Sep 22, 2014
Reviewed By Erin Olson
Price as Tested $26,195: 2.0-L direct-injection 4-cyl, 6-speed automatic w/Active Eco System, Sun & Sound Package, The Whole Shabang Package
Likes

 

Optional “Sun & Sound” and “The Whole Shabang” packages add gobs of luxury options, including an 8-inch touch screen, pushbutton start, leather seat trim, heated seats and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel and more. It also adds a healthy dash of fun via the enormous panoramic sunroof and rainbow-colored speaker lights that can be set to change color automatically or pulse in time the music (or any other sound coming through the speakers; i.e., phone calls). And the stereo is the greatest. From the moment you start a trip, it records what’s happening on your top few favorite stations. You can then rewind and fast forward through songs that have played on those stations — eliminating the age-old problem of landing on your favorite song 3/4 of the way through.

 

Dislikes

This is a matter of personal taste, but the Latte Brown color of our test Soul put me to sleep in a sea of disappointment. It was geriatric and decidedly un-Soul-y. The 23/31 gas mileage was also disappointing.

Verdict

 

It’s impossible to feel boring or non-descript in a Kia Soul. I felt a kinship with other Soul drivers, similar to the way I always feel like I should wave vigorously at other Smart Car drivers when I’m using Car2Go, and I’ve always imagined that drivers of other distinctive vehicles (Beetles, Minis, PT Cruisers even) must feel the same. I found myself looking to see what kind of people my fellow Soul drivers were and was not shocked to notice that I’m in the bullseye of the target demographic for this vehicle: a young urbanite. I’d also wager that most Soul-ers are more concerned with cost than with prestige. My circle of target-demographic friends were also impressed with the Soul. In fact, one still talks about it weeks later, and another actually purchased one. It’s got all the quirky charm of those hamster-filled commercials at the right price. I’m a convert. As long as it comes in an appropriately obnoxious color.

 

Fun to Drive
4.0 rating
Fun to Look at
2.0 rating
Overall Experience
4.0 rating
Stats
EPA Mileage 23/31