2010 Kia Soul Review and Prices
The 2010 Kia Soul is the best car for you if you’re comfortable on the fringes of a new small-car category, a category itself that’s on the edge of ordinary.
Count the 2010 Kia Soul -- along with the likes of the Honda Fit, Nissan Cube, and Dodge Hornet – among the emerging strain of funky four-door mini cars. These boxes on wheels don’t follow automotive convention. They’re instead a geek-chic brew of integrated technology, interesting baubles, and industrial design. They’re hatchbacks that are very small on the outside and relatively big on the inside, and they prize personalization and affordability.
Should you wait for the 2010 Kia Soul? May as well, mainly to compare it to square-cut competitors like the Cube and Hornet, and to somewhat shapelier rivals, such as the Fit and 2010 Ford Fiesta. They’re all variations on a theme, and you’re not expected to know right now which one will click your mouse.
2010 Kia Soul Changes back to top
Styling: Yes, it has some. But whether the 2010 Kia Soul is stylish is hardly the point. Its nose looks like a friendly-face light bulb with headlamp eyes and a chrome-grille mouth. The tail has huge vertical lamps bracketing a minivan-like hatch. Flared wheel arches add a butch touch, and the beltline (the horizontal shelf where the body meets the side windows) rises as it flows rearward to suggest a wedge. But a tall windshield gives Soul the automotive equivalent of a high forehead. The 2010 Kia Soul is as long as a Honda Fit, but its carton-like shape makes it taller and wider by about three and a half inches. The interior of the 2010 Kia Soul isn’t as free-form as some in this class, presenting instead calm shapes and easy access to controls and accessories. Instruments are in a three-gauge pod as orthodox as they come. Kia is owned by South Korean automaker Hyundai, and the Soul was designed in Southern California.
Mechanical: This is a conventional front-wheel drive layout with an independent front suspension and a beam axle rear. Two four-cylinder engines are available. The base-level Soul model comes with a 120-horsepower 1.6-liter and is avaialbe only with a five-speed manual transmission. Soul’s other three models, called the Soul+, Soul!, and Soul Sport, come with a 140-horsepower 2.0-liter mated to a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. All but the base model come with an antiskid system and antilock brakes with rear discs.
Features: Every 2010 Kia Soul has a tilt steering column, power locks and windows, rear wiper/ washer, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Front seat-mounted side airbags and head-protecting curtain side airbags are also standard. Three months of Sirius satellite radio service is included, as are auxiliary and USB input jacks with full iPod controllability via the audio head unit and steering wheel controls. Soul! and Soul Sport get an audio upgrade with a center speaker, subwoofer, and 315-watt external amplifier. Standard beginning with the Soul+ are power mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, keyless entry, and smoked privacy glass on the rear side and rear windows. A power moonroof and fog lights are optional on the Soul+ and are standard starting with the Soul!. The Sport has a sport suspension, metal pedals, red-and-black interior trim with sport seats, and special aero body panels. The base Soul has 15-inch steel wheels, the Soul+ has 16-inch alloys, the Soul! and Sport have 18-inch alloys.
2010 Kia Soul Prices back to top
The 2010 Kia Soul prices range from $13,995-$18,595 (prices listed here include the $695 destination fee). The 2010 Kia Soul base model with manual transmission is priced at $13,995. The 2010 Kia Soul+ lists for $15,645 with manual transmission, $16,595 with automatic. The 2010 Kia Soul! and 2010 Kia Soul Sport share a base price of $17,645, or $18,595 with automatic transmission. Factory options are few in number. For the Soul+, the audio upgrade adds $400 and the power moonroof/fog lamps option costs $800. The Soul Sport already comes with fog lamps, so its moonroof option costs $700.
2010 Kia Soul Fuel Economy back to top
Official ratings for the 2010 Soul haven’t been released, but sources project fuel economy of around 31 mpg city/36 highway with the 1.6-liter engine and 28/31 with the 2.0-liter.
2010 Kia Soul Release Date back to top
The 2010 Kia Soul goes on sale in April 2009.
2010 Kia Soul Competition back to top
Honda Fit: Redesigned for 2009, the Fit sets the bar high for passenger room, driving enjoyment, and surprising comfort. This four-door hatchback is actually a mini-wagon with outstanding cargo-carrying versatility. It has 117 horsepower, tops out at 28/35 mpg, and starts just over $15,000. No major changes are expected for several years, though Honda could add a gas-electric hybrid version around model-year 2012.
Nissan Cube: This aptly named container comes to the U.S. from Japan as a city car that’s a smidge smaller than the Fit and Soul, though Nissan packs plenty of passenger space within its tall-roofed, four-door hatchback body. With 122 horsepower, fuel economy projected around 26/40, and an estimated starting price around $14,000, the Cube is a cheeky choice.
2010 Dodge Hornet: Promises to be the tough guy of this bunch -- in looks, anyway. Its four-door hatchback body will have macho Dodge styling. Under an agreement with Nissan, however, it will actually be built upon the same Nissan Versa chassis that hosts the Cube. It’ll likely have the same 122-horsepower Nissan engine, too. Dodge seems eager to give Hornet enough suspension and tire tweaking to challenge the Mini Cooper for sporty handling, though. Depending on Dodge’s marketing strategy, the starting price could edge into the $16,000 range.