SUPER PACKAGING POTENTIAL

Kia expects the better-equipped next-step-up 2.0L Soul “+” model to represent the most popular choice. At $14,950, it squares off at the soul (sorry, had to) of the compact car market, as the segment’s most desirable Korean import. Even Kia admitted that it would cannibalize sales from its Spectra5 model. Upgrades include alloy wheels, a more powerful 2.0-litre engine, disc brakes, a speaker upgrade, cruise control, keyless entry, Bluetooth handsfree connectivity, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and body colored door handles and mirrors.

But how is it to drive? Compared with the compact class benchmark Honda Civic, the Soul also exudes a tied-down feel that’s rare in its class. Quick steering, coupled with good visibility meant I wished for more city streets to test the car’s undoubtedly in-town strengths. Kia told us during the presentation they had benchmarked the Dodge Caliber, Suzuki SX4, Scion xB, and upcoming Nissan cube — though for my money I’d also add the larger Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix to the list.

    See also:

    Handling
    With its tighter turning circle, the Kia Rio is most certainly more maneuverable than the average sedan, something to consider if you do a lot of city driving; however, remember that a vehicle wit ...

    Remote keyless entry
    ➀ Lock ( ) All doors are locked if the lock button is pressed. ➁ Unlock ( ) Two turn unlock mode The driver's door is unlocked if the unlock button is pressed once. All doors ...

    Electrical circuit protection
    Fuses A vehicle’s electrical system is protected from electrical overload damage by fuses. This vehicle has two fuse panels, one located in the driver's side panel bolster, the other in the ...