’t have to be hard. Look for ways to make your life easier and recapture more of your time and finances. I’m glad companies like Capital One are thinking outside the traditional models to help us do just that.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tips for the Perfect Family Trip to Six Flags

Six Flags Spring Break
We’d like to thank Kia Motors America for sponsoring this post and providing park tickets for our day of fun! As always all thoughts,opinions, and experiences are 100% our own.

Deciding where to go and what activities to choose during spring break is always a daunting task. This year was no different. Our criteria is always about making it fun and exciting, making the most of the time we have together but without breaking the bank. Sound familiar? Since we’d just returned from a really wonderful family ski trip a couple of weeks ago, we decided staying relatively local was our best bet for a fun time. Six Flags over Texas is only 20 minutes away from our new house in Dallas and of course the kids were THRILLED at the suggestion Spring Break at Six Flag it was! Spring is actually my favorite time to visit ANY theme park because the weather isn’t too warm to enjoy a full day, there is usually a breeze.

We made sure to print our tickets at home before getting to the park to save both a bit of time and money. We also made sure everyone wore comfortable shoes and dressed in light layers.

The Kia Ride and Drive Experience at Six Flags 

Kia Six Flags

(Wait…. what IS a “Ride and Drive” anyway? I’m glad you asked.  If you’ve never been to a ride and drive, it is an opportunity to get behind the wheel of a car (or several cars)  you’ve been curious about without any sales pressure. It’s a great way to keep a current and experience new automotive technology. Sometimes there are even really great thank you gifts- see below.)

Kia Family of cars

The Kia ride & drive tent was easy to spot as we approached the entrance of the park. Everyone was super friendly and asked if we had a preference of what car we would like to drive first. Randall had been looking for a chance to get behind the wheel of the all new Cadenza for himself after I told him what a PERFECT car it would be for him after driving it during the Cadenza national press launch last year. Kaitlyn and Sebastian were looking to ride in Kia that was new to them as well. So the Cadenza it was! Our specialist drove us through the busy parking lot until we got away from the crowds and this gave Randall a chance to check out the passenger comforts of the Cadenza.

Randall at Six Flags over TX Kia Cadenza

inside the Kia Cadenza

We were really impressed with the knowledge the product specialists shared. We like to ask a lot of questions – we like knowing ALL the details. There wasn’t a single question they didn’t know the anwser to. As a thank you for our 10 min drive, each of us were given flash passes and $10 Daffy dollars to use inside the park for food or product. We also go to use a special VIP entrance eliminating the longer lines to get into the Six Flags. Flash passes are one of my VERY favorite things ever invented for Six Flags or any theme park!

Six Flags over Texas Kia

I loved that taking a 10-15 min ride in a Kia potentially saved us hours waiting in line. We also were excited to find a place to charge up our cell phones ( ProTip: Kia ride and drives almost always have charging stations.) During this time we made a plan for which rides we would go to first. We each chose one ride that was a “must do” for us. Honestly the only must do any of us really cared about was being together so there would be no splitting up the group. We all agreed we would wait in line or ride as a group for all rides. 

Charging with Kia Six Flags

Now we were charged up and ready to head into the park! The carousel was our first ride, my choice. I was worried that the kids may have outgrown the fun of it but they were as nostalgic as I was to ride it and happily hopped on their choice of carousel steed.

Next up was a Virtual Reality Coaster, the Galactic Attack! Did you know Six Flags Over Texas has total of 13 roller coasters??11 steel, 1 super-hybrid and 1 wooden! Sebastian doesn’t enjoy extreme roller coasters so I loved knowing that Six Flags has “Thrill Swap” as option for families like ours. When a child (or anyone) can’t or does not want to ride a ride, your entire party stays together and goes through the ride line. When preparing to board the ride, notify the attendant that you’d like to use Thrill Swap. One person rides, while the other stays with the child. When they return, the swap takes place; allowing the other person to ride while the child waits with the other guardian. It is a brilliant time saver and allows everyone to have a great time together.

Six Flags over Texas Kia Rides

In addition to flash passes & utilizing Thrill Swap,  I have a few more time & money-saving Suggestions to making the most of a trip to Six Flags during spring break or any time of year!

