Discovering The New Kia In Downtown San Diego

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discovering the new kia

Summer in San Diego is geographical perfection!

The weather is warm, but not too warm. The days are long and the nights are still relatively cool. It doesn’t get better. Plus, we have a really great downtown that has some of the best restaurants, bars and hotels with views across the skyline. A couple weekends ago I got to enjoy a couple days in Downtown San Diego with our friends at Kia!


I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kia many times before when they were launching a new vehicle, or to showcase a specific car on one of our travel adventures, but this time was different. This time it was to celebrate just how far the brand has come over the past 20+ years.


I think all of us recognize this guy! He remains Pete and the girls favorite commercial icon from way back in the day. I mean we still call the Kia Soul the “hamster car” and Ashley has always said that will be her first car. The marketing behind it was genius, and it really put out there how different Kia is from the early days until now. Did you know that they were ranked last, like at the complete bottom by J.D. Power and Associates in the 90’s and today they are at the top!


Personally, I’ve know this for quite awhile now. A couple years ago I was reintroduced to Kia and I was shocked, yes… seriously shocked at what a great car (and SUV and mini-van) they have created. I am head over heals in LOVE with the Sedona, and I am really picky about the cars that I will drive. I have owned and driven pretty much every luxury brand out there, and I felt like the Kia had all the bells and whistles I could ask for, plus a great safety record. I am also thrilled about the upcoming release of the Kia Niro, a sleek new hybrid utility vehicle! 

san diego bay

This view right here set the mood for the whole event. Fun, educational, relaxing and exciting. Just like Kia.


In between learning about Kia’s lineup of vehicles, there were also moments of fun as we decorated guitars and had platefuls of local delicacies. We were staying at the Hard Rock after all, so there was a lot of rock n’ roll happening!

cheese plate
The music influence from the hotel spilled into the vehicles since Kia has a pretty awesome partnership with Harman Kardon for the sound systems in their vehicles. We most definitely tested them out. Once I got the music pumping, it felt more like a club than a car. The quality was that good!


We had a great group of people too, which really helps set the mood at these events, and I loved all the comments and questions they asked throughout our time together. 



But, if I’m being honest… my favorite part was just getting out and driving the different Kia vehicles.

Kia San Diego

San Diego Gaslamp District

kia ride and drive event

My driving buddy, Danielle had never driven a Sedona before, so I insisted that we drive that one first. We took it on a loop around East Bay, and then headed back to the hotel. After lunch, we took out the Sorento. This is one of my favorite SUV’s right now. It is loaded with technology and very easy to drive with a lot of visibility for those of us that are vertically challenged and on the taller side. 

driving a kia sedona

I love this mini van so much that I had a little photo shoot with it next to an old bridge. I think it enjoyed the special attention!

kia sedona

The thing about Kia and both their vehicles and their press events is that they pay attention to the details. The little things like having plenty of cup holders, and outlets and room for passengers and their stuff in the cargo area. Plus these cupcakes. They are all about creating a driving experience and one for us as we are learning more about them.

vegan cupcake

After a day jam packed with driving and exploring, we settled back in the hotel for a night of fun! There was live karaoke, a photo booth, and so much food! 




It was a great weekend in my home city, and I had a good reminder that you most definitely can party like a rock star in your home town, if you are in the right company. Thanks Kia for a great time and for producing some awesome vehicles!

Have you driven a Kia lately?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


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