By on April 14, 2009

Marketing to a particular demographic is a tricky business—just ask Honda or Toyota. Honda introduced the Element in 2003. Toyota brought us the Scion xB in 2004. Both machines were designed as funky vehicles to fit the twenty-something lifestyle. Needless to say, their room and versatility immediately found favor with the quintagenarian crowd. Now Kia’s taking a shot with the Soul. Our own Eddie Niedermeyer, squarely in the demographic Kia’s aiming for, liked it. But then there are us pesky demographic-bustin’ Boomers. Will we see more Souls parked at the old farts’ home than on college campuses?

Kia’s California design team obviously placed the xB in their sights when they designed the Soul. Fortunately, they managed to give it flair of its own, instead of simply copying Toyota. The Soul’s not as boxy as the original xB nor as bloated as the second gen. From its stubby hood to the “Li’l Coffin”-ish D-pillar, the styling works.

Kia offers the Soul in four trim levels. The base model starts at just over $13K, fitted with a 1.6L 122 hp engine. Upgrade to the Soul+ (Plus) and you get 400 more cc’s and 20 more horses. Going on to the Soul! (Exclaim) nets more toys: 18″ alloys, Bluetooth, sunroof and upgraded audio. Moving all the way to the Soul Sport (what . . . no punctuation?) adds a “sport-tuned suspension” and “unique front and rear fascias.” By now you’re pushing $18K, but that’s about as far as you can ride on the Soul train. That is, unless you spend too much time talking to the finance guy with the fat accessory catalog and pictures of his starving children.

What color was our Soul Sport tester’s paint? The Shadow knows. (For those who learned colors in kindergarten instead of marketing school, that’s black.) Depending on the model chosen you can also buy your Soul in Alien (pea soup green), Molten (red), Java (dark brown), Dune (beige), Titanium (brownish gray), Clear White or Bright Silver. The interior color is keyed to the model chosen, not the exterior color.

In the case of the Sport, you get a red instrument panel with black trim, and black seats and door panels with red trim. It looks a lot better in person than in the photos, and it’s a nice break from the sepulchral theme prevalent in other econobox interiors. After all, we Boomers will be spending a lot of time inside a dark box soon enough; no need in rushing the inevitable.

The Soul’s interior has enough space for four six-footers to sit comfortably if somewhat upright. However, if they’re going on a road trip, someone better have splurged for the roof rack from that accessory catalog. There’s adequate space behind the rear seats for normal errands; anything more will require folding the rear seats. Once that’s done, there’s ample cargo capacity for a couple of large dogs, a Costco run, or two or three walkers. There’s also a deep, subdivided well under the rear floor where you can stash the Depends, Metamucil or other such necessities.

Driving the Soul is bound to stir memories in those who drove an original VW Beetle in college. The seats sit upright and are fairly firm. The steering is light and the shifter has the same vague rubbery feel as the original Beetle’s. It’s kind of awkward, just like the first time you drove a Beetle, but you soon get used to the feel, clunking it in and out of gear without a second thought.

Also like the Beetle: you can drive the Soul flat-out and never break the law. It has more than adequate power for dealing with traffic. Its short wheelbase and tight turning radius let you pull off parking lot maneuvers you’d never attempt in the Crown Vic or LeSabre. If you really want to push it, the Kia Soul will make the run from zero to 60 in just under 9 seconds. Just be prepared for a Beetle-ish cacophony, this time coming from the front end instead of the rear.

One area that’s definitely un-Beetle-like: the braking. Hit the Soul’s center pedal hard enough and Kia’s four-wheel disks whoa you down from 60 in 119 feet. Safe! As the young ’uns like to say. I think.

Cruising at 70 (miles per hour, not years old) feels fairly relaxed. As you’d expect from the blocky shape, there’s a lot of wind noise. Never mind. Simply crank up Steppenwolf on the eight-speaker stereo and let the throbbing red front speakers drown out the wind with “Magic Carpet Ride.” Fantasy will set you free.

The speakers are gimmicks, and most Boomers will end up turning them off. However, everything else hits the mark. During my week with the Soul, I saw two other examples, both piloted by middle-aged white guys. Kia, I think you’ve found your demographic.

[Kia provided the vehicle reviewed, insurance and a tank of gas.]

