Kia Soul - Dividing opinion

  • Senior staff writer, Debbie Wood, takes the Kia Soul Christmas shopping
  • Retro looks divide opinion among friends and family
  • Comfortable and practical Soul remains a hit with Parkers team

Despite the Kia Soul being with us at Parkers for nearly six months, I’d never actually driven it before. Eager to remedy the situation I took the keys for the weekend before Christmas as I had many trips planned and places to go which provided the perfect backdrop to see what the Soul was capable of.

Here in the office we're big fans of the Kia Soul but what I discovered during my time with the car is that its funky retro looks really divide opinion, some loving it while others absolutely despise the look of the car.

During the course of the weekend the Soul was called everything from a van, a shoebox and a teddy bear – honestly!

The Soul knows how to stand out from the crowd with its distinctive 'bow tie' grille, big headlights and funny proportions.

There are some funky features inside the car too including mood lighting around the speakers which change colour from blue to red, green and purple, there's also bright green stitching around the gearknob, seats and steering wheel too.

The mood lights in particular were a hit with the kids, who thought when it got dark they were driving in their own private disco. Standard on this model, the lights can also be set to flash in time with the music, although we are yet to find a song where the lights can actually do this effectively, nonetheless it created hours of entertainment for the children making a longer journey with them a peice of cake for a change.

Our test car is in Connect Plus trim and comes with the Infinity sound system as standard which includes an external amp and subwoofer, a big speaker in the centre of the dashboard and two more that sit on top of the air vents. Sound quality is very good indeed, even on dance tracks with lots of base. 

The DAB Radio is good too, although it seemed to have a problem remembering which radio station I had selected but maybe the problem was that the station was Smooth Xmas...I'm undecided.

Although people may disagree with the look of the Kia Soul, most will struggle to argue with the Soul’s practicality which is very good indeed. Offering loads of head and legroom for all passengers, there’s also plenty of storage options around the cabin to stow away things like your purse, phone and bag while on the move.

The boot proved more than big enough to deal with my Christmas shopping needs over the weekend plus there are a few useful hooks to secure more fragile shopping and a light which comes in useful now the days are much shorter.

As my colleagues have alluded to in previous reports, the Kia Soul is a supremely comfortable and practical car and as we have seen, its eye-catching looks start plenty of people talking too.

However, if you find yourself being slated by friends and family for driving a Kia Soul, do what I did and remind them its cold outside…

Mileage: 3030

Fuel economy: 39.6 mpg