Remember when the Kia Soul was the box-shaped car in the commercial with the dancing hamsters? My how times have changed. Where it once competed with lookalike models Honda Element and Nissan Cube, the 2015 Kia Soul now stands alone in form factor. Along the way, it’s ditched the furry mascots and settled into a more mannered-if-still-quirky reputation as a solid, economical, and sporty set of wheels for hauling groceries and passengers around town. With the 2015 Kia Soul, you can have your cake and eat it too, as you enjoy a fun ride and a pleasing bottom line.
From the outside looking in, you’ll immediately notice the shape of the 2015 Kia Soul. It’s still a packing box on wheels. At this point, why change what’s already attracted a faithful and enthusiastic following?
But from inside the driver’s seat, you’ll more likely keep in mind the fantastic price on this deal. The 2015 Kia Soul starts at less than $16,000. Even at the base level, the Soul is packed with features, including power locks, windows, and mirrors; heated side mirrors; a tilt/telescopic steering wheel;
Bluetooth hands-free connectivity; and a six-speaker sound system with USB and auxiliary inputs as well as SiriusXM satellite radio with a three-month introductory subscription.
You’ll have to shell out and ramp up for such features as 17-inch alloy wheels, turn-signal indicators integrated into the side mirrors, automatic headlamps, and the UVO eServices infotainment setup. You can go for the gusto with the top packages to add leather seats, ventilated front seats, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, push-button start, HID low-beam headlamps, and more, yet the Kia Soul still tops out at a reasonable $27,000. Costs will never be a complaint with the Kia.
Granted, at this price, you have to make sacrifices, and the Kia Soul comes up short in two major categories: performance and fuel efficiency. You won’t win any drag races, and curves and hills can be a challenge, depending on your load. But if your driving duties mostly involve trips to warehouse stores or managing carpools, the Soul will do the job. Also, the suspension and steering are better in the 2015 Kia Soul, so your casual ride will feel good for both the passenger and the driver.
The 2015 Kia Soul is rated at a reasonable but not spectacular 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway, for both the manual and automatic models. You can give or take 1 mpg, depending on which model you get. All version of the Soul come with an Eco mode, which is handy for saving gas during stop-and-go driving.
In nearly every other regard, the 2015 Kia Soul outperforms expectations for a vehicle of this price. The exterior is sleeker and smoother The inside is finished with soft-touch materials, and the center-stack control for climate, audio, and infotainment looks especially smart, tilting within easy reach of the driver. The seats are welcoming both in front and in back, and even taller riders will enjoy the generous headroom and legroom. The only warning: The Kia Soul enjoys a subcompact footprint and is not particularly wide. Three adults, no matter how slender, will feel squeezed in the back, so plan accordingly. Also, engine and road noise will find its way in, so be prepared for a boisterous ride. www.Kia.com
The 2015 Kia Soul earned top safety honors from the national ratings boards, and all models come with a total of six airbags as well as, at minimum, four-wheel disc brakes. This should be welcome news for all the suburban family chauffeurs (you know who you are). You can add a rear camera system or antilock brakes as extra safety measures, but you’ll have to pay for the appropriate package.
Remember that funny-looking car from a few years back? Well, it’s not only survived — it’s thrived. And it’s not so funny-looking anymore. However, the Kia Soul has endured as a smart, economical choice for wheels around town. You may have to pick and choose which friends can hitch a ride in this hatchback wagon squeezed into a subcompact profile, but at least there’s plenty of room for your runs to the warehouse store. The Kia Soul is your car for everyday driving, with features you can enjoy and savor. The Kia Soul has come a long way, and rest assured, it will take you as far as you need
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Written by Jane Emery