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43 Comments on “Review: 2010 Kia Soul Sport, Take Two...”


  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    Frank, Since I first saw ads for this car, I have always assumed that Kia is taking aim at the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa. However, comparo impressions with these cars were lacking in the review. Any thoughts on how the Soul stacks up to these two?

  • avatar
    Kman

    Very entertaining writing!

    I was glad to see the Soul make it to production. It seemed like one of those great design studies that would eventually be diluted to yawn by the time it made it to the showroom floor.

    Oh, waitasec. This isn’t GM or Acura.

    Nice job on this Kia. As a Gen-X-er, I never liked either the Element or xB (both gens). This thing is very appealing.

  • avatar

    jpcavanaugh
    Frank, Since I first saw ads for this car, I have always assumed that Kia is taking aim at the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa. However, comparo impressions with these cars were lacking in the review. Any thoughts on how the Soul stacks up to these two?

    The Soul wasn’t meant to be Kia’s entry-level car like Nissan and Honda have the Versa and Fit positioned. The comparison with the Element and xB is accurate as all three are marketed as “lifestyle” vehicles, are based on the platform of another vehicle and are aimed at the 19-29 year old demographic.

    I haven’t driven a Versa so I can’t speak to that. The Soul lacks the Honda’s smoothness and as you might expect with a base price at the $13k mark, is a bit rougher around the edge and isn’t quite as buttoned-down. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for quirky little cars and the Kia hit that spot (OK, you know I have to say it) in my soul.

  • avatar
    Stu Sidoti

    I drove one of these a few weeks ago in the !-trim package immediately after driving the new Honda Fit. I really liked the Soul a lot. I think it has a fresh design, usable functionality and the overall packaging is clever-the price was right too. The only drawbacks I could sense was 1: the seat cushion foam felt a little thin; I don’t think I’d be very comfortable on a long ride…2:the overall buzziness and wind noise of the vehicle was a lot more than I was expecting but overall, it looks like Kia has a genuine hit on their hands.

  • avatar

    My initial impression was that the Soul could be a breakout car for Kia, and I’m sticking with it. All they’ve got to do: include this much style and personality in all of their products. I haven’t driven a Soul yet, but as long as it’s passable in terms of the driving experience it’s a home run overall. (If they could actually offer a version that’s fun to drive then they’d have a grand slam.)

    TrueDelta should have some quick initial reliability data on the Soul. Already sixteen Soul owners have signed up to participate in our survey, which is a very strong start.

    For the details about our research, and to sign up:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    YellowDuck

    Hilarious review! Laughed out loud – thanks!

    Cool little box – the kind of car that the manufacturers used to reserve for Japan and Europe, but apparently we are hip enough in North America now that we get them too.

    Funkier than the SX4 hatchback (another cool small Euro wagon), but maybe not as functional – I’d still get the Suzuki for the 4WD. How do they compare for fuel efficiency? That’s always a weak spot for Suzuki.

  • avatar

    I’ve been to two dealers who have 15+ Souls in stock. The Huntsville dealer has damn near $22K on a non-sport. The other was $18,5K for the sport model.

  • avatar
    Guzzi

    For any boomer who found Frank’s line funny: “After all, we Boomers will be spending a lot of time inside a dark box soon enough; no need in rushing the inevitable”, I highly recommend this: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/04/07/080407fa_fact_kinsley

    This middle aged white guy is looking for used 1st-gen xB’s, and has found that they are frequently listed higher than orginal MSRP. The base Soul price looks good in comparison, though not as good as the Cube. I’m going to wait for the IIHS crash results, though. You know, the one where they crash and compare the Soul vs. the Genesis.

  • avatar

    Kia’s cars just keep getting better and better… especially styling wise. I saw the new Forte Koup at the NY Auto Show and it was very nicely done, and I’ve liked the Soul since I first saw it.

  • avatar
    Casual Observer

    Why would you build a car for people who have no money to buy it?

    The Soul will be like the Astra or the mythical diesel-wagon-with-a-stick: everyone raves about it as the “newest, smartest thing”, the future of American cars, but no one buys it.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Looks like a Suzuki Samurai.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I bet I could pick up more chicks in that Soul than an e-class.

