Since we're dealing with a so-called “urban” vehicle, driving it in such an environment should represent the ace up its sleeve. And although we do admit that driving Kia's Soul is a lot of fun, there are some minor problems that could become extremely irritating in the end. But first things first.
Soul's dimensions are somewhat acceptable for city driving, so you should not encounter too many problems when squeezing through other cars, despite the bulky exterior appearance it boasts. Furthermore, the high ground clearance (6.5 inches/165 mm) allows the car to pass over speed bumps without the risk of hitting the ground with the front or rear bumper respectively.
Under the popular “there are no bugs, just features” IT programming principle, we discovered some – let's name them “special” - attributes of the car that managed to get on our nerves in a minute.
First of all, the suspension system. Similar in feel to the one installed on the first cee'd, the suspension configuration on Kia's Soul is far from ensuring a smooth ride. Moreover, the rear suspension is semi-rigid, instead of multi-link. The car employs MacPherson Strut on the front and CTBA (Coupled Torsion Beam Axle) on the rear and even if these two names sound pretentious, they're not able to provide the comfortable ride you'd expect from such a vehicle.
We have however enjoyed parking the car, mostly thanks to the number of parking assistance systems that turned the entire maneuver into a simple process. The parking sensors coupled with the rear-view camera connected to a small LCD display integrated into the interior camera provide a clean view when in reverse mode, regardless of the time of day/night or weather conditions. However, please note that the rear-view camera is only available as an option and is exclusively offered on the top Soul configuration.
As for fuel consumption, this is still an enigma for us because the on-board computer doesn't provide fuel consumption figures at all. However, according to our estimates, city fuel consumption should go around 11 l/100km (21.3 mpg) in extreme traffic conditions, far from Kia's official figures which point to an impressive 8.0 l/100km (29.4 mpg) rating when equipped with 18-inch wheels (also offered as an option).
The manual transmission is easy to control but we reckon that an automatic configuration would be great on such a car, especially when driven in city conditions at a rush hour.
The small luggage compartment, which measures 340 liters, should be enough for the 18- to 35-year old people Kia plans to lure into buying Soul. But carrying other things than a single barbecue, your football or basketball equipment or maybe two or three shopping bags is a serious problem and the only way to deal with it is to fold the rear seats which, to be honest, doesn't look too appropriate for a young person.Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
Kia... I think I like Kias. They're not German, but still. Honestly, I'm the biggest fan of German cars. I'm also just about to become a Toyota fan, since the glitch that keeps the pedal to the metal is just a feature for me, because I have a heavy right foot anyway...
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