First Drive: Kia Soul Connect 1.6 CRDi

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 the UK, 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 1.6-litre diesel, there is also a 1.6 petrol available.

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.

There is now a more premium look and feel to the interior.

There is now a more premium look and feel to the interior.

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? Starting price for the entry level petrol is £12,600 while the 1.6 diesel is priced at £16,400. Full prices are listed below.

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: There are three regular trim lines – Start, Connect and Connect Plus – which will be joined in the summer by the Soul Mixx and Soul Maxx, with even more extrovert styling and higher levels of technology than ever before.

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

Version  Price OTR
Start 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual £12,600
Connect 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual £14,800
Connect 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed manual £16,400
Connect 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed auto £17,900
Connect Plus 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual £15,900
Connect Plus 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed manual £17,500
Connect Plus 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed auto £19,000
Mixx 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual £18,150
Mixx 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed manual £19,750
Mixx 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed auto £21,250
Maxx 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual £19,950
Maxx 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed manual £21,550

For more information check out Kia.co.uk or the Kia UK Facebook page.

Geraldine Herbert

14th May, 2014

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of goodhousekeeing.co.uk. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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