2010 Kia Soul

Confession time: I’m in the target market for the Kia Soul and the vehicle’s engineers thought of something even I didn’t know I wanted.

FAST FACTS
1. Not the most powerful, or most efficient — but competitive; 142hp with 27 city / 35 hwy mpg.

2. Available in many trims to suit your budget

3. On even the most basic car, ABS, stability control, and power everything are standard
Front speakers that light up in tune with the music.

Seriously. It’s like being in a moving ambulance with the Crystal Castles cranked to 11.

Gimmicks aside, this $13,300 hatchback might just be the coolest thing to come out of Korea since the barbecue. On the base car, six airbags, active front headrests, power windows, power locks, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with AUX and USB inputs, and air conditioning.

At that price, it’s hard not to like it. But let me make three things clear: the 1.6L engine on the base car is likely underpowered (they didn’t have any at launch to test), though standard are a huge number of features that are optional on other cars. Those not proficient with a manual transmission should take note: the base car is only available with a 5-speed manual transmission.

See also:

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