Sporty soft roader from Kia

Glamorgan Gazette - - Motors Wales - PETER HAY­WARD news­desk@waleson­

RE­TURN­ING FROM a trip to Corn­wall to see old friends on The Lizard, there was plenty of time for a drive – a rar­ity in my fam­ily.

It was a lovely sum­mer’s day so I chose a route across coun­try as far as Bridge­wa­ter, tak­ing us through Bude and Holswor­thy and then up over Ex­moor.

It was a mar­vel­lous drive, with stops for tea and cof­fee when­ever we chose, or just to en­joy the wide open views.

I was driv­ing Kia’s Soul ur­ban soft roader and it han­dled the whole trip with great ease – and no small amount of en­joy­ment for me.

Even on the main road out of North Corn­wall – the A39 – traf­fic was light and, as we headed in­land and up to Ex­moor, the roads be­came qui­eter and qui­eter – apart from an odd trac­tor and trailer of course.

It just shows that if you’re pre­pared to take the time, you can find roads that are al­most clear, even dur­ing hol­i­day times when the mo­tor­ways are packed and dan­ger­ous.

I kept up a de­cent av­er­age speed – ob­vi­ously slower than it would have been had we gone on the mo­tor­way – and it was a de­light­ful drive.

On that re­turn jour­ney, the 1.6 petrol Soul re­turned 38.4mpg, while on the way down, it had only man­aged a real 35.

The road hold­ing is strong with plenty of grip and not much roll, but fairly stiff sus­pen­sion means the ride does suf­fer.

I drove the Con­nect Plus model in the mid-range, which comes with a very good level of kit.

This in­cludes cli­mate, DAB stereo, al­loys, Blue­tooth to con­nect the phone, park­ing sen­sors and a rev­ers­ing cam­era, voice recog­ni­tion, sat nav and a qual­ity sound sys­tem.

The Soul is good to drive and well-equipped, good look­ing and very safe. It also has the best war­ranty you can get – seven years or 100,000 miles.

Kia Soul 1.6 Con­nect Plus

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