Parenthood brings lots of happiness and joy, the occasional testing time and a whole host of new challenges. One thing is for sure: your life is never the same again. You have to take a million-and-one things every time you leave the house. And that means you never see cars the same way again.
Take us, for example. One of our cars is a Fiesta ST that we have owned from our BC (that’s ‘before child’) times. It’s a brilliant car, But I now look at it and think “I can’t fit the big pram in the boot, the ISOFIX points are in the back and those big Recaros make loading the child in and out a game of human Tetris”. Happily, our other car is a more practical, family-friendly Seat Leon Sports Tourer. So it does all the family trips and the Fiesta is there to enjoy. Good family cars are life-savers, and I had two on test this month.
First up is the all-new Kia Stonic. It’s a ‘small SUV’, that has and the engines are small too: a 1.0-litre turbocharged or 1.4-litre petrol, or a 1.6-litre diesel.
My test car had the 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbo which, strangely, is the fastest model. Power is 118PS and 171Nm of torque. With its 6-speed manual gearbox 0-62mph takes 9.9 seconds and the top speed is 115mph. The Stonic is brilliant to drive, being quiet and economical when you potter along, but able to pick its feet up when you want it too: it actually feels quite nippy when you work the engine hard.
As a family car, the Stonic does all it needs to do. It’s slightly higher than a hatchback, meaning loading children in and out is easier. The boot is a decent size too. The First Edition I tested came fully loaded, including heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry and go, satellite navigation, reversing camera, lane departure warning and blind spot detection.
So this is a car that looks fun, drives fun, and has enough gadgets to keep you entertained. The price? £19,695 OTR. Great value, great family car.
The Peugeot 5008 SUV is a whole lot bigger than the Stonic. It has 7 seats, and is the length of a football pitch. The new model looks fantastic: it has similar cues to the brilliant 3008 SUV, including the game-changing i-Cockpit which creates an immersive driving experience.
My test car was fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel offering 150PS and 370Nm of torque. The performance on paper is 0-62mph is 9.6 seconds with a top speed of 129mph, but in reality you push the ‘sport’ button and the 5008 feels like it has twice that power.
The interior is the real winner though, with fabric on the dashboard and door cards, lots of mood lighting, toggle-style switchgear, sumptuous seats and a fabulous digital instrument cluster. It’s light, airy and feels very high quality. My test car had the optional Nappa leather seats with driver massage function, but I’m not sure they’re worth their £1,990 price tag.
The third row of seats fold flat into the boot floor, and even with them in place you could get a few shopping bags behind. The middle row slides backwards and forward to allow better access to the rear and distribute the ample legroom as appropriate.
Prices for the 5008 SUV start at £25,015 and the BlueHDi 150 GT Line costs £31,765. For that you get a premium-feeling but very, very big car. If you don’t need 7 seats, consider a 3008 SUV instead.
That’s it for this month. See you next time, when I’ll have something a little special for you…