One look at the new 2010 Kia Soul, and it's clear that Kia is determined to turn heads with a quirky look-at-me hatchback design. With style-oriented compacts such as the Scion xB cleaning up in sales among young drivers, Kia smartly has decided to deliver a flashy, yet affordable model of its own. Review specs and features of the new 2010 Kia Soul to learn why this car deserves a test drive.
New 2010 Kia Soul Styling
The exterior of the Kia Soul takes the boxy style of the Scion xB and makes it its own. A low stance and angular windows help give the vehicle a sportier look than competitors. A number of unique paint color options also help drivers match the vehicle to their personal style preferences. While the bold styling is sure to create a love it or hate it identity, those who find the vehicle attractive will likely find plenty to like about the Kia Soul.
Inside, the Soul continues the philosophy of bold styling with bright color schemes and youth-oriented features such as glow-in-the-dark accents. Overall, the Kia Soul offers a slightly better build quality when compared to top competitors. While hard plastics abound, they get the job done without being exceptionally obtrusive. The dashboard also does a great job of delivering funky attractiveness without diminishing functionality.
The Soul seats up to five. Passengers should find reasonable comfort within the Soul's interior, which is fairly roomy given the vehicle's class. However, additional passenger space proves a trade-off with available cargo area. With just 53.4 cubic feet of space (with 60/40 rear seat folded down), the Scion xB may be a better choice for those who need additional storage.
New 2010 Kia Soul Performance
The spritely Kia Soul surprises with a sporty engine that proves to be plenty of fun to drive. While the 1.6-liter 122-hp base engine isn't going to win you too many drag races, it provides peppy performance and good handling given the price point. For a few dollars more, you can upgrade to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 142 horsepower. Compared to its closest competitors, the Soul tends to offer tighter handling and zippier acceleration off the line.
The Soul also does well when it comes to balancing fuel efficiency against performance. The EPA rates the base engine with an estimated 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. While there are several other hatchbacks out there that beat these figures, a combined fuel efficiency of 28 mpg is certainly still very respectable.
2010 Kia Soul Safety
The Kia Soul is available with a wide variety of safety features, including four-wheel antilock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, six airbags, traction control, electronic stability control and active head restraints. In crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Kia Soul earned a top score of "Good."
2010 Kia Soul Pricing
The new 2010 Kia Soul starts with a base price of $13,300. For that price, you'll get such standard features as air conditioning, power everything, CD player, MP3 input and satellite radio. Add on the larger engine and features like cruise control, Bluetooth and steering wheel controls, and price increases to as much as $18,195. In comparison, the Scion xB starts with a base price of $15,850. If you like the Kia Soul, then other models you may be interested in include the Nissan Cube and Honda Fit.