Jacqueline and I are both Hatchback Car Lovers and thanks to Kia Singapore, we had the rarest of opportunity to take the Kia Soul out for a ride. If you're wondering, this will not be the only automobile review that we're working on and in the next few automobile reviews, we will be featuring mostly Hatchback Cars.
Here's a Photo of My Kia Picanto and the Kia Soul, side by side.
The Kia Soul is a really sporty hatchback car and it does have the feel of a SUV [Sports Utility Vehicle]. When we were at the Kia Car Showroom at Alexandra Road, the Kia Soul was very distinctive and we really like its sporty and adventurous outlook. We actually attracted quite a few stares while test-driving the car, and the Kia Soul was really a head-turner. Costing $99,999, the Kia Soul comes in a choice of 11 colours and is fitted with standard 16-inch steel wheels.
A picture of the standard 16-inch steel wheels that comes with every Kia Soul. If you wish, there's an optional upgrade to an 18-inch wheel that will make the Kia Soul look even more like a SUV.
Kia Soul's Exterior
Parked next to a Mini or Volkswagen Beetle, it doesn't look that shabby at all. Comparing with most of the Hatchback Cars in the automobile market, the frame of the Kia Soul is slightly bigger and sports a very contemporary look. The squared-off, cubic design of the radiator grill is also very stylish and combined with the LED daytime running lights, it gives the Kia Soul a high-tech, luxurious and futuristic image. The front bumper of the Kia Soul has also been given extra prominence, thanks to beefed-up proportions and sculpted mouldings around the license plate.
Side View of the Kia Soul
Kia Soul's Interior
The cabin of the Kia Soul is very cosy and it provides lots of legroom. There are 4 interior colours to choose from and it lets you match the car to your taste and personality. The Kia Soul features textured fabrics made by advanced PVC moulding process, nano-tech fabrics that guard against liquid spillages, and premium-like fabrics produced by high frequency heat embossing.
On top of a huge cabin space, the Kia Soul also has a large boot space that can accommodate your shopping bags pretty well. If that's not enough, you can fold down the rear seats and the backrests to create approximately 57 litres of space that can accommodate two mountain bikes.
A Closer View at the Kia Soul's Large Boot Space
The Boot Space Can Be Increased By Folding Down the Rear Seats and Backrests
Underneath the boot space lies a rear storage tray that is deep enough for you to keep all sorts of items out of sight. This could include your emergency care kit, lanterns, umbrella, sports shoes, and any other items that you seldom use but wish to have onboard.
This is how the Kia Soul Looks Like from the Rear
At all the four doors of the Kia Soul, there's a slot for you to put a standard 600ml bottle of water and if you're wondering whether it can fit a Starbucks Venti Takeaway Cup, yes it can but we do not highly recommend you to put a cup of hot/cold beverage because any spillages can be rather messy and disastrous.
Seating at the front seats, the exquisite dashboard of the Kia Soul does gives a feeling of luxury and exclusivity.
Moving on to the front passenger's seat, there is a glove box compartment that allows you to put quite a couple of items such as the car's manual, parking coupons, and music CDs. It is generally large and deep enough for A4-sized folders as well.
The sun visor has a built-in mirror and a separate lighting mechanism on the roof that allows you to touch up your make-up [for the ladies] and hairdo [for the gentlemen] on the go.
The driver's seat is where things start to get a little more interesting. To get a more comfortable driving position, drivers can adjust the seat in 6 directions, whether it is up and down, front and back, or further and nearer the steering wheel. Although the driver's seat has been ergonomically-designed to help drivers obtain the right seating and driving posture, I personally find the seat to be a tad too tough for my liking.
The manual tilt and telescopic steering wheel can be adjusted both up and down, and forward and back, so that you can find the ideal position for comfortable driving.
On the steering wheel, you can find controls that allows you to adjust the volume and skip tracks on the audio system, and perform other functions without taking your hands off the wheel for safety and convenience.
It is also interesting to note that although the Kia Soul is a Korean-made car, the dashboard has a continental design and the controls to the left/right signals and wipers are positioned differently from that of a Japanese-made car or even my very own Kia Picanto.
The Dashboard of the Kia Soul
We found the factory-fitted audio system of the Kia Soul to be good enough for basic use and it does look funky with its red-lit buttons. The audio system also has a Bluetooth streaming capability for handheld devices like smartphones and it also allows you to make phone calls. A handy storage area that opens/closes with a push lid is located above the audio system in the center fascia and you can store items such as your sunglasses.
The lights around the in-door speakers respond to the music that is playing on the audio system, varying in brightness depending on the volume, bass tone and beat of the music. If you wish, you can also control and change the light colours from red, blue, and green with a turn of a switch.
You can turn on/off the Parking Assist System with a push of a button and also hook up your MP3 Player or Ipod to play your favourite music tracks on the sound system. There's also a cigarette lighter socket and an additional charging socket which allows you to charge your mobile devices on the go.
For smokers, there is a removable cigarette ashtray bin which you can use to put cigarette butts but if you're a non-smoker, the removable cigarette ashtray bin can double up as a mini trash bin for tissue papers and sweet wrappers.
The rear view mirror features an ElectroChromic Mirror [ECM] function that will dim any light glare from headlamps behind you.
Kia Soul's Driving Performance
The Kia Soul is powered by a 1.6-litre 6-speed CVVT DOHC Gasoline Direct injection (GDi) engine and when we test-drove the car, we found the auto-transmission to be rather smooth-sailing at low speeds.
With that said, overtaking of cars can be somewhat of a challenge because the Kia Soul picks up speed at a rather slow pace and when we floored the accelerator pedal to gain speed, the sound of the roaring engine was rather loud and could be heard in the cabin. However, when we switched the transmission to manual-style shifting, the pick up was faster and way smoother. Although the drive was a little bumpy, driving the Kia Soul was a pleasure.
Although the Kia Soul operates on Auto Transmission, drivers can also switch to manual-style shifting.
Equipped with a dual-airbag system that will deploy during an impact to cushion the force on the occupants, and the bumper-mounted parking assist sensors that will help to prevent collisions when reversing, we felt quite safe and secure in the Kia Soul.
The Remote Keyless Entry System and the Engine Start/Stop Push Button also provides the added convenience of operating the car without much of a hassle.
Having spent hours photographing the Kia Soul and writing this blog entry, we enjoyed the experience with the Kia Soul and we hope that you enjoyed reading this short review. If you're a Hatchback Car Lover like us and you're planning to purchase a car soon, you might want to put the Kia Soul on your list for consideration.
For more updates about the cars that Kia Singapore has to offer, do check out Kia Singapore Facebook Page and if you're specifically looking for information about the Kia Soul or if you're a Kia Soul Owner, do check out the Kia Soul Facebook Page!