- Even entry-level models are well equipped
- Good driving position
- Excellent all-round visibility
KIA’S NEW Soul crossover is a perfect example of the company’s bold approach to styling, a real head-turner which is so much more than just visually striking.
Like all Kia models it has a seven-year warranty, is very well kitted, and though its road footprint is relatively small, clever use of interior space makes it very roomy so it also scores highly for everyday practicality.
Prices start at £12,600 with even entry levels models having DAB radio, keyless entry, all-round power windows, air-con, tyre-pressure monitoring, hill-start assist, and six airbags. There are three standard trim levels, Start, Connect and Connect Plus, and two more extrovert versions, Mixx and Maxx.
There are two engines on offer, a 130hp 1.6-litre petrol and a 126hp 1.6-litre diesel.
It was the latter engine that was in our Mixx test model, which featured exterior styling upgrades, larger 18-inch alloys, sat-nav, climate control and premium sound system among extra equipment.
Price of this version is £19,750.
The cabin has a quality appearance, is very well laid out, and the seats are exceptionally comfortable. You get a good driving position, and excellent all-round visibility. The fascia is dominated by a large 8-inch touchscreen, and other switchgear is well-placed, with several functions operated by steering-wheel mounted controls.
The Kia Soul impresses with its responsive feel and it has excellent body control, despite its tall boxy shape.
The 6-speed gearbox is precise and adds to the fluent driving dynamics. The diesel unit gives a 0-60 mph time of 10.8 seconds, top speed of 112 mph, and fuel consumption of 56.5 mpg combined.
Revised suspension gives a smoother more compliant ride, and improved noise insulation provides a quiet driving environment. Occupant space is impressive, with even six-footers having good head and legroom in the rear.
Boot capacity is 354 litres, boosted to 1,367 litres with the rear seats folded. The top of the range versions have a lot of visual kudos and and are generously equipped but many buyers will find the best value for them may be one of the mid-range Connect Plus models which include most of the must-have kit and start at £15,900.
FOR: Charismatic styling, pleasant driving feel, Kia dependability and 7 year warranty.
AGAINST: Ride can be a bit jittery on rough surfaces.
MODEL & SPECIFICATION