  • avatar
    Toy Maker

    The soul looks good, and I suspect it will go the way of the Suzuki Sidekick / Geo tracker. Or even the 1st-gen Toyota Rav-4. Funky cute car for most-anyone who needs a vehicle for pure transportation. Let’s hope this 2009-styled funk can last just as long as the Geo Tracker did.

    The dimention is about right, and the performance / safety features add up to make the Soul pretty attractive. The narrow rear hatch and the high-floor-low-ceiling combo prevented it from branching off as a small-utility-vehicle (*gasp* SUV?) like many Honda fits or the 1st-gen scion xBs that I’ve seen.

    Personally I would’ve like it better if it is more cargo friendly like the Honda Fit(magic seats) and my 1st-gen xB (high ceiling). But I understand both cars I mentioned are the exceptions in their relative class and not the rule. And most owners do not need to haul giant boxes all the time like I do.

  • avatar
    gfen

    I love the way the Soul looks, but I don’t think its appropriate to compare it to an Element.

    The Element is a utilitarian car, which is one of the reasons I think they have a rabid fanbase. It just happens to be the same angular shape (which is why I think it has such a rabid group of detractors, as well).

    The Element’s trick seats, low floor, giant access portals with the suicide doors, and split tailgate design make getting stuff into it easy and there’s plenty of room to fill. The rubberized seating and plastic floors make cleaning it out easy.

    The Soul doesn’t try to fulfill any of these goals, it just presents a nifty little square hatchback. It cannot replace the functionality of the Element I currently own.

    That said, I want one anyways. This appeals to me in ways the Cube and both gen xBs do not. It may not have the functionality of the Element, but I apprechiate the fresh design compared to most little hatchbacks out there.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    Rod, you are correct. Also, you could pick up more in this than in the AMG R class Merc o wagon thingy. Of course you’ll have the good sense to buy both of them. Your neighbor with the 300 and the S550 will be so proud.

  • avatar
    dean

    I am very seriously considering the Soul to replace my aging, and about to fall apart on the side of the road, Suzuki Sidekick. Thanks for the (mostly) informative review. I qualify that with (mostly) because in Canada the trim level designations are completely different, so I can’t easily compare the model you’ve reviewed with what is available here.

    In Canada the trim levels are:
    1.6l Base model
    2u
    4u
    4u Retro
    4u Burner

    The other vehicles I’m considering are the Fit Sport and a slightly used Mazda 3 hatchback.

    Useless LED lights on the speakers aside (although my gf’s kids got a kick out of them at the car show) I like the Soul’s interior design over the Fit and 3, but the magic seats in the Fit are hard to beat. But even the Soul better suits my needs than the 3.

    Some real-world fuel economy numbers would be great.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Notice that interesting timing belt cover. Most companies are on chains now. So Soul adds on maint $$$

  • avatar
    Rev Junkie

    I think the JDM-funky styling and the bright red interior will scare away those pesky old people. “Shoo, shoo, go test drive a Town Car, we don’t want the Soul to smell like Bengay!”

  • avatar
    meefer

    I’m going to buy it just so one day I can say “I’m going to sell my soul” and mean it.

    Kidding. I like this, but if you want funky, why not just get a Nissan Cube? i doubt the driving dynamics will sway you one way or the other.

  • avatar
    BobJava

    Great review of what would be a great seller if, say, we weren’t in the middle of a massive recession.

    Mileage and reliability. Kia is spotty on both with some of their other models. If the real-world mileage is decent and it’s as reliable as a Hyundai (let alone Toyota/Honda), I think it’ll be a recessionary hit.

    And hey, imagine the used prices on these in a couple year.

  • avatar
    John R

    The Kia’s “got more Soul than a sock with a hole.”
    -MF Doom

    I think the problem with the demos is the fact that these whips a pushing, what? 150hp, at best? I remember back in high school every (Japanese, at least) manufacturer had at least one 175-200hp compact.

    Honda: Integra GS-R/Type R
    Nissan: Sentra SE-R
    Toyota: Celica GT-S
    Mistubishi: Eclipse GSR/GSX
    Subaru: WRX

    If there were a Soul variant that had a 2.5 liter that made 185hp-190hp it would be the rising tide that lifts all Kias.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    I am really pleasantly surprised at this vehicle. Kia really did a great job with it, and it shows that the people at Kia are developing a carguy “soul.” What would get me to buy one (should my car get totaled)? More POWAH!

