For the last few months, I have been eyeing the distinctive, unique and unconventional shape of the Kia Soul; being quite popular, the Soul has cropped up wherever I seem to find myself – the mall, at work, and even during morning drop off at school. The sense of symmetry and…funkiness…for lack of a better word, has really stuck with me, and as such, I am thrilled to do a preview of the Kia Soul, as showcased by the team at Kia Goldreef.
The Kia Soul stands out wherever it goes: with it’s boxy, solid shape, there really isn’t any other vehicle on the road that looks quite like this. As a crossover SUV, the Soul makes it’s name by showing off it’s sporty, jazzy nature. With each of it’s four wheels positioned right on the outer edge of the body, and a signature squared off boot, the Soul is also released in recognisable two tone colours that brilliantly highlight the shape of the vehicle itself. Even the tail-lights are so designed to draw attention to the vehicle; it is no wonder the Kia Soul won the Red Dot award in the Car Design category in 2014.
Standing at 1606 millimetres tall, and with a total length of 4140 millimetres, the interior of the Kia Soul is surprisingly spacious in the front, and satisfactorily roomy in the back. Although I am sure that for the taller passengers there would be a little leg-room discomfort (most especially if seated in the middle of the back row), it is quite fine for the average individual. The ample head room makes up for the slightly compact feel in the back, and – with the optional panoramic sunroof – the lovely spacious feel of the cabin is further enhanced.
As with most compact SUV’s, the boot space is not massive. However, with the seats folded down (and taking the brilliant under-floor storage spaces into account) this is more than adequate for me personally. I love the general feel of the cabin, with all the really neat, high-end finishes and the sense of luxury that enfolds you. The lay-out of the controls and instrument cluster is fresh and modern, and everything is easily within reach. With great features such as push-button start and a cooling glovebox, the Soul is certainly up there with the big names in the segment.
Boasting a 5-Star safety rating, the Kia Soul also has numerous active, and passive, safety features, including all the airbags you need and Vehicle Stability Management across all terrains. A rear-camera also comes standard across all six variants, and engine output ranges between 152 – 260 Nm torque and 91 – 116 kW depending on the specific variant. With a starting price of R315 995 for the entry level variant, the Soul is generally well priced for this category too.
With its remarkable and dashing good looks, the Kia Soul is definitely on my list of vehicles to do an in-depth review soon.
By Desh Bechan