Kia Soul: High End Feel, Low End Price

I tend to do a lot of driving during the weeks leading up to the First Day of School.  There's so much to do to prepare-- the last of the summer camps, Back to School Shopping, PTA volunteering -- and let's not forget the One Last Summer Road Trip that we just have to squeeze in before school starts again!

I've spent a LOT of time in the car this last week -- but fortunately, I was able to spend it test driving the Kia Soul. Never in my life would I have thought that I would grow to love the Kia Soul as much as I did!  I've always hated boxy-type vehicles -- too square, too trying-hard-to-be-hip, too claustrophobic.  But I couldn't help falling in love with the Kia Soul.  Yes, it's square, but it's so cute and cheeky, it's hard not to fall in love.  Here are some reasons why:

* The perky green color (the official name is "alien green", how cool is that??) only adds to the appeal.  The green is kind of in-your-face, but in a cheerful, zippy way.

* The interior feels much roomier than it should, given the car's small size. Everyone loves the leather seats, panoramic sun roof, and cool front speakers that change color to the beat of the music! FYI, the Soul is on Wards Auto's list for 10 best interiors, alongside cars that cost $10,000 more.  Kia has received a lot of praise for the Soul's premium feel. 

The Soul is not just style at the expense of substance. It earned the government's highest overall safety rating in NHTSA crash tests.  Also, just named the 2014 Soul as one of its Top Five Cars for Urban Families.  

Best of all, despite its premium feel, the Kia Soul starts at a $15,000 base price!  Alfie and I were shocked when we Googled it; we expected it to cost about $5000 more.  What's more, the 2014 Soul won ALG's Residual Value Award for subcompact utilities, retaining its value better than any other vehicle in that segment (57% of its value after 3 years of ownership).

Of all the cars I've tested out and written about this past year, the Kia Soul just might be my favorite -- it's about neck and neck with my previous favorite, the Kia Optima Hybrid.  In fact, the only 2 things that would make us love the Kia Soul even more would be if they offered a hybrid version, and if they offered a turbo version (unlike the Kia Optima Hybrid, acceleration for the Soul felt a bit slow and sluggish, even with the EcoDrive feature turned off).

I think the Kia Soul looks just perfect in front of our house, don't you?  We think so too!  In fact, it looks like our next car just might be a Kia Soul -- we're looking to replace our BMW 328 in a year or two, and thanks to last weeks's test drive, the Soul is currently our top pick! After all, if the Kia SOUL is good enough for Pope Francis, it's good enough for us :)

Disclosure: I was lent a Kia Soul to drive for a week, for review purposes.. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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1 Comments, Leave yours here:

Bonneville on September 2, 2014 at 8:17 PM said...

I also got to drive this car several times during the week and really enjoyed it. It doesn't have the power of our manual BMW 328i but I didn't find it sluggish at all. The size of this car is deceptive. I think that there is more head room and more leg room than we have in the BMW and it's really comfortable. I was also very impressed with the music system: there are speakers everywhere!
This car is full of surprises; I loved it!

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