2017 Kia Soul Base 1.6

Summary:

Comfy commuter vehicle

Faults:

Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

Terrific little car. Purchased the base model in Alien 2 paint. We needed something with better fuel mileage, and small for commuting (30 miles/45 minutes one way) that would be comfortable and have a decent ride. Looked at so many used cars our eyes turned inside out. Had settled on a Scion xD/xB, but their fuel mileage was just a little better than my pickup truck, and folks were asking almost original sticker price for them. The Soul is more comfy, and gets better mileage (display says 30.8 at the moment).

Base sound system is adequate, as is Bluetooth functionality. I use my smartphone for navigation, just have a small device to hold it on the dash, works great. Couldn't ask for a better commuter car.

Only complaint I can really talk about, is it is susceptible to cross winds. However I can't think of another crossover that isn't tossed by strong crosswinds; it's never scary, it's just that you must pay a little more attention to your tracking.

Plenty of room in the back for hauling, and even more with the rear seats down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd March, 2017

2012 Kia Soul Base 1.6

Summary:

Well-equipped for the money, but dicey at highway speeds

Faults:

On occasion the automatic transmission shifts hard, and continues that behavior for a few days. It then goes back to normal. Dealer doesn't know what to do about it.

Tire pressure monitoring system keeps giving false readings, when tires are in fact inflated properly. Dealer has offered to fix this for an outrageous charge.

General Comments:

Nice car for the money, and other than the faults above it's been very reliable. However, this is a tough car to drive on the highway. The steering is extremely light and has no feedback at all, and the suspension doesn't feel like it will keep the car pinned down to the road at highway speeds. Ride is jiggly even when on smooth pavement. We bought it as we needed a cheap, reliable car for our business, but wouldn't buy another one primarily due to the handling issue. If Kia could get the European handling down, this car would be an unbeatable value.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th July, 2016

2016 Kia Soul + 2.0

Summary:

A fun car with lots of personality that makes up for lack of underwhelming engine and audio system

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong so far.

General Comments:

After one week of ownership, here are my impressions:

It's got personality AND it's affordable. I got the designer edition with the red top and white body. The designer editions are only available in the + (plus) trim range, which is disappointing since I would have liked to added a manual transmission (available only on the base model) and the high end UVO radio with Infinity audio package to it.

For being a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder I would have expected fairly decent pep. I don't care for the acceleration at all, but the Sportmatic shifting that lets me sort of choose the shift points makes it bearable. It's definitely no Mini Cooper. Lot of body roll, probably because of the softer suspension and all season tires. It's a smooth, quiet ride though.

The radio in there now, with 4.3" touch screen is meh. The features are cool enough, but the sound is terrible. The highs are tinny, the lows bottom out and make the speakers rattle in a low-fi, cardboard way and the mids are muddy. Overall very flat sounding and extremely underwhelming. I will be replacing the OEM radio as soon as I can afford it.

Overall, I love its personality, the features it comes with, the polished and well assembled interior that doesn't feel cheap, and how affordable it is. There are lots of customizing options for the future when I can upgrade/mod as I can afford it.

Honestly, and I know this is silly, but I wouldn't expect the mid-level trim to have such a basic sounding radio. It truly sounds like an 80s AM car radio. I don't know if it's crappy speakers, or a radio where you can only adjust the bass, mids and highs with no EQ. If anyone has any ideas or experience with this model, I'd love to hear it.

I plan to update this review in 6 months, if I remember!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th July, 2016