When I really like a company, I have a habit of saying (or thinking) that I want them to sponsor me. Not sponsorship for a trip or to a conference, but sponsor my life, as in this company’s products and I could live happily ever after together. Amen. This imaginary please-sponsor-my-life list includes Apple, Merrell, Lucky, Bose, Fossil, Levis—okay, you get the picture. I won’t even start on restaurants and shoes.

Kia definitely makes my list.


My 17-year-old son and I recently made a weekend trip to Mississippi in the Kia Optima Hybrid. This was my second chance to test drive a Kia (we drove a Sportage to the Relevant Conference—now renamed Allume—last year) and I easily recalled all the things I liked about it.

Robin and Deidra will meet me in Atlanta for a road trip to our annual (in)courage Hilton Head authors’ retreat in a Sorento (working my way through the Kia line-up!) next month.

We’re downright giddy about the trip and the Kia is a big part of it!


Since my usual ride is a 15-passenger van, driving a vehicle with built-in GPS; seats that can be either heated or cooled; dual sun roofs; satellite radio; and that just looks so good is a serious treat. The Optima Hybrid’s biggest wow factor, however, is fuel efficiency. Oh. My. Word. It started with a pretty full tank when dropped off at the house, and on an 800 mile round trip we only bought gas ONE time, with over 1/4 of a tank remaining when we got home.

Not understanding how a hybrid works, I was concerned about the whole battery thing and how to keep it charged. To be honest, I envisioned carrying around a large plug and extension cord looking for a place to plug in the car.

I planned to ask lots of questions when the car was dropped off at our house, but I misunderstood the arrival date and wasn’t home! My son said the battery was fully charged and we wouldn’t have to worry about it during the five days we drove the car. All I know is we averaged over 34 miles per gallon. Impressive.



This week I found out that I’ve got a ticket and a roommate if I go to Allume again this year and the Kia Optima Hybrid would be my first choice for a sponsored vehicle on this 1400-mile round trip, especially with current gas prices!

What kind of gas mileage does your car get (my van gets 12 mpg)?

[In addition to testing a Kia Optima Hybrid, somehow I also scored a press kit for Nik Software’s new HDR Efex Pro, which accounts for the slightly surreal quality of some of the photos. What—your reality doesn’t look like this?]

Disclosure: Compensated affiliate link for Nik software.

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