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:

DRIVING
You know what? It drives pretty well. On winding and hilly roads, the car’s comparatively wide stance makes it feel solid, with little body roll. I drove the “+”, “!”, and “sport” tr ...

Exterior care
Exterior general caution It is very important to follow the label directions when using any chemical cleaner or polish. Read all warning and caution statements that appear on the label. Finish m ...

Large Trunk
The large trunk has a low, wide opening and a lid that raises easily on gas struts. Rear seatbacks can be flipped forward for more cargo space, but they don't sit entirely flat. The pass-through a ...