Kia Soul: Let’s talk about specs

  • Our Kia Soul is in Connect Plus trim
  • Is that spec the pick of the range?
  • Offers a good balance of kit and cost

We chose to spec our long-term Kia Soul in mid-table Connect Plus trim, as it’s forecast to be the biggest seller in the range. Question is, did we make the right choice?

I think we did. Separating the Connect Plus trim from the Connect grade below are sat-nav (which has worked well so far, with a clear display and the ability to reroute on the fly to avoid traffic jams), a reversing camera and an Infinity stereo upgrade (which sounds suitably powerful). It costs around £1,100 more than the Connect although the presence of sat-nav may well help claw back some of that extra outlay come resale time.

Other than that, spec is identical to the Connect with Bluetooth, front fog lights and extra leather and glossy plastic bits on the doors and dashboard. Like all Kia Souls, you also get air-con, USB and aux-in ports and digital radio.

There’s only one bit of equipment I’ve been missing. Unusually, Connect Plus trim includes a reversing camera as standard but not parking sensors.

We’re spoilt by most test cars that come through the doors at Parkers as nearly all are fitted with sensors, at least at the rear if not all-round, so it’s been a culture shock to use my own spatial awareness to slot the Soul into tight parking spaces.

The Kia’s blocky shape makes it easy to judge where its corners are though, so the lack of sensors hasn’t been an issue and the Soul’s Clear White paint and 17-inch alloys have survived scuff-free so far.

Kia Soul reverse camera

Another thing our Soul has missed out on is the eye-catching two-tone colour scheme and chunkier body kit applied to top Mixx and Maxx models, which would have made the car leap off the screen a bit more in photos but I’m happy to live without. They also get bigger wheels, which on the international launch seemed to contribute to a rather bumpy ride – our long-termer rides more smoothly on its 17s.

And while the top-grade Maxx trim’s glass roof would lighten the interior a bit, the leather upholstery, keyless entry and push-button start don’t feel enough to justify the £4,000 or so premium over our Connect Plus Soul.

With the possible exception of parking sensors (and maybe heated seats in the winter), there’s not one bit of kit you’d find yourself craving on the Connect Plus. At the other end of the scale, we’d avoid the basic Soul Start entry-level model, which apart from air-con, a USB port and digital radio doesn’t come with a whole lot else.