First Drive : Kia Soul 1.6 EX

The Kia Soul, a funky styled SUV

The Kia Soul, a funky styled SUV

Kia’s quirky Soul was a huge hit worldwide particularly in the States but few found homes in Ireland, can the new version change all that asks Geraldine Herbert

What is it? This revamped Soul is Kia’s cool, cute and funky compact SUV. Promising a firmer suspension, better refinement and smarter styling the Soul is still distinctive enough to stand apart from rivals .

What about the interior? Inside the funky body doesn’t compromise interior space and while not quite as quirky as the exterior styling might suggest overall everything is well made and there are some really nice touches  and details throughout.

And on the road? At the launch we drove the only engine available, the 1.6-litre diesel.

Kia Soul and the city: Once behind the wheel the Soul feels like a much smaller car and whether negotiating city traffic or meandering through narrow streets the light steering makes it a perfect city car.   The high driving position gives a good view over the chunky front bonnet.

Kia Soul and the open road: The 1.6 diesel engine is punchy and makes light work of motorways ; once moving, it feels safe and stable. While it tends to be a tad noisy at low speeds it is responsive and refined with plenty of grip.

How Much? The entry level  EX is priced at €24,495  and the Platinum is available from €28,495.

Inside there is lots of room

Inside there is lots of room

How Safe? The Soul has not yet been tested by the EuroNCAP but in terms of safety both models include side and curtain  airbags and ABS With Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Front active head rests, Adaptive Brake Lights (Emergency Stop Signalling), Electronic Stability Control (Esc) With Brake-Assist System and Vehicle Stability Management (Vsm) as standard.

What about my options: Soul drivers have a choice of two trims, EX and Platium. The entry level EX is well equipped with features including 17” Alloy Wheels, Bluetooth, Cruise Control/Speed Limiter, climate control automatic air con ,digital radio and rear view camera. The Platinum option adds 18” Alloys, sat nav, leather upholstery with heated front seats electrically adjustable drivers seat, panoramic sunroof and an Infinity sounds system  .

3 words to describe the Kia Soul: Fun; Quirky; Practical

For more information check out Kia Ireland or the Kia Ireland Facebook page.

Geraldine Herbert

13th May, 2014




Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK), EuroNews and to RTÉ, Newstalk, TodayFM, BBC Radio and Vigin Media. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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