Exit Lane: Luca Monti

Luca Monti
Director of Sales & Marketing
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites London

2013 Kia Rio5 Eco
1.6-litre inline four, 138 HP
77,000 kilometres

THIS IS THE first vehicle that I purchased new, off a lot. And to be honest, before buying this car everything I thought I knew about Kia was negative. I looked at the brand as unsafe and unreliable. I was driving a Honda Fit at the time, and a friend who had worked for Honda locally had moved to a Kia dealership in Guelph, and he educated me on the specs and ratings and how Kia had stepped up their game.

I LOVE THE hatchback for versatility, and it has a lot of options that I didn’t have on my Fit: heated seats, Bluetooth, cruise control, sunroof. I’m an eighties child and grew up with Knight Rider, so having a car I can talk to and that can do things for me is pretty cool.

THE SUNROOF WAS installed as an aftermarket addition—it wasn’t an available option when I bought the car. Every so often, I’ll see other Rio drivers staring at it; I’m sure they’re wondering how I managed to get a sunroof option.

IT TAKES ABOUT $40 to fill my tank, and that lasts me about two-and-a-half weeks of driving in the city. I drove to Ottawa recently on one tank of gas.

SOME OF MY friends call it the ‘grampa car’. They seem to think I’m too big for the car, and I’d be better suited to a SUV or larger vehicle. But, for the most part, it’s just me, or me and a passenger. There is rarely someone in the back seat, so there’s plenty of legroom and lots of space.

I’VE NEVER BEEN one for winter tires; I never really saw the need for it. But last winter changed that. As a driver, it was the first winter I’d come across with a lot of snow. Still, I was stubborn. But after getting stuck a bunch of times, I finally broke down and bought a set of winter tires. I should have done it sooner.

THESE DAYS, EVERYONE seems to say they prefer the height of a SUV or taller vehicle because it makes them feel safer. I actually prefer being lower to the ground. I think I’m able to read the traffic around me a little better from that perspective. I think being closer to the road has allowed me to deke out of an accident or two.

ONE OF MY favourite destinations is Ipperwash beach in the summertime. That’s the beach area I love to go to, and I love taking that drive.