posted 6 years ago

New Kia Soul Tempts Small Car Detractors

The new Kia Soul is a great purchase for motorists who passionately despise every other small car on the market.

The new Kia Soul is a great purchase for motorists who passionately despise every other small car on the market. This is because the Soul is more distinctive than its rivals, more considered, as if someone took the 'small car manual' and ceremonial burned it. The result, Kia claims, is an urban cruiser that combines the space and flexibility of a sports-utility vehicle with the economy of a supermini.

The major part of the Soul's distinctiveness is its unconventional styling. Okay, its boxy lines mean it will never appear on the cover of Vogue, but it is refreshing to see a vehicle that cannot be easily confused with other models. Most motorists will be drawn to the Soul 1 and 2 specification which, although attention grabbing, look fairly normal. However, there is a special edition that appears to have been conceived on another planet.

The Soul 'Burner' has a red tiger nose grill, quartz black livery, and striking dragon body detailing on the bonnet and sides. These are teamed with a vibrant red interior which earns Kia points for originality, but unfortunately resembles the view inside Postman Pat's bright red van. Perhaps this special edition is a step too far.

Back in the real world there are two conventional engines to choose from, the 1.6-litre 124bhp petrol and the 1.6-litre 126bhp diesel. Both propel the Soul to 60mph in under 11 seconds, but the diesel averages 54mpg compared to 43mpg from the petrol. This frugality means the diesel's emissions are lower than its sibling, so twelve months road tax is £45 cheaper.

Handling-wise the Lotus tuned Soul feels composed and confident. The light controls mean it can be driven effortlessly around town and, although not a sports car, is agile enough to bring a smile to your face. The Soul is also good for long motorway journeys as the smooth ride makes it a comfortable long distance cruiser.

Motoring.co.uk's new car database reveals the new Kia Soul is listed with 'buy safe' sellers from £9,495.