Most people upgrade their car, usually looking to improve on specification, performance, or in some cases simply something newer with less miles. That was also my intention when I purchased my Kia Cee’d.
With some late March into April snow showers coming down over some parts of the UK, I thought I’d try and answer the question of which car is better when the weather is slippery. I say try, as I haven’t yet had the chance to drive the Kia in proper snowy conditions, but despite this I do have some observations to share.
Starting with the little Suzuki Alto, despite the lack of most driver aids, this car is very capable in snowy conditions. The car is light, meaning it is possible to change up gears very early to help control wheel spin and traction, something helped further by the relative lack of power. This is despite a lack of weight over the driving wheels, which can often lead to poorer traction in wet conditions. The narrow tyres cut through snow extremely well, and with care, there is little that would stop the Alto, excepting extreme conditions such as very high drifts.
Stopping, however, can sometimes cause more difficulty. Anti-lock brakes aren’t exactly known for being brilliant in snowy conditions, and annoyingly this is the one driver aid that is actually fitted to the little Suzuki. Extreme car is need when braking on snow, as the ABS (anti-lock braking system) has a tendency to either give full brakes thus locking the wheels, or absolutely no braking whatsoever. As such, it is important to allow plenty of distance to anything in front, and slow down gently using the gears.
The Kia typically performs well in wet and windy weather. The car handles brilliantly in dry conditions, and the same characteristics are true in poor weather. The traction control system performs well, and in some cases it can be beneficial to press slightly harder on the accelerator pedal, and let the car do the work for you. Under light snow accumulations (of the wet/slushy variety), the car worked well with no obvious loss of traction. Hopefully, some more snow will come so I can give the Kia a proper test.
On first impressions, both cars are capable in inclement weather. Without more first hand experiences in snow, it is hard to pick a winner between the little Suzuki and the larger Kia. However, the Alto does prove that you don’t need a big 4×4 to get around in snow.
Although I had held a driving license for a while, it was not until October 2018 when I acquired my first car. My second arrived in June 2021, intended as a replacement, but my heart has led me to keeping both. I shall write on this story later, but for now I think it is worthwhile writing a little introduction to the two cars I have.
Tweetie Pie, the 2006 Suzuki Alto
Owned from October 2018
Named Tweetie Pie (no doubt this will be the subject of another posting), my 2006 Suzuki Alto was the first car I bought. Excluding dealers, the car had one previous owner, and had only clocked up around 10,800 miles by the time I bought it in October 2018.
Costing £1,500, the car is basic, simple, but a joy to drive. Despite being basic, the car came equipped with an aftermarket looking, yet factory fitted Clarion CD/radio, brilliant heater, and front electric windows. Cheap to insure, tax, and run, I quickly fell in love with the charms of the Alto.
Performance is good, with the car averaging 50mpg since I bought it, and although 62 bhp doesn’t seem like much, the lightweight car quickly accelerates to 50 mph. Handling is good too, and although the car does have a tendency to lean, it sticks to the road well.
Dennis, the 2015 Kia Cee’d
Owned from June 2021
Acquired from a local dealer, Dennis (named after the truck/bus manufacturer), is a 2015 Kia Cee’d diesel. Bought for a little under £6,000, this family sized hatchback is a good all rounder, and is in ‘2 Ecodynamics’ spec.
The car is a diesel, something which was essential as I do some long journeys, and wanted a car with a bit more high end power than the Alto. With a 126 bhp and plenty of torque, the Cee’d has more than enough grunt, and proves invaluable when over taking slower traffic.
Despite having double the brake horsepower, fuel economy is better than the Alto. An average of 55mpg is easily attainable, with 59 mpg on motorways at 70 mph, and 52 mpg on shorter journeys. I’ve even seen 67 mpg on the trip computer once.
… and to Conclude the First Post
With both cars being economical to run, I’ve opted to keep both for the time being. Switching between the two highlights not only how different they are, but how brilliant they are in their own separate ways. I hope this blog will be the perfect platform for sharing my past adventures with the cars, as well as documenting the future journey. Keep your eyes peeled for the next post, and thanks for reading.