    I envision a turbocharged 1.6L engine for ~175hp/170lb/ft. Lowered by 1/2″, grippier wider rubber, sport seats, 6-speed manual, all for $20K. If they make it, I will come.

  • avatar
    italianstallion

    I hope that the Soul and the Nissan Cube are successful in the marketplace and that they will force Toyota and Honda to up the ante on future models (3rd gen Xb, 2nd gen Element).

  • avatar
    Beelzebubba

    All the major auto magazines and websites have now reviewed the Soul. Overall they’ve been favorable and everyone seems impressed (surprised, even) by how good of a vehicle it is.

    But all the reviews have been of the Sport model with manual transmission. The vast majority of Souls will be sold with the 4-speed automatic…and I’m wondering how it stacks up? Does the autobox sap the fun out of the Soul???

  • avatar
    kaleun

    Not a bad car…. bad the Mazda 3 is close in price and much “cooler”, let alone built quality. Honda Fit seems to have better cargo area. (and probably better longevity). Depreciation probably is worse than for both Mazda3/Fit.
    Anyone know about maintenance? Do the Souls have timing belt, if so.. it will be more expensive to run than the Mazda 3 (definitely more than the Fit).
    no matter how good Kia really gets, the bad reputation will follow them for many years. Hyundai is just at the verge to gain reputation… it will take Kia much longer. With that in mind, I don’t see justification for the high price (compared to Mazda3/Fit).
    Anyway, as step in the right direction it is. Better than any of the other Kia. Better than what the domestics offer, better than the Toyota/Scion taste-disorders called Yaris and xD/xB.

  • avatar
    bevo

    How does the Soul compare to the Mazda 3 Speed? I drove a two-seater Sidekick, which was a lot of fun. I am driving an Element now, but it is a slog on the freeway.

  • avatar
    kaleun

    bevo: I’m not talking about the 3-speed… just saying the Soul cost almost as much as a Mazda 3.. so someone looking for a sporty car might as well buy a Mazda.
    the reason to settle for a Kia is the lower price… but if it is almost the same price, then there is no reason anymore. Up to $18K. For $18K I get a Mazda 3 hatch

    Or did you just generally ask about the speed? huh?

  • avatar
    obbop

    The all-encompassing query remains unanswered; what kinda’ karma is conveyed via usage/ownership of the conveyance?

  • avatar
    talldude07

    The soul looks to have a better interior than any other Kia in that price range. The 2.0L in the picture is the Hyundai “Beta 2 G4CC” same engine found in the elentra, tiburon, spectra. It does have a timing belt with a short life of 60,000 mi. And it will cost more to do the preventive maintenance. Coolant flush every 30,000 mi, A/T fluid replacement every 30,000 mi. That’s what goes wrong with these hyundais/kias is that people never do any maintenance on it thinking that Koren = Japanese quality. I have a neighbor with a 2002 tiburon with that same 2.0L and he has 130,000 mi on it he has had to change the timing belt 3 times now to be safe. So on a Honda engine the timing belt will last twice as long. The 1.6L is the same engine found in the Rio/Accent that one seems to be of a decent quality too as long as you do the oil changes. these new “Hyundia” cars seem rather promising. Now if they can just make a timing belt last past 60,000 they will rule.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I have to laugh a bit when car manufacturers talk about aiming for a certain demographic of buyers. Wasn’t the Element aimed at the same mythical 22 year-old kayak-paddling backwoods-camping Ikea-shopping active-lifestyle dude who still has time left to hold a job good enough to buy a brand-new $25,000 car? I think they missed the target demographic age by about 25 years. Yet, at the end of the day, it seems to have sold alright and the real demographic they really cared about was customers with money.

    My wife’s 71 year-old aunt (and her 79 year-old husband) drive a bright yellow 1st-generation Scion xB with factory accessory alloys. Why? Because it was an affordable fuel-efficient car that she could buy with a manual transmission and had enough room inside with the rear seats folded to hold their bicycles with the wheels on. I kid you not, she insisted on having a manual transmission… very cool lady. They replaced their old Honda Civic tall wagon which they bought for the same reasons.

