Recent Kia Soul obsedrvations

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Recent Kia Soul obsedrvations

Post by sarahjane »

Late 70's looking for a practical, reliable vehicle with lots of space for stuff.
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Re: Recent Kia Soul obsedrvations

Post by curmudgeon »

Had one as a rental for a few days earlier this year. Overall I thought it was a decent car, with flexible interior space, though not a large interior. My overall driving impressions were pretty good, except I didn't really care for the way the automatic transmission handled downshifts (I've noticed this in other Korean cars, it may be just the way they program them). I would definitely consider one if I were looking for a car in that size.
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Re: Recent Kia Soul obsedrvations

Post by smitcat »

We have rented these a few times now and were very impressed for the price they sell for.
The newer ones ride very well and have sizable interiors with good mileage.
A car we never would have considered had we not rented them - perhaps rent on for a trail run.
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Re: Recent Kia Soul obsedrvations

Post by jimb_fromATL »

sarahjane wrote: Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:17 pm Late 70's looking for a practical, reliable vehicle with lots of space for stuff.
Sounds like a big negative for you is that a Soul does not have a lot of space for stuff compared to a lot of other cross-over-like vehicles its size. It does have a relatively spacious back seat, big enough for adults, but very little room for luggage behind it. That was surprising to me, especially considering its shape.

I drove a nearly new rental Soul for a week and about 1600 miles about four years ago. It was fun to drive. The one I drove with the bigger engine was reasonably peppy, and the six-speed automatic always seemed to have an appropriate gear ratio -- even driving through the mountains of Western NC and North Georgia. Plus it has a "sports shift mode" that allows you to choose and hold the right gear to have more control if you didn't want to let it shift for itself. That's great for driving through the mountains.

The ride was fairly good but perhaps a little stiff and choppy compared to a Toyota Rav4 or my Mitsibushi Outlander. While it handled well and was fun to drive, it was sort of stiff-kneed over railroad tracks and speed bumps, and had a neck-snapping side to side motion going diagonally over humps like into or out of a parking lot.

Since it was reasonably quiet at highway speeds, an unexpected surprise -- almost funny because it was so ludicrous-- was when I encountered a rainstorm. The roof sound insulation was so poor that it was reminiscent of being in an old barn with a tin roof. I cannot remember a noisier car in a rainstorm since perhaps a Renault 4CV or VW Beetle in the late 50s-early 60s.

So ... as I usually recommend, ... this is a car that I think you need to rent and drive a lot before you buy one. But first, check out the surprisingly small luggage compartment, which sounds like it alone might be a deal killer for you.

Since we've usually bought new and plan to keep cars for a long, long time, I've found that it's money well spent to rent a car like the one you're considering buying for a week, and drive it a lot. It's really cheap compared to realizing that you don't like the car and have to take a big loss in up-front depreciation by selling it too soon..

Take a long trip -- like a day long if you might ever take it on one. For people who still do work drive it back and forth to work, or drive it in heavy traffic similar to your commute. Take it for some short hops to the grocery store and mall and other places you shop. Drive it for a long time into the sun, and take some short hops and a long trip at night.

This has helped us eliminate a few cars that seemed awfully good on the short test drives, but turned out to be not-so-great on long trips. Often there are problems that show up that way that you would not notice in a test drive of a few miles and few minutes... Like the vibration somebody mentioned in another thread about some Honda models.

Not sure about newer Kia Souls or whether they even have models with "sport" suspensions, but extra-crisp handling may feel great in a test drive. It's nice to be in touch with the road, but you may get awfully tired of counting the tar strips and potholes and listening to the engine and tires and wind noise on a day-long trip. Or you may realize that the seat isn't comfortable for more than an hour or two. Or you may find that you can't see out the back or rear quarters to back it, park it, or merge into traffic comfortably ... which are not things you normally do on a test drive.

It's too late if you find out after you bought it that control panel lights are too dim in the day time or too bright at night, or that reflections from the sun in the daytime or the dash lights at night cause problems seeing through the windshield or side windows. Or that a sleek sloping windshield means you're baking in the sun, or causes it make it hard to see when you're driving toward the sun at sunup or sundown, or reflects the dash lights at night

In the case of the Soul, I liked some things about it, and it seems to be a pretty good deal for the money. I've owned a lot of quirky little vehicles in the past -- especially my young years -- so the somewhat unusually appearance is no problem. But now that I'm a lot older -- mid 70s -- and prefer more practical vehicles, the small luggage space, surprising noise in the rain, the abrupt side to side rocking for driveway and parking lot entrances, along with the little nagging worry about so many tales of woe I've seen about Kia's reluctant warranty coverage were among things that took the Soul off my list.

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Re: Recent Kia Soul obsedrvations

Post by gostars »

If you do a lot of freeway driving, skip the base model. The 1.6 engine doesn't have enough power to get out of its own way and is tough to get up to merging speed, especially if you're going uphill. The 2.0 in the Plus or the turbo 1.6 in the Exclaim handle it much better, and the improved transmission in the Exclaim gives it better gas mileage despite the turbo.

Passenger space is huge. I'm the tallest person I know and I fit better in the Soul than just about anything I've ever been in. Cargo space suffers as a result, with barely enough room in the hatch area to fit a load of groceries. Works fine if you fold down the rear seats, but forget about taking 4 people plus anything more than a weekend's worth of luggage.
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Re: Recent Kia Soul obsedrvations

Post by KSOC »

sarah jane, just took my 2016 Soul (10,000 miles, I bought new) on it's first major trip last week. Orlando to Greenville, SC. It performed admirably. No issue with on ramps or getting up to speed. It is a base model. Was kicking it over 80 several times, no shaking or trembling on the vehicles part. Driver maybe, I hate I-95. Also got about 35 MPG. The Soul isn't a bus, or high end vehicle. It is easy for an older guy like me with back & hip issues to get in & out without practically laying down. I love it for what it is. A smaller very comfortable, affordable way for the wife & I to get around, good driving 4 seater. 3 people, 3 suitcases, a cooler & snack box fit comfortably. If both back seats are in the down position there's a lot of room. Any more than that I'd have taken my 7 seater van. I don't have any obstructed views either some claim. I have had 5 Kia's in my life - The Soul,Sedona,Rio,Forte,& Optima. I like the feel of them, the build, & the service I get when I take to the dealer. I've owned Fords,Chevys,Chryslers,Plymouths as well, so my review is based on that. Never a Honda,Toyota,Nissan or higher beyond that. I generally buy new & keep for 10 plus years. I wouldn't buy it if I wanted "lots of space for stuff".
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round. | Nobody told me there'd be days like these.
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