The Kia Soul is a small car with attention-grabbing exterior and a spacious interior. Its closest competitor – the Nissan Juke – also took the Marmite approach to heart, while newer rivals such as the Peugeot 2008 share the Soul’s rugged styling and chunky bumpers.
The Soul is perfect for small families with its spacious interior and decent boot. The dashboard isn’t the last word in attractive design, but the build quality is good and so is the optional infotainment system.
The driving experience was overhauled in 2016’s facelift of the Soul, so it’s now as comfortable as rivals, but it lacks the fun-to-drive dynamics of the Nissan Juke. The Soul feels best in the city where its tight turning circle and good all-round visibility are best put to use.
And if you go for either the basic petrol or diesel, you had best stay in town because the petrol is gutless on the motorway and the diesel is quite loud. The 1.6-litre turbo petrol, added with the 2016 update, seems to resolve these issues, though.
Standard equipment is very generous with all Souls getting air conditioning, remote central locking, Bluetooth connectivity and USB sockets for your mobile phone or music player.
The Soul has more character than your average Kia
In isolation, the Kia Soul isn’t a bad purchase with its main pluses being character, a well-made interior, a great infotainment system and a generous amount of standard equipment. After the 2016 update you now also have a competitive turbocharged petrol engine and a much improved ride quality. There’s also plenty of space for passengers and their luggage.
However, compared to rivals, the Soul doesn’t really excel in one area, and will likely remain a leftfield choice because of this.