    Other than luxury cars which hit their demographics simply because they cost too much, for inexpensive cars, save the money on all of the demographics BS and invest it in making the car look good and function well and sell it for a good price and you’ll have a success.

  • avatar

    I have a 2008 Fit and the 2010 Soul, and I like driving the Soul around a LOT more. The Fit has a smoother engine, but you do have to spin it a bit more to get the same amount of go from it. My Soul has the automatic, and it works pretty well. It does shift early (basically, it drives like a diesel) but if you’re putting around town it’s just fine. When you get on the highway, the difference between the Fit and the Soul is much larger, with the Soul being a lot more comfortable (more on that in a bit).

    Wind noise is an issue with the Soul, but with the door frame being closer to your head in the Fit the Soul is somewhat quiet in comparison. Also, the 5-speed auto in the Fit has to wander around looking for the right gear (which leads to using the paddles most of the time) while the Soul’s 4-speed auto and increased torque let it sit in gear with the torque converter locked for most trips. The engine is a bit buzzy, but since you’re cruising at 3K RPM at 70MPH, it’s something that’s tuned out pretty easily. The Fit spends so much time shifting on the hills around here (SE AZ) that I don’t really get all that comfortable in it. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it that much if I had the manual, but knee issues have left me with the auto, so there it is.

    Mileage wise, I get 28MPG around town in the Fit, up to 31+MPG if I’m really careful and 36MPG or so on the highway. So far I’m getting 25-26MPG around town, with 29MPG on the highway in the Soul. That’s with some 80MPH sections thrown in to pass large vehicles that the Fit just won’t bother doing (or scream the whole time). I think I can get 31-33MPG highway in the Soul once broken in, which is pretty good for me and my psuedo-brick.

    A note on timing belts: I had two Subarus (2.5RS and WRX) that had belts. They were supposed to be changed at 105,000 miles (and NOT before, according to the manual). While that’s great, I had a variety of switches, a hood hinge, some plastic pieces, and even a plug wire break between them. Neither of them got past 61,000 miles with us before we got rid of them. Hmmm…

  • avatar
    Beelzebubba

    KIA does have an image problem. It has taken Hyundai more than a decade of building (mostly) damn good cars to overcome the bargain-bin stigma. The problem is that KIA has been building mediocre to average cars with no standout products until very recently. The Rondo, Soul and upcoming Forte (Spectra) are the first above-average, class-competitive models from KIA. They still have the better part of decade to go….and the stupid KIA logo looks cheap, too.

    And using rodents in the commercials for the Soul- NOT a very wise idea. It’s like they’re saying “Hey! Check out our new Soul….it’s filled with vermin!”

  • avatar
    escapenguin

    This was a nice review, very well written. I really like the Soul. I was set on buying a Cube until I saw it in Car and Driver. Only problem is as mentioned above by someone else: I can get a Mazda3 for about the same scratch. And if the Soul’s engine is thrashy now, and the shifter’s wonky, what’s it going to be like in a couple years?

    I think I’ll pass. When’s the Suzuki Swift coming over?

  • avatar
    Daddyof2

    Am I the only one that is sick and tired of watching carmakers try to market cars to college kids? Its a great idea, but the seeds are falling on dry soil. College kids lack the funds to buy a new car! I am a graduate of NIU (Go Huskies) and the only “new” cars that I saw driving around when I was in school were hand me downs from parents, or base model Cavaliers.

    Besides, when a college kid does graduate and the real world hits them square in the face, they are going to want something that at least looks fast and is fun to drive. Personally I think Scion got this right with not the xB, nor the xA, but with the tC. All of the young twenty somethings went apesh*t for this car, and their 40 to 50 year old parents loved the more utilitarian xB and xA.

    It didnt work for the Element. It didnt work for the xB. Its not gonna work for the Kia Soul.

  • avatar

    @Daddyof2 – the real problem with the tC and Celica are that they are just sorta sporty looking and don’t have much to back it up. They should really drop the Celica entirely and make a new AE86 as the tC successor – that would sell like mad and open up the opportunity for them to also finally get a Miata competitor that doesn’t compromise too much. But then again, that would actually be an interesting car, and Toyota seems to only accidentally make them and then hamstring them when they show up (witness the xB bloat).

