The Kia Soul turbo is something of a ‘‘nearly’’ car.
It’s nearly powerful and fast enough to have real warm-hatch character, but it’s not quite there. It’s nearly hi-tech enough to be a halo model for Kia, but it’s not quite there. The design and specification are nearly special enough to make it a genre-buster, but . . . well, you get it.
What the Soul turbo does offer is outstanding value for money and pretty decent bang for your buck. At $37,990 the turbo is just $2000 more than the Soul Limited 2.0-litre, yet it serves up directinjection technology (GDI in Kiaspeak), an extra 38kw/73nm and replaces the mainstream model’s conventional six-speed automatic gearbox with a new seven-speed automated dual-clutch shifter.
Or put it this way: it’s the