Great car for driving. Very comfortable, easy to get in and out of for us older folks. Zippy attitude in the city and on the highway. Just did a day in San Francisco and what fun. No trouble up or down the steep hills. The vehicle did not roll back when stopped on a hill at a light. First time ever either stick or auto. Hate the fact that the car is marketed for youngsters. This car has so much going for it. Great headroom. Both front and rear seats are comfortable and roomy. I came from a Mazada MPV and only regret is less room in trunk area. Mileage is soooo much better and the direct front wheel handling is fantastic. Have tried to do all kinds of driving since purchasing this vehicle and in all areas mountains, to freeway, city to country it is really a gem. Glad I found this lovable drive-able car to be a very good choice for my last car purchase. Truly believe it will do the job until I stop driving. It doesn't hurt to have a really good warranty longer than the rest of the market.
In the late summer of 2015, my 2000 Honda CR-V, which had performed flawlessly for 15 years, began to have some issues and I commenced searching for its successor. I was set on purchasing a 2015 Honda Fit, but in August the model and color (red) I wanted wasn't available in Northern California, so I considered my Plan B - a Kia Soul. I had started to notice these quirky-looking, boxy vehicles after the redesign and I was quite attracted to the refreshed look. The reviews across numerous sites were mostly very favorable and I decided to visit Kia of Marin for a test drive. I immediately noticed how solid the vehicle felt and similar to the CR-V, I really liked the sensation of sitting high vs. the Fit, which has a lower profile. Overall, I was very impressed and when I inquired about the availability of an Inferno Red Plus, the dealer was able to get one in 2 days. What really cinched the deal was Kia's $2,000 discount and the availability of a 1.9% financing deal for 66 months with no money down. Bottom line - I drove out in a new Soul Plus for less than 19K, including tax and license. Seems like a great vale.
Driving experiences - After 5,000 miles here is what I have learned:
First, I had a few negative early impressions, which have moderated or reversed over time: 1. Blind spot on the passenger side - Due to the rather thick pillars where the tail lights reside, I have had to get used to a significant blind spot, which requires me to position the side mirror in such a way that I can see a car in that blind spot and I do a visual check every time I make a lane change to the right. On the driver's side, I have no problem. I don't like the blind spot, but I deal with it. 2. No CD Player - As an older driver accustomed to having CD's in the car, this was going to be a deal-breaker for me but I decided to open my mind to using a flash drive and plugging into the USB port. Good move! I don't miss the CDs and the clutter at all and I can put so much music on a flash drive. It's really a no-brainer. 3. No spare tire - That's just silly and this "kit" they provide is a joke. Pay the $250 or so for the spare tire assembly unless you love repairing them on the side of the road. 4. Back seat doesn't lay flat when folded down and falls about 6" short of the front seat. As a percussionist with lots of drums and other gear, I thought this would really suck for me, but it was a false alarm. I get all of my instruments into the vehicle with no problem and I use the "gap" between the seats to store skinny items like cymbals, mic stands etc.
Driving - The Soul drives smoothly and confidently and I don't experience the "vague" steering that many reviewers have noted. It handles curves just fine and gets up hills (many in Marin County where I live) without undue effort and doesn't roll back when stopped on a hill, which is a revelation. Breaking is good enough and power is more than adequate with the 2-liter engine.
Gas Mileage - This is a weak point of the Soul as my combined mileage is less than 22 in Eco mode, not the bogus 26 MPG claimed on the sticker. However, since I monitor the MPG on every trip, if I stay on the freeway, the car will return roughly 31 MPG. It's on the side streets and hills where it falls back to about 18 MPG.
Stereo System - Since I didn't get the upgraded audio package, I settled for replacing the front component speakers with new Hertz speakers and the sonic experience improved dramatically. I am considering adding a Phoenix Gold small subwoofer to ensure that the low frequencies are audible and don't get swallowed up by road noise.
