I've always hated the "boxy" wagons(Scion, Cube, Element, etc), but the only one I've liked was the Soul. Couldn't really give a reason they just looked cute. So naturally when we needed a 2nd car, I bought a 2012 Exclaim model. I'm gonna start with the few things I don't care for. It's kinda harsh NVH when accelerating anything more than softly. Not sure if this is just an unavoidable 4cyl econobox(pun intended) trait, but just saying it's more noticeable than other vehicles I've had. Second gripe, the inside door panel sills are so thin you can't rest your forearm on them when the windows are up. No big deal, just a quirk I'm not a fan of. Third, the damn sunroof doesn't tilt up like almost every other car. Fourth, the car has a backup camera but the screen is really small and the lines don't move with the steering wheel. All those small things aside, I still love this car. It's a dream to park, I average 29.6/33.6 mpg city/hwy. It has a great Infinity sound system w Bluetooth, Sat radio, and subwoofer. It's punchy from a stop(but only about average once you're out of 1st gear). It's damn cute and just all around excellent for a small family. It's like the perfect combination of cargo space, fuel economy, passenger space, and just an excellent city car. I highly recommend it if you get a good price(they don't have super resale value).
Don't waste your money on a Kia. The engine BLEW on my 4 year old car that I took wonderful care of - Connecting Rods failed. I had my car in my local shop for over 2 months and they couldn't identify the error. A month later, I receive a note direct from Kia that they're extending the warranty of my car to 120,000 miles DUE TO THE EXACT REASON MY ENGINE BLEW (connecting rod failure). I had since sold the car to a junk yard for $500 (because no one wanted it) and I lost over $8,000 compared to the KBB value of my car. Now Kia wants nothing to do with it because I didn't choose to repair my engine for $8K (what the car was worth at the time...) BOTTOM LINE - Kia does NOT care about their customers - they do not care about brand loyalty or repeat customers. They'd rather sell you a piece of junk car, wait for it to fail and then wish you luck with your next purchase. BUYERS BEWARE - DO NOT BUY A KIA.
This was by far the best choice we have ever made in a car. We looked at a Prius n other similar cars but we are a tall family n the Prius was too low in the back for my grandchildren n adult children. This car fits everyone well n is solidly built. (You can here it when you close the door.). I have a friend who has one n was hit from behind at a tremendous impact but the car took it n was able to be repaired without damage to its core frame. The body shop man was amazed n said that it took one h*ll of a hit but was ok. Really protected the riders that day.
We had been married 44 years. For the first time in our marriage, my wife asked for a specific car, the Soul! I said, a what? We usually buy a new car ever year or two; I give her the new one and I use the older one in my sales job. My wife loves this car. She is 5'2" and it fits her perfectly. It sets higher so she can see fine and this makes getting in and out much easier for her. We have had no problems with the car. It has excellent pick up and stops well. It will seat five but one of them had better be a child in the back seat! Our only complaint is that the ride is harsher than need be. I understand the new ones are a bit softer. I don't like not having a spare tire so I got one at the junk yard. I change my own oil and it is easy to do on the Soul. We bought this car with 3000 miles on it, the previous owner felt is was too small for his family but it is perfect for us. All our kids are grown. Gas mileage is a little less than I had hoped for. At 65 mph and on the flat Interstates in IL, I cannot get over 30 and a milk a car for gas mileage. I could get 36 on our 2010 Malibu on the same roads.
I didn't like that it did not have "driving lights" so I bought OEM fog lights on eBay and installed them so that they are on whenever the ignition is on. I do like the fact that after an amount of time, the car will automatically turn off any lights left on after you turn the car off; headlights, dome light, etc.
My wife and I would highly recommend the Kia Soul. We have the "Plus" model. We have only had one recall and that was optional.
(UPDATE) This car is amazing, still no problems and my wife loves it. We almost traded it for a 2016 Soul but this one is just too nice to give up. Go buy one.