    What is even funnier is that they could easily solve the demographic issue by a bit of badge engineering – just repackage the xB in Toyota clothing and sell it to old people. This is the one instance when it makes sense to do so and they didn’t take that chance.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The Soul is better looking than the xBox or the jokey Cube and it’s interior is light years better with gasp….color. That along with a lower price, normal dash placement and slightly better mileage also add to the appeal. They will certainly need more than 122-142 HP though to capture the youth market.

  • avatar
    Daddyof2

    @akatsuki

    The celica was a decent car, as long as you got the GTS model with a 180 hp four banger. Granted it had to be wound up tighter than a southerner at a gay bar, but it was a hoot.

    Personally, Im not a fan of the “cube” cars that are aimed at kids that are totally funky and in-my-face-wicked-cool. When a young man is growing up, he doesnt pine for a Kia Soul, he wants a sports car, a fun (ie FAST) car.

    I agree that Scion needs to creat a RWD sport coupe. That would completely corner the market for them. The only decent RWD 4 banger out there right now is the Miata as you said and the aforementioned young man doesnt want that. (See gay bar comment above)

    Hyundai right now is jumping at that right now with the Genesis Coupe and that car has the style and power to back it up. Now that Hyundai has become a big time player, maybe its rival Toyota and lil brother Kia might take notice and try to compete.

    (Giggles and thinks about the fun 1990′s and early 2000′s fun filled japanese coupes) Those were the days….:-)

  • avatar

    I just got done reviewing a Kia Soul Sport for a week:

    http://www.automoblog.net/2009/07/03/2010-kia-soul-sport-review/

    It’s wasn’t bad, per se, but there were some things that really need improvement if they want to keep up with competitors. The worst part about it was the manual transmission. The stick was so sloppy, and I kept missing 3rd gear since the gears were so undefined. Not a fan of that. Other than that and a few other nitpicks, I think next year the Soul will be a good choice against the other boxy-mobiles.

  • avatar
    Aerio

    Hi
    Writing from Toronto(Richmond Hill) ON. 44yrs old, mobile computer technician, thus looking for the hatch.

    I have an 04 Suzuki Aerio I am (kinda) looking to replace. I have been eyeing both the Cube and the Soul as the contenders. I looked at the Fit but I want to get up off the ground a little bit as I get in and out mutiple times a day for work.

    The Soul is winning out as the favorite, mostly due to the fact that Nissan is not doing 0% the first 3yrs(Kia is) and I don’t like the way the hatch opens side ways on the cube. I do like the overall looks of the Cube then the Soul. Wife hates the Cube looks but is so so the Soul

    I took a Soul! (I believe here is the 4u) out for a spin yesterday. My Aerio is the AWD version and has a 155hp. So driving the Soul with less HP and heavier curb weight, I was pleased with the acceleration – but I am not a speed demon, I am a practical person. I took on the Hwy and noticed the extra wind noise but will say that it is same or less them my Aerio, so pleased again. I do most driving on the hwy so averaging 30 to 60kph LOL in the traffic jams. Good days I will hit 100kph. Really-I would say I do more stop and go city when you factor in the traffic on the hwys these days! I took over some bumpy areas and was pleased with the one train crossing I go over every work day – smoother then my Aerio.

    I would have liked it to have a little more cargo area but with the seats down it is more then ample for my work needs with some of the parts and larger printers I may be required to carrier at times.

    The 4U sound system is step up from my Aerio and the mileage will be as well. The Aerio AWD is nice in the winters for accelerating, getting up the slippy bits and getting through some of the deep snow once in a while, but not great on the pocket book for the rest of the year. I get money for mileage so everybit helps in my job. So trying to stay as practical as possible – to get hieght weight mileage looks cargo – all in a decent package – I am liking the Soul

    The pricing from my local dealer I went to is saying (2u-19,495)(4U-21,495)before GST and PST freight and blah blah blah. If get really serious I will haggle them down of course. My Aerio is paid for and running well, so this is more of a want then a need.

    Hope my 2 cents helps someone else make up thier mind. I think I will put my car on the private market and see what offers I get to put towards a trade in.