Comfort - I would give this 5 stars if it weren't for the annoying positioning and hard materials of the head rests. The head rest feels really uncomfortable when I lean into it. The seats are very comfortable and I feel like I have plenty of room as a driver and I know passengers feel quite comfortable as well.
Other - All the doors and the rear gate open effortlessly, making it a breeze for me to get all my gear in and out of the vehicle. Beware of the key fobs. I didn't like the idea of carrying 2 bulky key fobs in case I misplaced one and the dealer had no suggestions for how to get a simple spare key made. After countless calls to Kia and to locksmiths who wanted to charge up to $200 to make one for me, I found a local locksmith who used a Lexus blank to make me a spare that I can put in my wallet which opens the doors and starts the engine ... for $35. I highly recommend this option if you are like me and never want to be locked out.
Overall, this is a very fun car to drive and a great value to boot, especially if you can wait for a year-end deal. It's quirky, but I can't think of a better option in this price range.
I shopped for a Soul a year ago and ended up buying a Honda Civic instead. No knock on the Civic, but it just wasn't the right car for me, and I found myself still looking. I came back around to the Soul. Kia had special financing, and the dealer was offering a better deal than I could find a year ago, so I took the plunge and bought the 2016 Soul+ with the Audio/Nav package. Wow! I'm so glad I bought it!
I love the extra driving height and extra headroom. There's more room in the back seat. There's more cargo room. It's fun to drive. Acceleration is good with the 2.0 liter engine. Handling is good. Pro reviewers talk about "numb" steering but I don't notice it. It drives and handles fine. That said, it's not a sports car so don't buy this if that's what you want. It has lots of creature comforts like a great audio system that thumps you in the chest if you want it to, but can be tamed if desired. The nav system works well. I didn't think I wanted it, but now that I have it I use it often. I like the climate control system. I have it set and never need to touch it. It keeps the cabin comfortable no matter what the outside temp is. It has a large touch screen that is easy to use and pretty intuitive. You can check Kia's site for a full breakdown of features. For me the important thing is the features it has all work together to create a fun and comfortable driving experience. I've only had it a month so I can't comment on long term durability, but so far there's not a squeak, not a rattle, everything works flawlessly, and the materials and workmanship are first rate, especially for a vehicle in this price range. A+ for the Soul!
I was in my car 3 hours a day, some times more. In bumper to bumper traffic, I was losing my mind in my boring Corolla. I was getting big time depressed, and I have an elderly father who has a hard time getting out of a car. I researched and decided if they could get me out of my lease, I would take the loss. Best decision ever! The only thing I didn't get that I wanted was a sunroof, but realized that the extra expense wasn't worth it for how little I would use it.
Cars higher off ground so I can see better and get in and out better. I love the back up camera, won't get a car now without one.
They showed me how you could pull the bottom of the trunk out to maximize space, not that I need that much. I really hated having a huge trunk, I like having the window at the back of the car so I feel like I have better sight thru the back.
The other thing I must have is to be able to listen to my books when I'm stuck in traffic. And it has TWO chargers so I can charge my IPod and phone at the same time. If it came with a refrigerator and microwave, I may never leave.
Acceleration isn't the greatest, but it gets the job done. I always have a problem with seat comfort no matter what car I drive. I think it's my long torso. The Soul has an adjustable seat that inflates. It took a while but I found the right adjustment. I've always put a seat cushion behind my back before, not now.
I have driven the Soul for a year now for 7000 miles. The Audio amplifier failed and was replaced. The drives door seal split open from getting in and out Was replaced and 6 months later has split again. I really like the car except for the headrest which is much too close to my head when driving. I cannot adjust it enough to make it comfortable. That one item may keep me from buying another if Kia doesn't correct it. According the forums, I am not the only one with this complaint. I have replaced the original tires with Bridgestone Driveguard run flat tires. They are great.
Kia service has bean very good!