Kia puts the fun in funky with the wonderfully appointed Sportage. This quirky compact crossover has a charming Audi-like interior and a long list of premium options. These include heated and cooled seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a panoramic sunroof, and a host of high-tech safety assists such as automated emergency braking. Although it’s only available on the top SX trim, a rowdy turbocharged four-cylinder makes the Sportage downright speedy. A 181-hp inline-four provides ample push on lower trims. Both engines mate to a six-speed automatic transmission with front- or all-wheel drive. Despite mediocre fuel economy and tight cargo quarters, the jovial Sportage is a justifiable alternative to top-ranked rivals.
Purchasing a new car is a major financial investment. Keeping it clean is an easy and inexpensive way to protect its resale and trade-in value.
Many motorists procrastinate when it comes to cleaning their vehicles. Whether you do it yourself or have it cleaned professionally, proactively keeping your car clean on the outside, and tidy on the inside, will pay big dividends when it comes to maintaining your vehicle’s value over time.
Here are five simple steps to keep a vehicle clean, helping protect it from the elements and preserve its value.
- Declutter – Start the cleaning process by removing excess clutter from inside the car as it can be distracting and hazardous, especially when debris finds its way near the gas and brake pedals. Don’t forget to clear out items that have accumulated in the trunk as they can add extra weight and reduce fuel efficiency.
- Clean the Interior – The next step is to thoroughly clean the interior, wash the windows, and clean and install floor mats. Be sure to vacuum on a regular basis. A clean and orderly interior allows you spot issues in the cabin so you can get them repaired before they get worse.
- Wash the Exterior – Give your car a good wash from top to bottom using products specifically made for automobiles. Always clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don’t use the same washing mitt or cloth for both.
- Wax Twice a Year – Waxing not only protects a vehicle’s finish, but it also makes subsequent washing easier. Before proceeding, make sure there are no foreign particles on the paint. It is important to note that waxing should be done in the shade, not direct sunlight.
- Fix Chips – If you find minor paint damage, cover the paint chips as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. For a quick fix until you can get paint touchup supplies, dab a little clear nail polish on the scratch.
If you’re in an accident, first make sure no one in the car is injured. Next, check on the passengers in the other vehicle, pedestrians and anyone else nearby to make sure they’re OK. Then do these five things:
- Stay at the scene. Leaving can result in legal consequences, like fines or additional violations.
- Call 911 or the local police immediately. They’ll dispatch an officer and medical personnel to the scene of the accident. Once the cops arrive, wait for them to complete an accident report.
- If you’re on a busy highway, stay inside the car and wait for the police or an ambulance. It’s dangerous if passengers stand along a freeway or other road with lots of traffic.
- Don’t get into an argument or a fight with the other driver. Simply exchange contact and insurance information. If possible, also get the name and phone numbers of witnesses.
- Call your insurance provider to report the claim. Your agent will ask you for any paperwork you receive about the accident, and will give you important information on getting your car fixed.