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Practical city car – what parameters should I pay attention to when buying?

What should you look for when choosing a city car to actually make it practical? Here are some important features.



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Even if there is no single ideal city car, it is good to look for features which will bring it closer to this ideal. Low fuel consumption, compact dimensions, maybe low emission level? Here is a discussion of the most often mentioned parameters that make a city car practical.

European-style car

Town cars are a typically European invention. They are adapted to the rhythm of life in big cities with narrow streets and continuous shortage of parking spaces. At the same time they are used to commute to work, which is usually located at the other end of the city. They do not have to be as strong and powerful as American SUVs. When we think about them, in our imagination we see the immortal Mini Cooper speeding through the streets of Paris or Rome. Although in recent months sales of these cars have fallen in favor of the growing segment of SUVs, many people still opt for small city cars


A city car should be new first and foremost. This is a higher expense at the start, but it will pay off in lower operating and maintenance costs. It is worth to be guided by opinions concerning reliability of particular cars – e.g. customer satisfaction survey conducted by German institute J.D. Power can be very helpful.

Long warranty period

Manufacturers of high quality cars are not afraid to give a fairly long warranty period. It is worth paying attention not only to its duration, but also the terms of loss, the possibility of buying the so-called “extended warranty” or warranty

Low price

A city car has to be, above all, cheap. Unfortunately, it often happens that the basic version, although cheap, is also extremely poor. Additionally, Poles are more and more willing to choose cheap SUVs, such as Dacia Duster, which can be purchased at comparable prices to city cars. Cheap cars in the segment in question are:

  • Toyota Aygo X 1.0 VVT-i 72 KM – from 38 800 PLN;
  • KIA Picanto M 1.0 DPI 67 KM – from 39 900 PLN;
  • Fiat Panda Easy 1.2 69 hp – from PLN 40,900
  • Hyundai i10 Access 1.0 MPI 67 hp – from PLN 40,900
  • Mitsubishi Space Star Inform 1.0 75 hp – from PLN 40,990.

Low fuel consumption

A city car will very often have to stand in traffic jams. Until recently, cars with gas installation were considered to be the peak of savings in such conditions. Currently, more expensive hybrid engines, which allow lower fuel consumption e.g. while standing in traffic jams, are gaining popularity.



Modern safety systems supported by innovative technologies should also be present in the equipment of city cars. Automated braking assistance when a pedestrian or another vehicle is detected is a very valuable capability that should be taken into account. Other important technologies include dusk and rain sensors and lane keep assist.


This element of evaluating a car is a bit more complicated. A comfortable city car is one that is spacious, but also small in size. It’s also good for it to be easy to drive

Compact size

Congestion and narrow parking lots make small car size a price to pay. We are talking mainly about the A segment, that is the smallest cars up to 3.5 m long. Currently there is a tendency to expand cars considered to be urban. It is worth adding that such a car must also be maneuverable


It is the comfort that is behind the fact that city cars are getting bigger and bigger also when it comes to interior dimensions. It is important not only to have a spacious cabin, but also sufficient space in the trunk. This should allow a family of three or four to do a week’s worth of shopping. Here, however, you should rather lean towards choosing a car from the B segment. Especially large engines have, for example, the Seat Ibiza (355 l), Skoda Fabia (330 l), or Hyundai i20 (326 l)

Automatic transmission

This is one of the solutions recommended especially by people who spend a lot of time on the road in the city. Cab drivers, among others, praise it

Nice design

There’s no denying that a stylish design is also important when it comes to city cars. This is especially important for ladies who choose city cars. Examples of beautiful city cars? Of course Mini Cooper, Fiat 500 or Citroen DS 3.

photo: Dhruv Singh/Unsplash

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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!



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.


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: 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.



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: 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!



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/

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