Whether you like it or not—small cars like the 2011 Kia Soul LX are the next big thing.
From China to Europe, small cars—from econo-models to sporty subcompacts—are starting to own the road. Regardless of make and model, small cars are making buyers reach for their wallets out of practicality.
Driving on the kilometric parking lot that is Edsa is more manageable in a small car. You can save on time as you maneuver through tight spots in traffic and save gasoline when idling behind gridlocked SUVs. With so many small cars now on the market, the competition is now in design and aesthetics.
Korean automotive maker Kia has made a bid for “Best Dressed” with their cool-looking gizmo car, the Soul. Launched in 2009, the Kia Soul returns with a big vengeance replacing their 2.0-liter engine with a new 1.6-liter gamma engine—which is also found in the latest Hyundai Accent.
Outside, Kia managed to retain its out-sized fender flares, frog-eye headlamps, and vertical tail-lamp that complete its revolutionary “urban crossover” look. With its wrap-around windshield, macho wheel flares and side vents, and unique front and rear detailing, the Soul embodies sportiness and functionality.
The Soul’s tagline, “The Power to Surprise,” clearly influenced its cabin design. It offers spacious interiors and comes with a cargo carrier as well. Legroom is adequate even for passengers in the backseat, with much-appreciated toe space under the front seats. Tall doors and a high-seating position mean getting in and out of the car will not be a problem.
The LX model has standard interior features including tilt steering column, power door locks, power windows, as well as a rear wiper and washer. The black-trim cloth seats provide comfortable seating while a 60:40 split-folding rear seat offers multiple seating and cargo configurations.
For small cars, long drives have always been a problem. The Soul can easily handle road trips, however. The Soul’s manual-type (three-knob) air-conditioning provides cool travel comfort to every passenger. It is equipped with a six-speaker integrated-type CD/MP3/AM/FM with auxiliary-in and USB/iPod connectivity. This means no more driving in silence when travelling through mountain roads.
Kia now packed its Soul with a thriftier 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-four with continuous variable valve timing (CVVT) gamma engine that can provide potent power. The car is just like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The Soul’s rigid structure body helps control noise, and is commendably quiet on the road. The Kia Soul has an independent suspension with coil spring, while the rear has a coupled torsion beam axle that provides a smoother, lighter, and more comfortable drive.
The Soul continues to offer the same high level of standard safety equipment as all Kia vehicles, with features such as airbags (driver side), crash autodoor unlock mechanism, ventilated disc brake (front) and drum brake (rear), three-point seatbelts and back-up sensors.
There may be a lot of compact crossovers in the market nowadays, but with the Soul’s new pricing of P875,000—plus, styling package and superb engine performance—I bet you won’t think twice about putting one in your carport.
Article contributed by:
KRIS C. LIM
Kris C. Lim is currently the managing director of PRLAB media and communication. Kris career spans for more than 10 years in various field of marketing, advertising, and managing editorial assignments. He was also a former managing editor of POWER WHEELS, a car magazine that focuses on aftermarket and performance tuning. A confessed car freak, Kris is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Car Awards Group, Inc. (CAGI) and also regularly writes for Business Mirror.