For The petrol engine gives decent performance, and the cabin has plenty of passenger space. Base versions of the Kia Soul are well equipped.
Against The ride, handling and refinement are poor, as is the interior quality, and the Soul isn’t cheap enough to be a budget alternative. Compared with other small hatchbacks, it’s not cheap to run, either.
Space and kit are strong points, but overall, the Kia Soul is a poor car – poor to drive, drab to sit in and not cheap enough to own. By Steve Huntingford
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The Kia Soul is marketed as an urban car with an SUV attitude – no wonder the styling is so confused. What you do get with the Soul, though, is lots of cabin space and a pretty generous list of standard equipment.
Entry-level 1 models, for example, come with pretty much everything you’d want: air-conditioning, four powered windows, remote locking, Bluetooth and a six-speaker stereo with steering wheel controls.
The thing is, the higher-end models add plenty to the price, but not much to the equipment roster.
Two 1.6-litre engines are available, and the 138bhp direct-injection petrol feels pretty perky, if not that fast. There’s a 126bhp diesel available, too. Both engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, and you can add an auto to the diesel as an option.
While the Soul is a decidedly below-par car, it comes with an exceptional warranty – seven years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
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If you’re sold on the Soul’s looks, this is the version to go for. It’s a pretty below-par car, so it’s best to keep it cheap