Kia Soul - Used Car

Review

Kia Soul, front
Kia Soul, front
Kia Soul, side
Kia Soul, rear
Kia Soul, rear
Kia Soul, boot
Kia Soul, interior
Kia Soul Mixx, dashboard

A FRIEND of mine who had long been running older, cheap cars because he had no choice, got a much better job and decided to splash out on a nearly new car for the first time ever.

Now after so many car problems over quite a number of years from various old bangers, reliability was obviously top priority.

So after a good few hour's research surfing the net, checking the reliability of every make, he bought an almost new Kia Soul because no-one was reporting any problems with them.

Now, five years down the line, it has never caused one iota of trouble and the only thing he has had to replace is a headlamp bulb.

The Soul built between 2014 and 2019 is an individual and striking small SUV and it comes at lower prices than most competitors.

Also, the remainder of Kia's superb seven year or 100,000 mile warranty is transferable to new owners and that has to be a big bonus even though buyers will very rarely need it.

The Soul is a chunky-looking medium five door, five seater with power from either 1.6 petrol or diesel engines, plus the rarer option of a fully electric model introduced in 2016.

There are two versions of the 1.6 petrol. Most on the secondhand market have 130bhp, which gives them a zero to 62 miles an hour sprint of 10.8 seconds, and 41 miles per gallon.

The other model is the Soul Sport and that comes with a turbocharger, boosting the power output to 201bhp, bringing the 62mph sprint down to an excellent 7.7 seconds and yet it's still capable of 40mpg.

The 1.6 diesel is also a turbo - as you would expect - producing a very good 134bhp. This is enough to match the 130bhp petrol models to 62 miles an hour, while being capable of far better economy at 56mpg.

It's available with a double clutch automatic gearbox and this is standard on the Sport, with the higher output engine.

The Soul EV electric was introduced in 2016 and drives very much the same as the petrol and diesel versions, but of course, with much lower running costs.

It cost more than other electric cars at the time, and so has not sold in large numbers.

The electric motor produces 109bhp, giving zero to 62mph in 11 seconds. The range - often a lot lower with other electric cars at the time - is 132 miles and it can be recharged to 80 per cent at a roadside superfast charger in just 33 minutes.

Charging at home takes 12 hours on a standard 13 amp socket or five hours using a wallbox fast charger.

The smooth 130bhp petrol has to be revved to get the best from it, but when you do it gives decent performance and there is plenty of verve for overtaking.

The diesel is even quicker through the gears and obviously, is the one to go for because of its better economy.

Handling and road-holding are good, with little roll and it even rides comfortably both on poor surfaces at speed and in town, making it an excellent all-rounder.

There's plenty of legroom front and rear for four and even five for shorter journeys but less rear kneeroom in the EV because of battery storage.

The dash design is good looking, equipment very generous and storage excellent.

Base '1' trim includes stability control, six airbags and central locking. It also has air conditioning, four electric windows, CD stereo with MP3 connection, Bluetooth, split and fold rear seat and tinted glass.

Pay about £7,200 for a '15 15-reg 1.6 GDi petrol Connect, or £10,400 for a '17 17-reg 1.6 CRDi diesel Connect Plus automatic.

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