When Kia got Soul
Here’s a rare thing – the perfect car for the young and elderly alike
The Soul was created to appeal to younger drivers seeking to personalise their ride. Such an idea might put the frighteners on older motorists but it shouldn’t, because under that funky skin is a really practical small car that makes perfect sense for the times. It’s called a hatch, looks like a wagon and has oodles of inner space yet compact dimensions.
With its upright style, it is easy to get in and out of the Soul. Once inside, thanks to the squarish shape, you find it’s quite spacious with good head and legroom for front and rear occupants alike.
The rear seats split and fold down, and the big square opening in the rear allows big, boxy items to be loaded easily.
A practical little device that should appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers, the Soul is also funky enough to appeal to the younger set, particularly with such features as mood lighting, and USB and iPod connectivity. There are two engine options, a 1.6-litre fourcylinder petrol with decent rather than breathtaking acceleration and a 1.6-litre turbo diesel that delivered good fuel economy and some grunt.
There was also the choice of a four-speed auto and a fivespeed manual, the former a smooth operator but lacking a sport-shift function.
Kia had three variants of the Soul, starting with the entrylevel hatch then moving to the 2 and on to the 3 at the
top of the range.
As the Soul is relatively new to the market and the earliest examples are yet to reach 50,000km, it’s too early for abiding issues to surface.
Equally, we receive relatively few complaints about Kias in general, which means the future looks quite rosy for the Soul. A recent spin in a Soul revealed it to be well-built and nicely finished— there was nothing about it to suggest it had any hidden demons.
The petrol version drove sweetly, with enough punch to hold its own in traffic. The auto was smooth and unfussed and, lacking sport-shift, it was happy to shuffle along with the lever in D. On the road it was quiet, the ride was comfortable and there was plenty of room inside.
Anyone thinking of buying a used SUV should add the Soul to the shopping list as it gives you the upright stance without all the complicated gubbins that come with all-wheel drive.
When assessing a used Soul before purchase, look for a service record that confirms it has been properly maintained and make the usual checks for dodgy crash repairs.
Neat, roomy and economical little urban cruiser that makes perfect sense.
Hatchery: The Soul promises easy access and ample space within compact dimensions