Tips for the Perfect Family Trip to Six Flags

  1. Buy your tickets online and print at home – Plan ahead for the day you want to visit, and be sure to review our website to prepare for the day. Our website offers the best deal on admission tickets, so you can save time and money at the park. You’ll be able to save up to $18, depending on the day you plan to visit. Plus, you can print your tickets at home so when you arrive at the park, you’ll skip the ticket booth and head straight to the front gate – getting you in to rides faster.
  2.  Plan your meal times earlier or later than normal – Taking a few moments to re-energize will help you stay refreshed so you can tackle more rides without getting worn out. Plan your schedule accordingly so you can spend less time waiting for meals. Eat lunch and dinner a little earlier or later than the “normal” time. This will allow you to be out riding while everyone else is eating. Then, when you’re ready to eat, you’ll miss the mealtime rush and save time, getting out to more rides as quickly as possible.
  3. BUY FLASH PASSES- I cannot encourage this enough. There is nothing better than breezing past rows and rows of other visitors to be at the front of line at your favorite ride.
  4. Take a photo of your parking spot- There is nothing worse than having a tired crew and not remembering where you parked. Snap a quick pic of your spot to help you remember and make a bee line straight to your spot. You can also purchase preferred parking to get an even closer spot to the park.
  5. Pick a meeting spot first thing- In the event that your family or group splits up or gets separated, pick a meeting spot well in advance with the understanding that you will meet there and wait. I sent my husband a text saying to meet me at the group of red picnic tables, little did I know that around the corner from me were several groups of red tables just like ours. If we had picked a spot first, we wouldn’t have lost time looking for each other.

Funnel Cakes Kia Six Flags

We always wait until after the rides are over for snacks and treats. Because we typically try to avoid fried and sugary foods, we’ll often pack a cooler for lunch and snacks in the van and get stamped for reentry. There is a nice shaded area of picnic tables right outside the park. Since it was Spring Break and we did have Daffy dollars to use from our ride & drive experience we splurged on an ice cream funnel cake. It was a super fun splurge and it was so fun to say yes to a request that seemed so whimsical and extravagant. The kids thought we were the coolest parents ever this spring break!

Funnel Cake Ice Cream Six Flags

It was a perfect ending to a perfect day! If you have spring break in the near future, check out the dates below to see when Kia will be hosting a ride and drive in your area! I highly recommend working Six Flags in as part of your spring break plans.

Chase Family Kia Six Flags

Six Flags Spring Break

Dates & Info for all upcoming Kia Six Flags Events:
4/14 – 4/16: Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355
4/14 – 4/16: Six Flags Great Adventure
1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson, NJ 08527
4/21 – 4/23: Six Flags America
13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD 20721
5/13 – 5/15: Six Flags St. Louis
4900 Six Flags Rd, Eureka, MO 63025
5/27 – 5/29: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
1001 Fairgrounds Drive SW, Vallejo, CA 94589
5/27 – 5/29: Six Flags New England
1623 Main St, Agawam, MA 01001
What are you doing this year for Spring Break? I’d love to know what YOUR plans are!

Find and Finance Your Next Car at the 2017 DFW Auto Show

DFW AUTO SHOW CAR

A recent study by Kelly Blue Book found that more than 40 percent of men and 60 percent of women don’t feel confident in car buying.

This uncertainty may be why typical car buyers spend an average of nearly nine hours on different online sites during the car buying process, according to the 2016 Autotrader Car Buyer Journey Report – spending time researching car pricing, finding actual vehicles listed for sale, comparing different models and more. Capital One® Auto Navigator® and the 2017 DFW Auto Show are coming together to help simplify the process by offering one place to find and finance your next vehicle.

What's trending at the DFW Auto Show

Find your Car at the 2017 DFW Auto Show

The DFW Auto Show is one of the largest new car and truck shows in the nation – and local car enthusiasts, families and potential buyers alike flock to see the latest and greatest car styles, models, trends and technology. It’s the perfect place to check out all the cars you’ve been considering in person with no pressure. The show is open to the public from March 22-26, 2017, so come by, walk around and experience all there is to offer. This is the best place to get a close up look, ask questions to specialists, and even get behind the wheel with several ride & drive opportunities. Ride & drives are like shopping with no sales pressure – just be sure to bring your driver’s licence with you!

Finance your Car at the 2017 DFW Auto Show too! 

One fantastic experience this year’s show is offering is the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage.  As one of the title sponsors for 2017, Capital One is inviting all DFW Auto Show attendees to the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage.  Located in Hall F, the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage is where car enthusiasts and potential car buyers can learn more about how to find and finance the car of their dreams with the Capital One® Auto Navigator®. Auto Navigator gives consumers the opportunity to see if they pre-qualify for auto financing before they visit a dealer, without impacting their credit score. Consumers can access the Auto Navigator website by going to CapitalOne.com/Cars. There you will find out whether or not you’re pre-qualified in minutes, with info on the amounts, your personal APR and payment info. From there you are pre-qualified, and whenever you are ready to shop you just take your printed summary into a participating dealership.

