City Car Review – 2014 Kia Soul

FInding a good city car is no easy task until you drive the new Kia Soul. kia-soul

First Impressions

When Drive STI first delivered the 2014 Kia Soul to our house my husband and teenager shuddered in horror. They called the car an “ugly toaster” and refused to get in, so I drove it alone for a few days, peacefully by myself through the streets of NYC. The Kia Soul was named one of the 10 coolest cars under $18,000 by Kelley Blue Book and is considered a compact car. Once inside however, this compact car is far from small; It’s spacious interior leaves a lot of room for car seats, groceries, and friends. Upon further consideration, my husband did eventually drive the car and once he did, there was no turning back. He was in love.

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Loves

Interior Space – For a small car, the Kia Soul has massive interior space and storage capacity with plenty of room  for the entire family. It’s durable cloth seats come standard in stain hiding colors such as gray and black and the split-folding rear seat-backs make for an expandable trunk size. Other space adding features include front seatback storage, front and rear cup-holders, front console storage, and front and rear door pockets so all of your organic snacks, sippy cups, and coloring books don’t wind up under the seats.

Style and Color – What can I say, I am a sucker for a big sky roof. Take this car on a long drive and watch the clouds as you go (for passengers only!) and this is a car that let’s you enjoy nature even from inside a moving vehicle. And nothing says cool like a color called “Alien II”, a greenish yellow sort of mustard tone that fits right in amongst public city art.

Good Visibility – Because of it’s boxy high frame, the Kia Soul has great visibility through it’s windows while driving and changing lanes.

Price – With a starting price around $16,600, the Kia Soul is one of the most affordable cars in its class and comes with a 5 year warranty.

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view from the Kia Soul sky roof

Likes

Built in Convenience – The Kia Soul comes with an easy iPhone connection, built in Sirius satellite radio, bluetooth wireless data link for your hands-free phone, as well as audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel.

Good Handling – The Kia Soul comes with a tilt and telescopic steering wheel for comfort as well as independent suspension in the front and rear which makes it a great handling car for the city.

Safety – The Kia Soul has family friendly safety features that keep our most precious cargo safe. The car comes standard with child seat anchors, front and rear head airbags, a passenger head restraint whiplash protection system, tire pressure monitoring, 3 rear headrests, and a rear center 3-point seat belt.

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Could Be Betters

Small Trunk – The Kia Soul makes every effort to keep it’s passengers safe and comfortable which means giving up some space in the rear of the car when passengers are inside. With the back seats upright, there is a meager amount of space that allows for basic food shopping but not much else. Without your passengers however, the seats go down, and there is plenty of space.

Acceleration – The Kia Soul comes with a base engine size of 1.6 Liter 4 Cylinder  which to many of us means nothing on it’s own. The translation of this is simply that there is a small engine carrying a big car which can make for a slower than desired acceleration time. It is in no way the end of the world but it is worth a mention none the less. My husband disagreed on this point calling the Kia “a zippy, fun ride”.

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Final Thoughts

If you are looking for the hipster version of a soccer mom minivan, then the Kia Soul is a great choice for you. It is easy to drive, compact to park, comfortable for both you and your passengers, and can handle well in the city. It is  great for budget-minded buyers seeking an alternative to mainstream hatchbacks. My husband ended up loving this car which on it’s own makes the car worth looking at. After all, how many times can a husband and wife agree on a car?