A superb little car, the Kia Soul is distinctive, nippy and practical. I love the exterior styling which sets you well apart from other small cars on the road. The 2010 Kia Soul features body coloured outer door handles, body coloured bumpers, a chrome ‘Schreyer’ radiator grille, a unique wide view bumper, side sill moulding and eye liners. Roof rails add to the car’s practicality, while the tinted glass adds class.
Engine power is excellent – particularly with the class leading in-line four-cylinder VGT CRDi engine plant. This is a diesel that packs a responsive punch. Modern 1.5 litre diesel technology boasts 94 kW at 4000 rpm, while the real pleasure lies in the impressive 260 Nm from as low as 1900 rpm. If you prefer petrol, then the Kia Soul has a smooth 1.5 litre option.
Superbly safe, the Kia Soul2 and Soul3 are loaded with premium safety equipment – even active safety features like ABS, EBD, EBA and TCS.
Slip inside the interior and the seats are well crafted and comfortable, the cabin room is excellent, sound impresses with an MP3 compatible six-speaker sound system, electric this and that’s, and air conditioning all stir the senses.
The latest Kia Soul is great fun to drive and has to be well worth a look.
Whether the new Kia Soul really has got “soul” in the old-fashioned musical sense is debateable. What isn’t debateable is whether the Kia Soul has character – this small SUV has got character in bucketloads.
The tagline advertising the Kia Soul states that “no two souls are the same.” This is certainly true of people, but isn’t quite so true about the car. The range of combinations and options is finite, but it is certainly extensive. Let’s do the maths to be more accurate… (3 body styles) x (2 engine types) x (2 transmissions) x (2 interior trims – sort of; it depends on the body model) x (11 colours) x (3 body kits) x (6 body art decals) = 4752 possible combinations. So if we get 4753 Kia Souls on Australia’s roads, two of them will be the same – sorry! But over 4000 possibilities are more than enough choice for any car buyer.
Let’s start with the body styles as a way of narrowing your choice down. The Kia Soul comes in basic Soul, the Soul2 and the Soul3. The basic Kia Soul is a handsomely chunky SUV with body coloured bumpers and a muscular stance on 15 inch wheels. The Soul2 adds in roof rails as standard, plus 16-inch wheels and front fog lights… and an ESP package including traction control. The Soul3 takes off the roof rails but keeps the Soul2’s front fog lights, and adds in electric heated exterior mirrors, snappy-looking “eyeliners” around the headlights, privacy glass and metal-look interior trim.
And the Kia Soul engines. Basically, it’s a choice between petrol and diesel, as both units are 1.6 litres and both can be paired up with the 5-speed manual or the 4-speed automatic transmission. If power is the deciding factor for you, then choose the diesel unit: 94 kW to the petrol’s 91kW. The diesel also wins in the torque stakes – 260 Nm at 1900 versus the petrol’s 156 Nm at 4200 revs. How about the fuel economy? Here, your best choice is the manual diesel, with a combined figure of 5.2 l/100km. All engines in the Kia Soul are pretty frugal, however – even the “thirsty” petrol automatic version manages a combined economy figure of 7.0 l/100km. The Kia Soul is what you would call a “softroader” – it has the high ground clearance of an SUV but the drivetrain is a simple 2×4.
The basic interior trim which is the only possibility in the basic Kia Soul is a tasteful black with easy-read intstrumentation and all the bells and whistles within easy reach of the driver. The Soul2 adds in the “Soulglow” seat covers, while the Soul3 has two other interior colours as well as the Soulglow seats; these colours are beige and red. Standard interior features in even the basic Kia Soul include cupholders in the front; bottle holders in the rear; power windows; and an MP3-compatible CD system with 6 speakers (plus power bass in the Soul and Soul2; the Soul3 has an external amp, centre speaker and a subwoofer), speed-dependent volume control and an input jack. The Soul2 and Soul3 add in a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and seat back pockets, while interior features exclusive to the Soul3 are the luggage net, the “wet box” in the boot, and a number of options including a rear view camera.
The safety level of the Kia Soul is pretty good. The basic safety package includes driver and front passenger airbags for front and side, full-length curtain airbags, ABS brakes with EBD and brake assist, active front headrests (and height-adjustable headrests on all five seats), pretension seatbelts in the front, plus a warning light for the driver’s seatbelt. A child restraint system and three-point seatbelts all round (including the middle rear seat) complete the safety features.
The real fun with the Kia Soul comes with the body kit and decal options. Not only do you have 11 colours to choose from – ranging from White No 1 to Cocktail Orange – but you also have the choice between the body kit (adds in piano black side skirts), the chrome kit (adds in touches of chrome near the air vents and on the rear) and the sports kit (adds in a rear roof spoiler and “eyeliner” under the front lights). No chrome exhaust with the chrome trim? Well, the exhaust is cleverly hidden so as not to ruin the chunky looks. The body art decals are more likely to appeal to the younger driver – you can choose racing stripes (black or white), houndstooth (grey or black with white) or Dragon (in red or black).
So which Kia Soul will you choose? For my choice, I’ll go for a Soul2 with the 1.6 diesel automatic with the chrome kit, no body art and Moonlight Blue paint. What about you?
The current model series includes the:
For any more information on the Kia Soul, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Kia dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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