Kia Soul: Roundup

  • A round-up of our long-term Kia Soul’s quirks
  • ‘Quiet’ indicators and ‘unenthusiastic’ handling
  • A few months into its time here we’re still Soul fans

Now that the Kia Soul has been with us a few months, it’s time to reflect on a few of its foibles.

Overall, I’ve genuinely enjoyed running it. It’s a relaxing and comfortable car over long distances and the upgraded stereo makes journeys go quicker, even if the tendency for the DAB radio to lapse signal is a frustration.

It’s not remotely exciting to drive but that’s fine – it’s not meant to be a sports car and its lack of enthusiasm for corners actually makes it quite a soothing car to trundle around in.

The driving position really is very high – after driving some of the lower-slung cars we’ve had through the test car mill at Parkers driving the Soul felt like piloting a block of flats – but to its credit it doesn’t feel like you’re teetering precariously as you do in some high-riding cars.

Kia Soul

While the ride quality came in for criticism on the international launch, on smaller 17-inch wheels our long-term Soul rides smoothly enough and its diesel engine is commendably quiet on the motorway. Shamefully, in my hands it’s yet to average anything better than low 40s on the mpg front but I suspect that has as much to do with my short commute as anything.

One annoying facet of the manual diesel powertrain in our Soul is the gearing. Second gear feels a bit too low to negotiate tight corners and T junctions but the engine struggles a little in third so you’re often caught between feeling you’re forcing it into second gear or allowing the car to labour in third.

Another odd quirk – bear with me on this one – is that the indicators are very quiet. They make such a quiet ticking noise that sometimes you’re not sure if you’re actually signalling, especially as when the steering wheel is turned it blocks the arrow symbol on the instrument panel.

You might have noticed I’m scraping the barrel a bit here when it comes to criticisms. The Soul’s looks aren’t for everyone and it’s somehow been packaged with the world’s roomiest interior and yet a tiny shoebox for a boot, but nonetheless it’s a likable car.

Mileage: 1,978 miles

Fuel economy: 39.5mpg (calculated)