20 years ago when I started driving ( yes.. I am that old..) was also the time that Kia started producing their vehicles. I remember when looking for a car seeing them and then later hearing some of the not so great stories that went with them. That could be why when I did my first car review for them I was weary and unsure to expect from this brand even years later. After driving the Optima for the first time I was hooked and quickly found myself singing the praises of Kia long after the vehicles had left my home. Last week I had the opportunity to fly out to San Diego and spend a few days getting to know more about Kia as a brand as well as drive some their newest vehicles ( which are amazing!). San Diego is an amazing choice location for an event like this and staying in the heart of the Gaslamp district surely set the stage for an awesome few days.
I knew going in that I was going to have a good time, but what I didn’t know was that I would leave having formed new friendships and also feeling the need to purchase a Kia…now let me tell you why. Before getting behind the wheel of these new vehicles, we had the opportunity to hear a little bit about the Kia brand and the love they have for what they do from the experts. The Kia brand started 20 years ago and with only 2 cars ( the Sephia and the Sportage). Since then they have grown to 12 different models ( with the Cadenza and the Niro on the way). In the beginning the reviews were not so great and Kia wanted to learn how they could change all of that. Over the years they have improved in every way possible bringing us what I consider some of the best automobiles you can get. Now you don’t have to take my word for it. Jd Powers ranked them number 1 in the automotive industry for initial quality and just testing one out you’re sure to know why. But the sky is not the limit for this brand, always thinking forward they constantly set the bar for other companies both in their vehicles and the people who bring them to us.
Driving the Kia brand automobiles has always been a favorite of mine and this time was no exception. I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of both the Forte and the Soul. 2 different cars with the same amazing quality. The Forte reminded me of a more compact version of the Optima with its slick, clean lines and high performance on the road. It hugged all of the curves nicely while providing a smooth ride the entire time. The Harmon Kardan stereo system had the tunes rocking out and the clarity was great. Music while driving is very big for me, so to be able to test this baby out and have it pass was a huge plus.
The Kia Soul is also a car I am bias to as I love the design concept behind it,the funky feel it provides and of course with the kids the extra space helps. The 2016 model has improved on a car that I already thought was fantastic. It drove like a dream to the Light house near by in San Diego! I mean… look at how happy my driving partner looks after that drive ( and no he’s not just happy he made it there alive driving with me!).
All I can hope is that the Kia Brand continues to make the amazing strides it has in the future and keep producing the quality vehicles I have grown to adore. With a brand like this and the amazing people behind it I have no doubt we can expect amazing things!
Stay tuned this week as I drop some more amazing articles about Kia, their community involvement, and of course their newest vehicles!!