Driving was always a fun and pleasurable thing for me back in the day… I just loved cars and I loved being behind the wheel cruising along to my tunes! And then the kids come along, and suddenly driving becomes a whole new test and minefield; from fitting car seats, loading up the boot and trying to get anywhere on time, all whilst trying to avoid a break down from all of the nagging and whining in my ears on journey’s longer than 5 minutes! It’s then you realise you have suddenly been flung from cool to “Hi my car is filled with tat, tiny humans, has stale rice cakes down the seats and who knows what crushed in to the carpets”. Life is never the same again, no more cool cars, and before you know it… mid 30’s driving an MPV!

But thanks to Kia there is a way to keep cool for that bit longer – meet the All-New Kia Stonic – designed for new parents and those of us who are not yet ready to grow up!

To celebrate the launch of the All-New Kia Stonic Urban Crossover, Kia is hosting a new test drive initiative introduced to help dads-to- be practise for the transition to fatherhood, covering everything from the drive to the hospital to the dreaded first car seat fitting. And whilst not a dad myself (Obvs) I was invited along on Thursday to Ringways Leeds to test drive the New Kia Stonic, and found it to be a beaut of a little car!

I was so nervous to drive a brand new car, but it was great to drive. A I pulled out of the dealership, I suddenly remembered what life behind the wheel of a cool clean car, minus messy kiddies feels like, and it was such a treat!

 The Kia Stonic in my opinion is both stylish and practical. It is packed with lots of tech and comes in an array of bright colours. I love the stop start button (looked a bit blonde asking where the keys were!) and the seats are comfortable and heated. The steering wheel was slick and easy to manoeuvre, and also heated for those cold mornings! The reverse camera system with dynamic lines made it all the more easier to park and reverse, and I loved that the interior throughout has a real sporty feel. Another amazing feature is that whether apple or android, you can sync your tunes/sat nav for all of the rare times your’e not enduring the sound of nursery rhymes on repeat!!! It does have built in sat nav too, which of course is mint, and car seats are easily fitted in the back with ample room.

Being tall I found the steering wheel a little squashed, at least until I realised you can move it up and down (ha) and in and out too (novel)… this ensured that it was in prime position for optimum comfort. Overall I just loved driving it, it was easy, smooth, very comfortable and made me feel cool again!

Prior to driving the Stonic, I took part in a speed challenge around the show room where I collected various baby items to lob in a not so stylish nappy bag, and then was challenged to fit the car seat, before taking it on a test drove through the city to the LGI hospital! I found the car seat easy to fit (and of course nailed it now im an expert), and loved the driving challeng too. Breaking was excellent, the seats were comfortable, and I loved that on the mirrors there are warning lights if you get too close, or try to switch lanes too soon! The boot isn’t massive but certainly ample for a pram and a few bags…

This car would be brilliant for young, first time parents that want something cool, stylish and yet practical too. It is pimped out with extras, and lovely to drive, so for those of us who want to drive something fun for a little longer too this certainly ticks the boxes on that one! I think a family with one or 2 kids would find this a prefect sized car to drive in style and comfort, and being a crossover it has that SUV feel with out being too big or hard to manoeuvre.

With my growing tribe of kids, it unfortunately isn’t even a consideration for us (though I do like the Kia sorento – hello 7 seater life). I did think whilst driving it though that it would be an excellent 2nd car for dads who commute, but then might also need to use their car for the odd kids thing too, because like I say, a car seat fits in easily and its still cool and sporty. It was a 1 litre but very nippy and powerful (even with 3 adults in) and I found it generally to be a lovely easy car to drive.

Its mid range in cost and like all Kia’s it comes with a 7 year warranty which is absolutely amazing. It means that you can certainly have reliability and peace of mind when driving with your little ones! The All-New Kia Stonic is the company’s first offering in Europe’s booming small crossover market and is available now at Ringways Leeds Kia (or your local Kia dealership). Contact them now for a test drive!

*Sponsored post

 

Family Fever
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Tomorrow our summer holidays officially start and whilst I have a sneaky feeling several days will be complete madness, I can not wait for some summer fun with the kids! As I look ahead over these next few weeks of hopefully long hot summer days and lots of adventures with them, I am reminded of a couple of summers ago, when whilst pregnant with Poppy, a spontaneous beach trip turned into a tyre blow out and being stranded with 2 kids, no food and a lot of heat, at the side of a country lane. The time it took to have my sister come save us, get the wheel fixed and be back on the road, we had to get home again and were all well and truly gutted to have missed out on a fun day with grandma at the seaside.

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For a few weeks now we have had on the fridge door a whole months worth of plans for the kids and I to enjoy and make the most of this years summer holidays. I know from looking which days we will need a picnic, which days we will stay home, approximate expenditure and the days we need to drop some texts in advance to hopefully have friends or cousins join us. I am a planner and I like to be in control and know whats happening. It makes life easier to organise the kids and be confident in what I am doing as mother, its even more important to me now that I have a new born baby to have some kind of plan so that I know what I am doing day to day to avoid stress. The mistake I made 2 summers ago was not that I decided to be spontaneous and go against the plan, it was that I hadn’t or rather we as a family hadn’t planned properly for summer generally. Its easy to plan picnics and day trips, throw in the sun hats and cream, plan to take extra clothing or wellies etc, but one thing many of us miss is making sure the car is ready for summer, after all it is that that is doing all the work in getting us safely to our adventures and home again. I learn’t just 2 years ago after driving for almost 10 years that there is something known as winter and summer tyres and that day when I took my wheel with its battered tyre on to the garage I not only had to pay a premium but was made aware that we in fact had a winter tyre on and this wasn’t suitable for the increase in heat for the summer, thus causing a blow out and potentially dangerous situation for us all, especially when just 20minutes previous we had been on the busy M62!!!

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I recently found a website called “Point-S” where they make it extremely straight forward to buy cheap tyres suitable for your car and the season we are in (take a look its pretty great). I cannot tell you enough how scary and generally inconvenient that day was, and each summer since I have thought about it and pondered on what might have happened. As a mother I think how we protect our kids from the sun, from the dangers of water, and strangers, when all along we could be driving in dangerous conditions because we have over looked the tyre situation on our car for summer.
So to avoid a summers day stranded with your kids or risking the safety of you all whilst out and about, check the car and check the tyres before you are planning budgets, outfits, picnics and outings and lets all have an amazing chilled, fun and safe summer !

*This is a collaborative post

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