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:

Luggage net
To keep items from shifting in the trunk, you can use the four rings located in the trunk to attach the cargo net. NOTICE Do not put fragile, bulky or an excessive quantity of items into lugg ...

Fuel requirements
Gasoline engine (unleaded) Your new Kia vehicle is designed to use only unleaded fuel with a minimum Octane Rating of 87 Anti- Knock Index (AKI). NOTICE NEVER USE LEADED FUEL. The use of leaded ...

Four wheel drive (4WD)
Engine power can be delivered to all front and rear wheels for maximum traction. Full-time 4WD is useful when extra traction is required on road, such as, when driving on slippery, muddy, wet, ...