Kia supplied a vehicle for our test-drive. Opinions are our own.
My daughter and I schedule regular daddy/daughter dates. But thanks to Kia we turned a recent date into a full-on West Coast daddy/daughter drive up to NorCal from LA! Kia Motors set us up with a 2017 Kia Soul Turbo Exclaim (!) in Wild Orange. We had kind of a weird plan as we started our trip cruising over to Hollywood Burbank Airport to drop off my wife who was also traveling north to San Francisco. The plan was for daddy and daughter to drive to San Fran while mommy flew up in order to go on one of her amazing blogger excursions. We would be rolling into town just as she completed her obligations.
Since we were not in a hurry to get to our destination, we settled into the Kia and got on the 5 north. I already own a 2013 Kia Soul so to take this brand new car out with many more extras than mine was a real treat. The seats were supportive and comfy with many adjustment options to tune in your seat comfort level. The Harman/Kardon stereo was jamming with Sirius XM and Apply Play and once our destination was input, the navigation system guided us in our direction.
The ride up the 5 is scenic and interesting right up until your cross over the Grapevine. That’s when the scenery gets pretty flat and a bit samey. We appreciate and respect that most of our agriculture is set out here but the pattern of vineyards and fields whizzing by gets very repetitive. So with cruise control engaged, we settled in for our adventure.
We made a couple of pit stops for the restroom and scenic vistas. We only filled the tank once since our totals mile to travel were greater than our tanks capacity. Speaking of gas a mileage, the Kia gets 26 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Also, the Wild Orange color was a big hit as everywhere we stopped questions and compliments about the car and color came a plenty!
Our one extended stop was Anderson’s Pea Soup in Santa Nella. We always stop here on our pretty frequent road trips up North and this time we rolled up looking and feeling really cool! My daughter and I filled up on delicious breakfast items and of course, a piping bowl of split pea soup. I love to travel with my whole family but I truly appreciate the times I get to share 1:1 with my daughter. The dynamic is different between dads and daughters than moms. We spend a lot of time talking about music and creating original songs and raps about pretty much anything we encounter!
Now back on the road, I kept reflecting on how amazing this version of the Soul is and I loved the option of switching between 3 modes (Sport, Eco and Normal). I kept it Eco for the Highway but went Sport mode whenever possible. The Sport mode allowed for a more aggressive ride and retained a smooth, balanced handling. Thanks to our Turbo charged crossover we made, regardless of our split pea-pit stop, very good time and were in Emeryville in 6 ½ hours from LA. Although we were planning to explore San Francisco, our hotel was in Emeryville. After meeting up with my wife and checking into the hotel we took a cruise around the bay to the Berkley Marina to go for a walk and check out their pier. Since the pier is closed for repair, we had a good walk to shake off the long drive.
The next day we took another scenic ride to the Presidio that took us even further around the bay and across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. As I already came to expect, the Kia Soul handled the highway with a solid disposition as we spent the hour driving from Emeryville to the Presidio. After our day touring and learning about the Presidio property, a visit to Lucas Film’s Industrial Light and Magic as well as take a walk under the Golden Gate Bridge, we drove through SF proper and had a blast driving the Soul up and down the amazing hilly streets of the city. We made our way back to the hotel over the Bay Bridge completely satisfied with our safe, sporty, economical ride.
We ended up cutting the trip short since my daughter ran a fever so we began our journey back to LA a couple of days earlier. One of the hardest dilemmas parents face is an unexpected illness. Again, the Kia made the (even longer) trip home cool and comfy.