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.
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
|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|
14th May, 2014