DFW Auto Show 2017

But Wait, There’s More…..

Throughout the show, attendees can visit the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage where they’ll have a chance to see Auto Navigator website demos and engage in an interactive photo booth.  On Saturday and Sunday (March 25-26), Chip Foose, a well-known automobile designer and industry innovator, will be at the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage to meet with fans and talk about the latest and greatest in the auto industry – including car financing.

We truly understand that buying a car is a large investment for most households and a commitment that should be considered carefully. Our family will be buying a car in the next few months and  will be attending the DFW Auto Show and utilizing  Capital One Auto Navigator ourselves. I’m looking forward to updating you with our experiences! I hope to see a few of you at the show!

For more details on location and ticket information to attend the 2017 DFW Auto Show, visit DFWAutoShow.com

For more information about the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage, visit Capital One’s Facebook page.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Traveling to Tahoe : Winter Adventure Day 1 #SorentoFamily

Traveling to Tahoe #SorentoFamilyGetting out and adventuring together as a family is what life is all about. Sunshine or snowfall, the Chases are all about finding the next adventure any time of year. So when Kia Motors America invited us to join them for some #SorentoFamily winter fun in Lake Tahoe at The Ritz-Carlton, we jumped on a plane and were on our way!

Naturally, living in Texas we didn’t own a lot of true winter gear. Skiing, snowmobiling, tubing, snowball fights, and well, virtually every activity we would be participating in required winter gear that we didn’t previously own.  Solution: GetOutfitted.com

getoutfitted.com #SorentoFamily

Did you know you can rent everything you need for the ultimate winter vacation and have it delivered right to your doorstep or resort ?! That eliminates a lot of the pressure of shopping, stuffing bulky coats, boots, gloves, goggles and everything else into your suitcase and traveling with it. Fast growing children also means renting is a much more economical option rather than investing to only get one trip out of it. We will never choose to do it any other way now and have recommended this option to several friends going on their own winter adventure.

Once we’d packed up, we headed to the airport and off to Lake Tahoe. Sebastian was super excited to check a few photos off his travel photo checklist before we had even arrived. This one with the pilots was at the top of his list.

Picture with the Pilots #SorentoFamily

When we landed we were met at the airport by some of our favorite Kia representatives who directed us to the Kia Sorento we would be driving during our stay. They were incredibly thoughtful to equip our Sorento with a cooler of our favorite snacks and a warm blanket for our drive to the resort.

#SorentoFamily Snacks

The Sorento was the perfect vehicle for our adventure! The automatic liftgate and spacious trunk made it easy to load our many bags and the other luxury features kept the whole family comfortable inside.

#SorentoFamily Luggage

#SorentoFamily features

The Kia Sorento has heated seated warmers for the front AND back seats, heated steering wheel keeping the driver’s hands toasty warm, and an expansive sunroof keeping the gorgeous mountain peaks and treetops in full view. It also provides just enough lighting for the PERFECT selfies!

Family Selfie #SorentoFamily

Our navigation system kept us going the right way even while we kept distracting each other with “LOOK OVER THERE! OH WOW!” due to all the beautiful scenery we were driving through. Thankfully, Sebastian brought his GoPro along so we wouldn’t miss a thing.

Want to see what the whole drive was like? Check out the time lapse of our drive below!

Being that this was the very first time for the kids to experience what show was really like, we knew would want to pull over and stop along the way, let them play a little bit and capture their first reactions to this gorgeous landscape. I’m so glad we did because, you guys, I’m just in love with the pictures we got and the expressions on their faces are ones I’ll never forget.

Playing in the snow lake Tahoe Kia Sorento #Sorento Family

Kaitlyn first look Lake Tahoe #SorentoFamily

We played and played. Each time we stopped it took a bit of cajoling to gather our excited children back into the Sorento so we could make our way to the Ritz-Carlton in time for check in. I couldn’t really blame them it was a beautiful day to be outside.

Kaitlyn scaling rocks in Tahoe #SorentoFamily

Lake Tahoe Trees and Kids #SorentoFamily

We were haveing so much fun on all our little roadside stops together and the real activities hadn’t even begun yet. I truly wanted to live in these moments forever.

Finding a little zen in the snow #SorentoFamily

Pushups over the water Tahoe #SorentoFamily

We encouraged them to take a few moments of zen to focus and regroup. Then off to the Ritz! They had no idea how much more fun there was to come!

This week we will have several more posts covering our Winter Adventure in Lake Tahoe. I hope you will check back each day for a new post! Until then you can check out some of our photos and social posts we did on site by following the hashtag #SorentoFamily on instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

 

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