When the first Soul landed here back in 2008, there was much chatter about how it looked. Some said it was ugly, and some said it was how cars are changing. I have to say, the latter were right. I mean, what car these days, does not push the envelope when it comes to design?
You only have to look at what the likes of Nissan and VW are currently producing to see that things are rapidly changing. Recently, there has been a big boom in the B-segment SUV market. Annual sales of this type of car in Western Europe are up from around 380,000 in 2013 to more than 600,000 by 2015, plus, just over a quarter of B-SUV customers are British.
To be honest, I like cars that are a little different from the norm. I don’t want manufacturers to keep producing Eco cars, but, we are continually told that the fuel is running out fast and that the polar bears are apparently moving to Cyprus. Does this mean that the motorcar as we know it will be outlawed sooner than we think?
Moving on, my latest road test is the New Kia Soul. The Soul is a very brash bold looking car that stands out from what everybody else is driving, but in a good way. It’s kind of funky and retro all in one. I love everything about it.
Inside is a real pleasure to behold too. Ok, so it’s not as well equipped as some cars, but to be honest, it has a lot of the extras that you wouldn’t expect from a car in this price range.
Standard equipment on the New Soul starts with – Air-con, tinted glass, heated door mirrors, trip computer, privacy glass, all round electric windows, and a leather steering wheel. The model I was testing was also fitted with full leather trim and reversing sensors. The seats are also very comfy, and all the dials and switches are really easy to read, and use.
Space inside the cabin is a big plus point for the Soul, as it has plenty of room for five adults. Boot space is good and even better with its split folding rear seat. There is more than enough space in here for your entire luggage or your golf clubs if that’s what you’re into.
On the road, I was really impressed by how the Soul deals with the bumps in the road. The 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine fitted to my test car – moves along at a good pace. 0-62 time is around 10.8sec and the top speed is 112mph. Add into this its 192 Ib ft of torque, and you soon realise that this is more than enough to get you moving along even with a full load.
You won’t be visiting the garage much either, because the New Soul can return an urban fuel consumption figure of 46.3mpg. Now that’s really impressive. If you do decide to see what it can really do, then you could get that up to 64.2mpg (extra urban)
Safety? Well let’s just say Kia has you covered. The New Soul has; six airbags and ESP as standard, as well as ABS, EBD and BAS. It also has an excellent 5 star EuroNCAP rating. Add into this, the brand’s seven-year warranty in the event of any mechanical mishaps.
Would I buy one? I think that the Kia Soul represents excellent value for money, and its long list of standard equipment and the seven-year warranty is a very good reason to consider this as your next family car.
New Kia Soul 1.6 CRDi ‘connect plus’
Price: £17,500 OTR
Top speed: 112mph
Economy: 56.6mpg (combined) emissions g/km (132)
Engine: 1.6 CRDi
Power: 126bhp at 4000rpm
Torque: 192 Ib ft at 1900rpm – 2,750rpm
Warranty: 7 years (100,000 miles)
My Rating: 5 Stars By Anthony Yates