My Week with a 2012 Kia Soul

I was asked by a friend of mine if I would drive and review a 2012 Kia Soul for his automotive forum, bdfd.com. Long-time readers might remember when I announced the launch of By Drivers for Drivers some time ago, but if you don’t, it’s alright because it’s not really pertinent to this posting. My friends and family know that I purchased a Subaru a couple of years ago and that l dearly love my baby but now that I’ve changed jobs, I’ve been thinking about getting something more fuel efficient that doesn’t require me to sacrifice the other things I love about the Subaru (like heated seats and the ability to throw everything I need to go camping into my car and just go). When I got into the Kia Soul, I never suspected that by the end of the week it would top my list of replacements. How was my week with the Soul? In a word: great.

I won’t say that I have absolutely no objections, because that would be ridiculous and after all, it isn’t my dream vehicle (but unless I win the lottery I’m not going to pay the Lexus prices for my RX) but it had some pretty strong reasons for anyone who is in the market for a vehicle to at least give it a try.

Shall we get the bad stuff out of the way first? Until you’re on the highway, where the ride smooths out, you definitely feel the road. I was quite cranky about this until I realized that my Subaru isn’t really that much better. There’s limited cargo space inside (the “trunk” area is quite small) and in the front seat area the only covered space is your glove box and a small spot suitable for sunglasses. And I have to mention it – much to Kia’s chagrin I’m sure because they think this is part of the hip and trendy Soul image – but the speaker lights are ridiculous. That and the failure of the Bluetooth to recognize a few common names from my phonebook are it for complaints for me.

Now for the good stuff. I was driving a 4U Retro (Go to Kia Canada and have a look at the Kia specs to see the difference between models) which means I had the UVO Entertainment system which includes a back up camera, (which is absolutely genius and I think all vehicles should have them as standard safety equipment like ABS and air bags) a sunroof, and my favourite for Canadian winters, heated seats. I found everything easy to use/access whether I was doing voice address to the UVO system or using the steering wheel controls. Getting in and out of the Kia Soul was a breeze. Much like my Subaru I wasn’t climbing up or down to get in, which if you or someone in your family has mobility issues, is a really great thing.

Perhaps what I liked most – after getting used to it that is – was the Soul’s ActiveEco system. When I first turned it on I didn’t think I was going to like it because I felt resistance from the gas pedal and from the car when it came to acceleration, but I stuck with it and within the day’s driving I got used to the ActiveEco (or maybe it got used to me, I’m not sure). But get this, with the ActiveEco on I took multiple drives into the GTA and back plus did my regular in city driving (and a little extra taking friends for rides to get their opinions) and by the time I was filling the Soul up to return it, I’d driven in the neighbourhood of 400 km and used a little less than half a tank of gas. Yes, you heard that right.

Click here to read my full Kia Soul review on By Drivers For Drivers or to visit the site.

 

And that’s my 2¢ for today.

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~ by leslies2cents on May 18, 2012.

6 Responses to “My Week with a 2012 Kia Soul”

  1. Love the content material! It shown to get genuinely useful in my knowledge and i’m certain to all site visitors from it.

  2. The new Kia Soul has gained 5-star rating in the safety tests conduced by the Euro NCAP as it has come incorporated with plentiful standard safety features.

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