This post is sponsored by Kia.
About a month ago I finally decided to take the plunge and start on the process of getting my motorcycle license. Since then, I’ve been learning all about the joys of riding on two wheels. I’ve looked at everything from the related laws, to the realities of commuting on a motorbike. And I’ve started getting some practice on a scooter. It’s fun, it’s freeing, it’s the wind in your face, and it’s the palpable world all around you.
But (surprise surprise) it’s also a world apart from riding in a car, like the Kia Optima. Sure, it’s obvious, but have you ever stopped to think about just how different it really is? And when things are different, the question of “what’s better?” inevitably comes around. So… what is better: a scooter or a car? You might say I’m comparing apples to pianos, but I’m going to go ahead and tell you that I think riding in the 2014 Kia Optima beats riding around in a scooter. I’ll give you 6 reasons why.
1. “It’s cold up here, folks.” (Better protection from the weather)
Oh sure, up here in Canada we get a good three months of summer where things do get a little toasty. But we also plunge in glacial, nearly polar weather for a good chunk of the year. When you’re costing around at 50 mph with nothing but a helmet and a sturdy jacket to protect you, you will feel that -10F air dig into your skin with the added enthusiasm of the wind. In the Kia Optima, you can sit in climate-controlled air, in glorious dual-zone comfort.
2. “You want me to carry what?” (More cargo space.)
Sometimes you want to move more than just yourself from point A to point B. On a scooter you can choose to fill up the picnic-basket-sized cargo rack on the back of the bike. If you’re lucky, you’ll fit a pair of shoes and a change of socks. The 2014 Kia Optima features a 15.43 cu.ft. trunk. That’s 436 litres! Pack it with golf clubs, coolers, sandbags, suitcases, and still have some room to spare.
3. “What do you mean, ‘I got a ticket?’” (Parking can be less complicated)
While this can vary from region to region, I learned that parking a scooter can sometimes be more complicated than parking a car. Obviously a car takes more space, but if you park a two wheeled vehicle in a paid spot reserved for a car, you inadvertenly invite other riders to come share that space. The problem is the parking enforcement agent doesn’t know which one of you paid for the spot, so they’ve been known to give tickets to everyone in the spot and let them sort it out in court. Not fun.
4. “No, really, I can’t take the four of you.” (More passenger space)
After you’ve obtained your license and passed the probabtion period, you’re finally allowed a passenger (yes, this is specific to my region). A passenger… singular. But you might have more than one friend to transport. The Kia Optima features comfortable seating for five, with 102.17 cubic feet of space, and 45 inches of leg room in the front.
5. “I’m out of gas. Again.” (Bigger range)
While the scooter undeniably consumes less gas per mile than its four-wheeled counterpart, it also suffers from a serious case of gas tank envy. No matter how much less a scooter consumes per mile than a full size car, its limited tank will affect how far it can go between fill-ups. If you have to stop three times as often to put gas in your vehicle, that kind of saps some of the fun from the experience.
6. “This place really doesn’t look like where I’m supposed to be.” (Better navigation and infotainment)
When you’re on a bike, you can’t be looking at your iPhone for navigation. Matter of fact, you can’t be looking at much more than what’s ahead and what’s around if you hope to avoid being crushed from the larger vehicles all around you. This makes GPS-assisted navigation practically impossible. It also makes it pretty hard to access any kind of infotainment system. The 2014 Kia Optima features the UVO 2.0 system, which includes a robust navigation offering, as well as a plethora of infotainment options from voice-controlled media access, to smartphone integrated navigation and quick on-board diagnostic access.
So is a car really better than a scooter? Well, obviously it’s a silly question, but it’s one worth thinking about all the same. Sure, you have the wind on your face and the feeling of freedom in one hand, but you do have comfort and convenience on the other. Whichever side of the equation you land on, maybe the best approach to this dilemma is that of the Old El Paso girl: “Why not both?”