Last week I had the privilege of joining Kia in Dana Point to check out the new redesigned 2015 Kia Sedona and the all-electric 2015 Kia Soul EV. The California Dreamin’ event was full of excitement, beauty, good food, and even better company. The real stars were the Sedona and Soul EV though.
Travel, meals, and accommodations were covered. All opinions are my own.
Embracing the California Lifestyle
As the media invitees settled in, we were treated to a stylish “drive in” in addition to previewing the new cars. A massive inflatable screen and red velvet sofas were set up at the 5-star St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort (where we were all staying) to enjoy a movie, as we dined on the offerings of local food trucks. Did I mention the live band, fresh sushi, popcorn machine, and amazing view of the sunset?
The next day, we all got up bright and early as it was time to get down to business. We were able to hear from Kia executives and the vehicle designers. With the release of the Sedona, the full vehicle line redesign is complete. The Kia Soul was the perfect car to make EV with it’s hip look and compact but roomy make-up.
2015 Kia Sedona First Impression
After an information-packed morning, it was time to head off on our pre-planned driving route. Jasmine, blogger on Simply Real Moms and a fellow SF Bay Area blogger, and I jumped in a loaded 2015 Kia Sedona. The review on that is coming later to as not to overwhelm you with tidbits from the trip…and to tease you a little bit 🙂 Basically, this is an MPV that you’re going to love whether or not you have kids and you won’t be embarrassed driving it.
We did a quick driver switch so Jasmine could get behind the wheel. You should have seen that “speed racer” girl take those mountain curves. Well, she was able to keep up with the sports car in front with ease and leave the sports car behind us in the dust. We finally met up with the rest of the group around 1:30pm. Lunch was outdoors at Cannons Seafood Grill in Dana Point with a magnificent view.
2015 Kia Soul EV First Impression
Then it was time to hit the road again, but this time in a blue and white 2015 Kia Soul EV. This is one electric vehicle that people would feel proud to drive and won’t cost you $100K. It also has an average of some 102 MPGe. The rollout of cars will happen in only a few states at first but, as popularity grows (and I know it will), more people will be able to get their hands on one of these.
California Kia Girls Video Entry
I failed to mention that, before we were released for our drives, we were invited to participate in a contest. Using a song with “California” in the title, we were encouraged to re-write the opening lyrics to fit our experiences with the new Sedona and Soul EV. Those that recorded audio or video got bonus points.
Jasmine and I weren’t too hopeful that we would win but decided to give it a try. We actually had a blast coming up with new lyrics for Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and it was fitting as we’re both from California. The challenge was fitting words to the non-traditional rhythm of the music and the uneven arrangement of words. We came up with this and ended up winning third place, each scoring a not-yet-released Infinity One bluetooth speaker. The first place pair won the same thing but get extra bragging rights 🙂 Beware of our bad vocals . . .
The night ended with a beautifully prepared dinner and enjoyable company. Look at this venue setup!
California Dreamin’ Kia Launch Event
The California Dreamin’ event was truly a special experience. It’s always fun to learn about new cars and their features but it’s not every day that you can sit down with executives and designers to really learn about the vehicles in detail and voice your opinions about them. I was impressed with the dedication the team had to making a quality vehicle that didn’t rely on past successes or brand name alone. No, their main concern was improving the overall driving experience for each person that steps foot in one of their cars. This is apparent and something that I admire about Kia.