    Cheers
    Patrick

  • avatar
    SpikedLemon

    I can’t say that I had any problems with the manual transmission as noted above: I found it to shift smoothly enough (it’s no Honda… But it’s faaaaaar better than a corolla manual tranny). What I did find is the engine felt painfully underpowered for the rest of the chassis and a sloppy shift could easily muck up the flow. Other than the lack of torque: I had a blast driving it.

  • avatar

    That was a FUN Read.. thank you!!

    I saw skipped past the comments but saw one asking about the Honda Fit vs the Kia Soul.

    Also the article noting the box vehicles, ie the Honda Element.

    I personally own the 2003 Honda Element (still) and still LOVE it! Wonderful vehicle. But as with this and other articles I have seen, I would not put the Element & Soul in the same category or comparison.

    I bought the 2010 Kia Soul ! in April 2009.. so I have had it for nearly a year. The competing vehicle was the Honda Fit.

    1st factor is price point. The Soul & the Fit are closer in price point (under 20k vs over 20k).

    2nd Size.. the Soul is smaller then the Element.. as I look at them side by side in my garage. per measurements… the Fit & Soul are the same length, interior dimensions are very similar.

    3rd MPG. The Fit & Soul are more comparable on mpg. Soul 26/30 vs Fit 30/33 vs Element 21/24

    4th Element is available as all-wheel drive suv, where the Fit & Soul are front wheel drive cars.

    I was ready to buy a Fit.. but after fighting with the dealers, I could not take anymore games. I kept getting the run-around, my vehicle was to arrive in 2 weeks, a month, maybe month & half,.. then we have no idea where it is. Sadly Honda great vehicles, bad dealers.

    While I was waiting the Soul commercials started up.. I started reading, asking questions, then checked one out. 1st off… Kia dealer MUCH more enjoyable to deal with vs Honda Dealer. But checking out the car in person, I was very impressed,though concerned about going with a Kia (since I had been a long time Honda owner, and love the reliability/dependability of Hondas).. But Kia has come along way.. and I felt this was a worthy choice.

    So comparing the Soul & Fit, they are very similar in sizing.. the Soul is by far more interesting in style, colors, etc.. The Soul has better friendly features, like the hidden storage in the cargo area, the fact that it has cup holders that actually hold cups (not just thin water bottles).. and so many goodies were included, I did not need to shop an accessory catalog.

    And again.. the Kia Dealer, MUCH better then the Honda Dealer. And this is not just a local thing.. I moved across the country. When I bought my Honda Element I contacted dealers in 3 states, all but one dealer was nasty, arrogant, and ticked me off. Moving across the country.. I came across dealers well over an hour away that were just as arrogant & nasty. I sadly may never return to Honda.. even though they are extremely reliable just for that rude factor.

  • avatar
    grammpa2

    Help greatly appreciated.We live in Ohio bought our Kia soul exclaim in august and thought we loved it. Seemed to handle well enough in our snows in dec & jan and most of feb. Yesterday feb 21,2011 and snow and slush of course, touching the brakes made a noise like someone dropped a bucket of rock filled cans at your feet. The Dealer said that was normal noise for the ABS kicking in but they will check the (car??) tomorrow. I read that the Soul is popular for use as Taxis in Chicago. Would sure appreciate input from some one in that area. Your weather if anything is worse than ours, I live south of the snow-belt. I have a lot of trouble believing that anyone would ride more than once in a Cab that sounded like this everytime you touch your brakes in a slushy snow. Planned to leave for Florida 2/25 or 26. Would a Dealer tell me to travel 2,000 miles plus in an unsafe vehicle? THANX

  • avatar
    jjrbus

    Come on guys. The collage grads here could not have all slept all 4 years. The high school grads must have some common sense! reasonably bright 12 year olds can see through this.
    Would you really design a car for the 50+ crowd and advertise it for old people? How about a jingle for this.  “The new Kia Soul designed for old pharts”  or “developed with your inner child in mind”
    How bout accessorys, Denture trays would be a top seller, or maybe urine proof seats for those adult diaper failures!
    If they really developed it for the 20 somethings, where are the bike racks? Kayak mounts? If the rear had enough room for a horizontal waltz, I might think maybe it was for the young crowd. Rambler figured that one out many years ago.
    Kia did a good job on this one.
    JIm
     


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