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Thread: Kia Soul

  1. #1
    Administrator DannyITR's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
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    Default Kia Soul

    I've always thought the Soul to be the nicest looking out of the box type vehicles such as the Element, Cube, etc.

    Article by Joe Duarte

    This Kia’s got Soul

    One thing’s for sure … no one can accuse the Kia line-up of not having a Soul. And in these times of generic design, it’s good to find a vehicle that has Soul written all over it.

    Taken at its basest, Soul is a decent hatchback meant to undercut competitors (as with all Kia models) while providing more than you’d expect from a vehicle. And really, there’s nothing the matter with offering more than expected to buyers who can’t afford to spend a fortune to drive vehicles in which they’d be happy to be seen.

    Outside, Soul has a unique presentation with a high cabin that presents the illusion of being almost coupe-like, thanks to window lines that taper together toward the rear of the vehicle and sloped verticals front and rear. In silhouette, it’s actually quite boxy, which gives credence to the idea that a box can still be a box without appearing like a box.

    The profile is akin to competitors such as the Mitsubishi Outlander and Jeep Compass, though the vehicle itself is perhaps a closer competitor to the Chevrolet HHR and Nissan Cube. The reason is that Soul is available only in front-wheel drive, and thought that may not be a big deal for the majority of Canadians, there are those areas where buyers demand four-wheel drive for the wintry months.

    It also takes Soul out of the sport or crossover utility game, and plants it firmly in the boulevard cruiser hatchback field. And though Soul has plenty of features to make it a fine addition to that segment, it also has some of the unpleasant characteristics of the former (such as a choppy ride and an abundance of drivetrain noise).

    Power comes from either a 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Our test top-of-the-line SX has the latter, which provides plenty of bluster from its 142 ponies but has very little impact in terms of an overpowering launch. Part of the reason is that torque of 137 lb.-ft. peaks fairly high in the rev range (at 4,600 rpm); another part is our test vehicle’s four-speed automatic that seems very nonchalant about kicking down to take advantage of the mid-rev-range peak; a third part is a nearly ton-and-a-half curb weight that would take considerably more torque peaking at lower rpm in order to make Soul act spritely.

    Inside, Soul is decorated to appeal to a modern style – the dash can be plain or two-toned in beige or red (depending on the model and trim) and the seats can be plain, two-toned or patterned (with the Soul logo script, or hound’s-tooth), again depending on model and trim. And there is a dial-up selector for the LED speaker lamps – you can have it steady, fading in and out, or fading in and out to the output (fun with bass thumping music, not so much so with talk radio). It makes for a young, fun, vibrant ambience that will be loved by some but unnecessary to others.

    The seats themselves are flat but comfortable enough. There’s room for three in the rear if the middle occupant is small, but spacious for two. The legroom in the back seems tight but due to the high seating position, scooped out front seatbacks and good clearance under the front seats, it’s actually quite comfortable on longer trips.

    The rear seats go down nearly flat in a 60/40 split, to expand the cargo area, which is minimal when the seats are in use. There’s also some under-floor storage.

    It all adds up to an interesting vehicle in a segment that often deals in shades of bland. Still, I would like a bit more substance to my Soul; otherwise it is just another pretty face on a vehicle that barely matches its competitors.

  2. #2
    Legacy Member TRD Terror's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Lala Land, 15min south of Kemptville
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    Dates are around these,

    Honda Element (2003)
    SCION xB (2003)
    Chev HHR (2006)
    FORD Flex (2009)
    KIA Soul (2010)

    I may be missing some others?
    Chickens are dumb..

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