Kia Soul, Has Plenty of It

You’ve probably seen the commercials with the hip hop hamsters driving around town in their cool car.  The Kia Soul has not only catchy styling but is also fun to drive. I’m not kidding when I say this really was one of the most fun cars I’ve ever driven.

The Kia Soul is very roomy and can fit 5 adults comfortably.  We were able to bring our two kids in booster seats and two dogs with ease.  Kia classifies the Soul as an “urban crossover.” It’s made for city driving and has the capacity of a small SUV but drives like a compact car with oomph under the hood.

Kia lent us a red Soul to drive for a week and we took it everywhere! We went from the vineyards of Temecula Valley to the beaches of Newport. The seats are super comfy and the climate control allows the perfect temperature.  It makes even the shortest trip to the store feel like a party. The second-row seats fold forward to boost cargo area over 53 cubic feet, and the cargo floor lifts to expose more storage area; a fitted cargo organizer separates the space into useful bins.

 

The vehicles come with an optional voice activated navigation, satellite radio and a back up camera for extra safety.  This was a feature I wish came on every car because it makes backing up from the driveway or in a parking lot so much easier and safer.  There are also side curtain airbags to provide extra protection to all passengers in the event of an accident.

Edmonds says:

In government crash tests, the Soul earned an overall score of four stars (out of five), with four stars for overall frontal impact protection and five stars for overall side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Soul its highest score of “Good” in its frontal offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

The 2013 Kia Soul comes in 8 different color choice with numerous interior options including what I call, LED disco lighting! It’s awesome. The lights change color and get be set to respond the music playing in the car on the amazing sound system.

The starting price is a little over $14,000, which is affordable considering the fantastic gas mileage it gets. Like all Kias, it also has a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty.  This month, Kia is also giving a $500 bonus towards purchase for members of the military on a 2013 Kia Soul.

2013 Kia Soul

 

*This was not a compensated post. Kia lent me a vehicle to drive for this review.

Forward with Ford 2011 Event

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend Forward with Ford, a huge conference at Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. We were treated to some great ideas about transportation, technology and how it relates to us moms (and dads!).

Ford’s Futuring and Trends Conference was an interactive immersion into how Ford’s innovations, technologies and philosophies, in alignment with top consumer influences and needs, are shaping our world of tomorrow. We heard from several major thought leaders and experts of the day, like Malcolm Gladwell, Ed Begley Jr. and Joel Garreau, who explained how Ford is tuned in with today’s global trends. In the coming weeks, I will post a few blogs highlighting information covered that I think you will find of interest, particularly with the advances in safety that Ford is focused on.

I was really impressed also about all of the green initiatives that Ford has undertaken including the use of recycled and sustainable materials in their cars, like soy-based foam for the seat cushioning, recycled yarns in the upholster threading, and recycled plastics throughout the vehicle.  Today’s cars are also getting better MPG than ever, even with the traditional gas-powered cars.

Ford Focus preview and Idol chat

Memorial day weekend is a popular time for people to test-drive and buy new cars.  Before you go out, you might want to read a bit about my experience previewing the latest technology from Ford.  This past week, I was invited up to Los Angeles to test drive the new Ford Focus.

You might have seen other cars that can parallel park themselves, but until you actually try it in a Ford, you have no idea how cool this is!  We drove up to Dodger Stadium, using the Ford Sync Touch system in the car (which is also the simplest voice activated GPS/radio/hands-free phone technology to date).  Once there we got to actually use the built in system that allows the car to park itself.  You do still have to control the gas and brakes, but the steering is all done by the car.

No hands, it steers itself into place

 

Additionally, we also were given demonstrations of the latest version of the Microsoft and Ford Sync program.  It comes in two versions, Sync and Sync Touch.  Sync also easily connects to you cell phone via Bluetooth to access all your contacts and even apps like Pandora which then will stream through the audio system and respond to voice command.  Sync also allows you to plug in an air card/wireless usb modem and turn your vehicle into a mobile hotspot.  I could go on and on with the amazing device.

The newly redesigned Focus is green-conscious and even uses a soy-based foam interior for the seats.  This is not the same old Ford you used to know. Many of these features can also be found in the new Fiesta, Explorer and Escape vehicles too.

 

After the drive we were invited by Ford to the American Idol Finale and After Party. It was an incredible experience! Seeing all those performers in one night was amazing.  We also were able to go to the after party and rub shoulders with Idols of the past.  Yes, even Sanjaya.

Disclaimer: This is not a compensated post. I was invited by Ford  to attend the American Idol finale and after party. However, all of the opinions are my own.