Kia Soul - Used Car

Review

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

THE Kia Soul is an individual and striking small SUV that often costs less than many competitors.

But as a good friend has found they are hugely reliable and long lasting and have an excellent reputation among owners.

That friend, after a number of older cars that were often in the garage, checked out a number of small SUVs when his circumstances changed.

Reliability was top of his list and the Soul came out as the best bet because no-one was reporting any problems.

So he bought an almost new one and after five years without a single problem, he was completely convinced, and bought a later model - again almost new.

The remainder of Kia's superb seven year or 100,000 mile warranty was still valid and transferable to new owners, and such a guarantee has to be a big bonus even though buyers will very rarely need it!

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

There are two versions of the 1.6 petrol. Most on the secondhand market have 130bhp, which gives them a 0 to 60 miles an hour sprint of 10.6 seconds, and a best of 45 miles per gallon.

The other petrol is the Sport, and that comes with a turbocharged version of the same 1.6, boosting the power output to 201bhp, and a standard, very good automatic gearbox.

This brings the sprint down to an excellent 7.7 seconds, and yet it's still capable of 41mpg.

The smooth and quiet 1.6 diesel is also a turbo - as you would expect - producing a very good 136bhp. This is enough to match the 130bhp petrol model to 60 miles an hour, while being capable of far better economy at 64mpg.

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.

The electric motor produces 109bhp, giving zero to 60 in 10.8 seconds and a range of 132 miles. It can be recharged to 80 per cent of battery capacity at a superfast charger in just 33 minutes.

Charging at home takes 12 hours on a standard 13 amp socket, or 5 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 good performance, and there is decent verve for overtaking.

The diesel is quicker through the gears and obviously, is the one to go for because of its better economy and because it sold in larger numbers.

Handling and roadholding 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 the battery takes up space.

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 £12,770 for a '20 20-reg ‘1' 1.6 GDi petrol, or £12,000 for a '18 18-reg ‘2' 1.6 CRDi diesel.

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