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CAR OF THE MONTH April 2009

2010 Kia Soul Exclaim

Edgy Econobox

A three-quarter front view of a light green 2010 Kia Soul in Miami Beach, Florida

In short: A stylish and customizable value hatchback.

Kia Soul Review

In a stylistic departure from their previous models, Kia’s Soul boasts a trendy and playfully designed profile that ought to catch the eye of twenty-somethings looking to buy their first ride. Unsurprisingly, given its bold lines, this hatchback is set to compete with youth-oriented cars such as the Scion xB, Nissan Cube and Honda Element. The Soul comes in four different trims (Soul, Soul+, Soul!, and Soul sport) with the top three boasting a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and optional four-speed automatic transmission. There are 50 ways to personalize this cool automobile, with options ranging from a long list of accessories to eleven exterior colors and three interior schemes, one of which shows off glow-in-the-dark seat logos.

An interior view of a 2010 Kia Soul with an overlapped shot of the light-up speaker control

Depending on the upgrade from the base trim, this econobox’s features include rear disc brakes, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, tweeter speakers that light up to the music, Bluetooth connectivity and a power moonroof. In all trims, however, the Soul is surprisingly spacious inside, sporting enough room in the front and rear seats to comfortably accommodate tall passengers. A relatively low entry price rounds out the hatchback's offerings, making the Soul a chic and cost-effective city runabout.

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A three-quarter rear view of a light green 2010 Kia Soul in Miami Beach, Florida

 

Warranty/Service: 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty; 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty; 5-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance.

QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $13,995 / As tested: $18,595

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

Engine: 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder with continuously variable valve timing
Horsepower: 142 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 137 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual with overdrive

Curb weight:
2,800 lbs
Wheelbase: 100.4 in
Length/Width/Height: 161.6/70.3/63.4 in
Turning circle: 34.4 ft

Brakes:
disc in front; drum in rear; all wheels with ABS
Suspension: independent with MacPherson struts and stabilizer bar in front; torsion beam in rear; gas-filled shock absorbers in front and rear

Traction: electronic stability control

0-60 mph:
9 seconds (est.)
Top Speed: n/a

EPA City: 24 mpg
EPA Highway: 30 mpg

Safety:
dual front and front-seat mounted side airbags; full-length side-curtain airbags; tire pressure monitoring system

Likes:
cool; roomy; value

Dislikes: can get noisy at high revs

 


The World Cup-themed Kia Soul 2, prepped and ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

South Africa's Got Soul
In case you haven't heard, Kia has a serious case of football fever (that's soccer to you Yanks). As an official sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa, Kia gave away one of these funky, football-themed Soul 2s to a lucky fan.

Check out other Kia models
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Photography: AlphaMedia

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