After putting 110,000 miles on a 2006 Kia Rio, I decided last November to take a look at a new 2011 Kia Soul. I was looking for something with more cargo room and easier to get in and out of. I was also hoping for at least similar gas mileage as the Rio. The Soul fit the bill perfectly. I also like the greater ground clearance and better visibility afforded by the extra overall height. It does ride more truck-like than the Rio, but that is fine with me: I feel I'm in more control and in tune with the road. With a mix of highway and in-town driving, I'm getting on average 32 to 35 mpg with the Soul, which was unexpected. A great car for the price, with all the standard perks.
-Great road visibilty
-Many safety features
-Very good sound system, with Sirius radio
-Plenty of cargo room
-Ease of shifting
-Larger 5th gear to lower highway RPMs and to improve fuel economy at speed.
-Console armrest should be standard. Much more comfortable to drive with it.
-Toughen the paint on the nose. It seems the flat area above the grille would be very susceptible for catching flying stones and road debris, thus resulting in dings in the finish. I bought the plastic hood deflector in anticipation of this.
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