Kia’s new Soul is funky, practical and versatile but has Kia done enough to extend its appeal writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? The Kia Soul is a small family car that proves that a cool and funky compact doesn’t have to break the bank.
Who is it aimed at? Originally designed with young buyers firmly in their sights this quirky car would suit everyone from a small family to an older buyer.
Styling? The new Soul has a very distinctive style and is essentially a supermini that looks and feels like a funsize and very funky SUV.
Under the Bonnet: There is only one engine option a 1.6-litre turbodiesel that comes with a pretty slick six-speed manual.gearbox.
What about Inside? It is longer, wider and taller than before so space is much more improved 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. Its best suited to carrying four people, but you could squeeze three good friends in the back . The boot is adequate for a car of this size.
On the Road? Thanks to a perky engine, good handling and stiff suspension the new Soul is a huge improvement over the last model and is fun to drive. With excellent all-round visibility and light steering the Soul is ideal for urban driving but venture out of the city and the punchy 1.6 diesel engine makes light work of motorways and feels safe and stable.
And Safety? The Soul has not yet been tested by the EuroNCAP but safety basics 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.
Options? Soul drivers have a choice of two trims, EX and Platium. Both are powered by a 1.6 diesel engine. 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
What about fuel economy? The 1.6 engine returns 5.0 litres per 100 or 56mpg and with CO2 emissions of 132g/km it is costs €270 to tax yearly.
Okay so the Verdict? Sensible and stylish the Kia Soul makes an interesting family car choice. Kia has a good reliability track record so don’t expect to spend much time on the hard shoulder. On the downside rivals are cheaper to run and the boot may be a tad too small depending on your needs but few cars will turn as many heads as the Kia Soul.
Why you’ll buy one? Well Made, Fun to drive; Funky Styling
Why you won’t? Fuel economy could be better; lack of engine choice
Engine: 1.6-litre 128ps diesel
Max speed: 180kph
0-100km/h: 11.3 secs
Emissions (motor tax): 132g/km (€270)
Starting price: €24,495
Model price range: €24,495 – €28,495
No of Doors: 4
Euro NCAP: Not tested
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 5.0 litre/ 100 km
Boot Capacity Seats up (Seats down) : 354 litres (686)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear and easy to use
23rd September, 2014