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Family car – how to choose the perfect model?

Planning to buy a family car? Check what parameters you should take care of!

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What is a family car? Certainly among the important features in this case is the valued large space inside the cabin and in the trunk. Safety, reliability and comfort are also valued. What else should be taken into account? Which models are considered to be particularly functional?

A car for a family – what should you consider?

Starting a family, or even expanding it by more than one child, first influences the decision to build a house, buy or rent an apartment with a larger usable area. One of the next decisions, often made quickly, is to replace the car. What should it be replaced with? In the first place, it is not about a specific model, but rather the features that should characterize it

Cabin and trunk space

Depending on the size of the family, we can choose a car for five people or a very large seven-seater. In practice, it will always be important that it is a spacious car, and here it is not only about the number of seats. The amount of space for individual passengers is also important.

Space for passengers

It’s essential to make sure you have enough space for the family – even if you’re going on a long journey. Maximizing the space in the cabin should especially involve making sure that there is leg room and nothing gets in the way overhead. Additionally, a car seat needs to fit. In case it concerns a seat for one baby, as a rule there is no problem. The situation may be worse when the family has two or three children.

Storage

When you go on a trip with your children, for example, you need to take toys and accessories with you. It’s worth trying to choose a car that has space for such things in front of the passengers, but also in the cockpit or armrests. Additional beverage holders are also a great convenience.

Luggage compartment

The capacity of the trunk is important not only for trips, but also for larger purchases, which in the case of a large family are often very impressive. It doesn’t immediately have to be a Volkswagen Sharan where you can fit as much as 955 litres, but it’s worth a decent 400 litres

Eric MClean/Unsplash

Safety systems

Safety is, of course, paramount. They can be divided into systems that prevent accidents and those that mitigate their effects. Airbags and curtains, anatomical headrests or controlled crumple zones are increasingly regarded as basic equipment. However, it is worth paying extra to equip our machine with, for example, active cruise control, lane assist or various types of control sensors, which will make it easier for us to pass pedestrians and other vehicles.

Amenities for families with children and driving comfort

You should pay attention to the fact that the car has an isofix system, which makes it easier to install a child seat. It’s also no secret that quietness in the cabin and good cushioning will help when the baby is about to fall asleep. It will be more difficult for him to wake up and he will tolerate better even a very long journey. It is also good for the car to have multi-zone air conditioning, which can be better adjusted to the health requirements of the youngest.

Reliability and low running costs

A family car must combine unusual combinations of features. Remember that we will have to drive it often for many kilometers. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that it is faultless – we must be sure that it will always work when we urgently need it. It is also good that driving it is quite economical. Hence, you may want to consider a larger investment and purchase a car with a hybrid engine in any of the available variants.

Popular models to consider

There are many cars available on the market that aspire to be ideal family cars. We are talking about not only new cars, but also used cars with low mileage. However, it is possible to notice popularity trends that indicate that certain models are more trusted. These include:

  • Volkswagen Tiguan,
  • Skoda Octavia,
  • Volkswagen Passat,
  • Skoda Superb,
  • Honda CR-V.

Photo: jeshootscom/Pexels

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Moto&tech

Automatic or manual transmission – advantages and disadvantages

“Automatic” or “manual”? Is either transmission better or does it all depend on the personal preferences of the driver? Learn the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions before you make a decision on the purchase of a car!

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Among motorists, the arguments about what is better: automatic or manual transmission are not quieting down. Proponents of traditional solutions complain about the automatic transmission, proving that there is nothing better than “manual”. Others again praise the convenience of the “automatic” and vow never to return to a manual transmission. As in any dispute, each side is a little bit right. We will try to give you a factual presentation of the pros and cons of both solutions. 

Manual transmission – advantages

Ability to use the full dynamics of the engine

On a manual transmission you can immediately accelerate your car to the highest speed. A classic automatic at a certain rpm begins to shift gears, so a manual transmission provides greater driving dynamics.

Lower fuel consumption

With efficient gear shifting, as well as the ability to idle, you can save a lot on fuel. Such benefits will not be provided by an automatic transmission, in which even putting in slack while driving is discouraged.

Lower oil consumption

Every transmission needs a special fluid. An automatic transmission requires 6 to 10 liters of oil, while a mechanical transmission requires about 3 liters.

Manual transmission – disadvantages

Driving comfort

The first disadvantage of a manual transmission is lower driving comfort, which is felt primarily by novice drivers. They find the starting maneuver especially difficult, as well as driving uphill.

Clutch

Poorly dynamic and smooth driving can lead to clutch burnout. And this caution applies especially to inexperienced drivers. And replacing the clutch is already an expensive repair, which automatic drivers, by definition, do not have to worry about.

Engine life

Lower engine life in cars with mechanical transmissions is due to the fact that their drivers easily allow the engine to overheat, especially if they like to drive fast.

Automatic transmission – advantages

Different dynamics

While a classic automatic with a torque converter actually severely limits the car’s performance, automatic dual-clutch transmissions such as DSG perform better than a manual transmission. When driving on such an automatic, two gears are engaged at the same time, which makes shifting up or down very fast.

Different fuel consumption

A classic automatic actually consumes more fuel, but newer models or transmissions use much less fuel than manual transmissions.

Smoothness of driving

An automatic transmission means a more comfortable driving experience. Even an inexperienced driver can smoothly, without nerves or the so-called “kangaroo”, start the car without posing a risk on the road.

Longer engine and transmission life

Automatic transmissions control the revs more and protect the engine from overheating.

