If you are just jumping into this blog for the first time, please allow me to warn you that today’s installment is a continuation from **THIS BLOG** and should be read first. I am just going to assume that you clicked the link and read the previous post and the beginning of this story first, if not- then I will assume that you like to read lengthy blogs in the same manner Quentin Tarantino tells a story… Continuing on:
After double checking with Flemming (our resident Dane and local expert), we concluded that a drive to Ebeltoft would provide my girlfriend and me with a beautiful excursion to the sea. We decided to choose a route that would expose us to windy two lane secondary roads, sleepy small towns, and scenic views of rolling hills and lush forests. What we didn’t choose, was the increased amount of caravaneers (RV folk) sharing the road with us as they headed out to national parks to enjoy an extended Danish holiday.
Being that my girlfriend and I are both consenting adults, she gave me full authorization to “politely road test” the Kia and make notes upon my real-world driving simulation. This is where science would have have a menage’ trois with Mother Nature and humanity engineering. Since our route led us into many small towns with varying degrees of stops and speed zone variations, I had a chance to simulate real-world acceleration scenarios.
The first test was a hasty 0 to 62km from a stop sign to simulate the need to escape a pack of rhinoceroses who just escaped from a local zoo. In spite of the lack of aural enthusiasm from the engine bay (after all, this IS a diesel), 62km came about rather swiftly (for an econobox) in about 6 seconds, with most of the power being delivered in 2nd gear. Since we were technically within the confines of a city speed zone, I had to settle it back down to a very Danish 50km. The back-pressure alone from the motor made this an easy feat.
Once we moved out of a city speed zone, I decided to go for another test. This time, I wanted to run a scenario where a hook-handed maniac would have happened to be clawing onto the rear hatch from another vehicle at 50km. A quick uptick to 80km should get rid of the deranged bastard. Abruptly sliding from 5th gear to 3rd proved to be a bit challenging. It was apparent to me that the synchros in the gearbox did not appreciate my sense of urgency, nor did it like my “U” shaped shift pattern. Once I was able to get into 3rd gear, the little Kia pulled strongly to 80km. In fact, the more I piloted this economical Kia, I quickly began to realize that 3rd gear IS the power gear for this vehicle.
Now knowing the mystical powers unleashed when in 3rd gear, I found it very easy to keep the turbo spooled up and be able to plow through most sweeping curves. Now things were getting exciting and the little Kia was beginning to provide additional fun to this increasingly charming econobox. In spite of the fun I was now coaxing out of the turbocharger and the several caravaners that needed to be passed in the name of science and my own personal sanity, the Kia still managed to deliver over 55 miles per gallon and the task of refueling could be delayed even further. Bear in mind that we did not fuel up before or after the Aalborg trip, nor did we need additional fuel to get to Ebeltoft.
After a morning of exploring the Danish countryside and experiencing the picturesque shore, we decided to head into the heart of the historic, seaside community of Ebeltoft to find lunch. As we worked our way through the narrow network of cobblestone streets, flanked by orange, terracotta roofed relics of a time long passed, we appreciated the relatively small size of the Kia. Measuring in at 159.3in, the Rio hatchback provided us with a small 34.5ft turning circle, which made it the perfect chariot for negotiating the old world streets of Ebeltoft. After a few random turns, we found ourself in front of a local cafe’ that offered a truly Danish lunch experience. We raised our glasses of “mineralvand” (mineral water) and toasted our day along with the little Kia that could and did, but yet- I still yearned for more…
Do you have a driving experience to share? Leave your story in the comment section below!
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