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:

    Maintenance schedule
    Chart symbols: I- Inspect these items and their related parts. If necessary, correct, clean, refill, adjust or replace. R- Replace or change L- Lubricate. (1) Refer to the lubricant and co ...

    Driving your vehicle
    Ignition switch Starting the engine Manual transaxle Automatic transaxle Four wheel drive (4WD) Brake system Steering wheel Cruise control system Electronic stability control Instrument clust ...

    Windows
    Power windows (if equipped) (1) Driver’s door power window switch (2) Front passenger’s door power window switch (3) Rear door (left) power window switch* (4) Rear door (right) power windo ...