Automatic transmission – disadvantages

As noted above, a car with a classic automatic accelerates more slowly than a vehicle with a manual transmission. The classic also has only four gears and consumes more fuel than a manual transmission. All models, both newer and older, require more transmission oil. 

The undeniable downside of automatic cars is also their higher price. The cost of operating and repairing an automatic transmission is also much higher, and you should know that according to statistics, manual transmissions break down much less often.

main photo: unsplash.com/Jean-Philippe Delberghe

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How to care for upholstery in the car?

Proper care of car upholstery will help keep it in good condition for longer and thus reduce unnecessary expenses. See how to take care of the upholstery in your car.

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Regardless of the type of material used, each car upholstery requires care in order to serve longer and remain in good condition. How to properly take care of it?

Upholstery in the car is exposed to dirt and damage with every use. Therefore, proper protection and care are necessary to keep it in good condition. How to care for it?

Protect upholstery from dirt and damage

Upholstery can be damaged for example when getting into the car with pockets stuffed with keys or other sharp objects. It’s just as easy to get stains that are difficult to remove, especially when the car is used by snack fans. It can be very difficult to remove some stains and even end up with discoloration. Therefore, it is worth protecting the upholstery with covers that can be easily removed and washed. The variety of available models will surely allow us to choose the right one. 

Remove dirt on a regular basis

The key to success in keeping upholstery clean is to remove dirt on a regular basis. It is much easier to get rid of fresh stains and dirt. Continual procrastination in cleaning the upholstery may lead to a condition where it can only be replaced. The way of cleaning and cleaning agents should be adjusted to the type of material.

Leather upholstery

Striking leather upholstery definitely requires systematic cleaning. Especially that stains from leather can be removed relatively easily if we do it as soon as the dirt appears. 

The first step when cleaning leather upholstery is thorough vacuuming. Do not forget about the spaces in the bends between the seats and the backrests of the seats. After removing dust, wipe the upholstery with a soft cloth dampened with water. 

Then, using a special preparation for cleaning leather upholstery, wipe the entire surface again. Especially if there is visible dirt on the leather, you should not use any other agents than those designed for leather car upholstery.

For the effect to last as long as possible, it is good to use a preservative, such as a special cream or wax. In this way we will put on the upholstery additional protection against dirt and abrasion.

Fabric upholstery

In case of fabric upholstery, we should act as soon as we notice contamination. The material is characterized by the fact that it absorbs dirt, so delaying its removal may end up in such a situation that the stain will become impossible to remove without visible damage to the upholstery or discoloration. 

Upholstery cleaning, just like leather cleaning, starts with thorough vacuuming of its surface. Then we proceed to clean the material using products for car upholstery. Some people use household cleaning products, but if you do not want to risk possible damage or discoloration, it is best to use special products designed for cleaning fabric upholstery.

Remember to wait a little after washing the upholstery before using it – preferably a few hours. Then the cleaning agent will have a chance to be absorbed well and the fabric will have time to dry.

main photo: pexels.com/Iwan Wasyl

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Year-round or seasonal tires?

Wondering whether to switch to winter or all-season tires? Find out what the differences are!

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Summer is slowly giving way to autumn, it’s getting cooler, it’s raining more and more – before we know it, October will be on our calendars

For many drivers this is also the time of the annual tire dilemma. Is a change to winter tires still necessary in the current climate, or will good all-season tires suffice?

Comparison of seasonal and all-season tires

Replacing worn out tires with new ones can be a painless process – just buy the same make, model and size that are matched to your vehicle by the manufacturer when it was new. But there are many makes, models and sizes available that can affect how your car performs in certain weather conditions.

For most people, tires come in three different versions – summer, winter or all-season. Each is designed for a specific set of parameters that vary between brands and each has specific advantages and disadvantages. It is important to understand what each tire can and cannot do, and to compare its capabilities to the driving conditions we are likely to experience.

Summer tires

Typically marketed as performance tires, summer tires are best suited for warmer weather. They are made of a softer rubber compound and usually feature large tread blocks to ensure maximum contact with the road.

As a result, summer tires generally have better grip in both wet and dry conditions and provide optimal cornering and braking. However, as temperatures drop, their soft rubber hardens, which significantly reduces grip. In addition, lower temperatures can cause the edges of the tread block to chip or the rubber compound to crack.

Winter tires

When temperatures drop significantly, you really should consider a set of winter tires for your car. These have a deep tread pattern and a series of very thin cuts, called sipes, across the tread. The deep tread can help flush out excess slush, while the sipes and other ridges help push the snow itself between the tread blocks, providing excellent grip. Sipes also provide balance on icy surfaces.

Winter tires also use rubber that is specially formulated to provide better grip on cold, dry pavement. Even if you don’t experience snow on a regular basis, winter tires are still the best choice when temperatures are cold.

All-season tires

The vast majority of new cars arrive at dealerships equipped with all-season tires, however, because they can perform well on dry or wet roads, as well as on roads with light snow.

However, we should think of all-season tires as a “something for something” solution. All-season tires may perform adequately on dry, warmer roads, but they won’t give you the same level of handling and grip as a summer tire.

They may have a longer life than summer or winter tires, and they may get you to the ski slopes as long as the mountain road is only lightly covered with snow. But even then, they won’t stop or corner as well as winter tires when it gets really cold.

So when deciding which tires to choose for your car, it’s worth considering what conditions you plan to drive in. If you need a car for city driving and are not planning any long trips, especially in winter, all-season tires can be the ideal solution. Otherwise, it is nevertheless worthwhile to go for more safety and precision.

Main image: Vedat Kandemir/unsplash.com

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