KIA’s promotional campaigns have been fun and inventive. I’ve enjoyed watching the “Hamstars” doing their thing, but up until this first drive in the 2013 KIA SOUL, I never fully grasped their goal.
A week in this model, cruising PCH and around town led to smiles, curiosities and wonderments. People stared at the Alien Green color with alien grins, although with a bit of an eye opening nature.
KIAs are for young people. Let me clarify… KIAS are for young-minded people. People striving to bring joy into their lives through driving inspiration, music, dance and humor. I can relate to that because that’s the way the KIA feels to drive. Not necessarily like running out into the street and dancing, but if you were tooling around town with a bunch of friends, you might just end up doing that. Seriously.
This $23K, 28mpg model came with a variety of surprises including seat heaters, push button ignition and a great NAV System. Most cars at around $20K come with something, but the ergonomics if the SOUL are top notch.
It’s a box that’s industrial designed to be a functional space. I can see way future models including a nightclub feature, directly descended from the illuminated speaker rings, yet shifting to Automotive Personal Space (APS) just outside the car. The future of KIA looks extremely bright and the Soul is perfectly named to bring what it states. A desire to be greater than the rest, leading to not only cool features, but a cool outlook for future Korean built KIAs.
Comfort in the Soul was also really great. The upright displacement in the seats allowed for extremely good ingress and egress. Almost so good that I stood there for a second and said “Hey, how did I get here so fast?” That kind of design takes thought about human body movement and not just eyeballs.
Power is good, coming from a 2.0L DOHC CVVT 4Cyl Motor, pumping 164hp, but it feels like more. Gee, can’t seem to complain about that, but it’s definitely a scooter with lots of room for bags of money when that Brinks Truck falls open.
The 2013 Soul is a rock solid runabout with energy forcing capabilities. That means it puts people in a good mood. And in a good mood, everything is just better. And that’s the bottom line in all cars.