My wife & I traded our 2004 Dodge Caravan SE on a base model Soul.
We bought the Caravan used in 2009 when we discovered the day before our twin sons were born that a rear facing car seat did not fit behind the driver's seat of our 2006 Matrix and still allow me enough room to drive.
Last year we purchased a new 2009 Kia Sedona on clearance for a great price as our primary family vehicle.
Because of our great experience with the Sedona, we decided to look at the Soul for an around town run about, primarily for my wife.
We went with the base 1.6/5-Speed to maximize economy and value.
With the owner loyalty rebate we paid less than $13,000, this little car is a fantastic value & fun!
Lots of storage space, great fuel economy, excellent value for the money, peppy around town, even with the 1.6 liter engine, and a great warranty.
This car has a lot of features that are optional on other base model entry level cars and it still undercuts them on price.
It has a higher driving position and a much more roomy feel than most subcompact cars, and its looks, while somewhat funky, do grow on you.
It has a fantastic array of safety features: airbags everywhere, 4-Wheel disc ABS, stability control, traction control, and great crash test ratings.
It really is a great value!
I would like to see the base model available in all the Soul colors (we got black and like it, but my wife really wanted the burnt orange).
I'd also like cruise control and keyless entry, but none of that was a deal breaker for us.
We are another year in and still very happy with the Soul.
Overall average MPG has been 26.5.
We recently drove from North Carolina to Kansas City and the Soul averaged 40 MPG for the trip, with a high of 44 MPG on one 300+ mile leg of the trip (that is based on manual calculations, not the trip computer).
The trip computer generally reports 1 or 2 MPG high in my experience.
We are probably going to sell this car to my wife's mother because she needs an inexpensive, reliable car that gets decent gas mileage.
However, we are most likely going to replace it with a 2013 Soul.
Overall the Soul experience has been excellent.
We have now had the Soul a little over a year and put about 9000 miles on it, the huge majority of it in city driving.
So far not a single problem with the car, and it is still fun to drive and economical.
Overall average MPG is hovering around 26, but on the few highway trips we have taken it on it averages in the mid-30's.
For for informational purposes (we have no intention of getting rid of the Soul), I checked the trade-in value on our car a couple of different places.
They were all showing the trade-in value to be right about what we paid for it new last year.
Not sure how that is possible, but I'm not complaining.
I did notice that CarMax is selling a couple of used base model 2011 Souls for more than the sticker was on our new one.
So, the car seems to hold its value.
Overall all we still love the car and plan to have it for years to come.
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