By Michael Andre Adams
I can’t recall whether it was 2009 or 2010 when Kia’s TV introduction to the Soul took the nation by storm. In fact I heard about the commercial long before I had the opportunity to see the hip-hop, head bobbing hamster duo rolling through the city chillin’, in a hot, new, extremely affordable whip while maintaining a steady degree of coolness. That commercial continues to reign at the top of my list of the coolest, most unforgettable commercials ever!
Since then, the edgy, fuel-efficient, compact Soul–classified by the EPA as a small station wagon, continues to attract a style savvy, budget minded demographic. It’s one of those cars that you see and cant help but smile. In fact, while recently testing the 2012 Kia Soul! and a 2012 Mercedes S550 at the same, I longed for the opportunity each day to throw on my work out gear and roll up to the gym in dark glasses, with the windows up and the music blasting–well, at least what I call blasting in my late 40’s!
While Soul starts at just $13,900 at the basic trim level, which comes with a 138 horsepower, four-cylinder engine and 15′ rims, the top of the line Soul! at $19,600, includes a 164 horsepower engine, a set of dazzling 18″ rims, all with a fuel economy rating of 26 miles per gallon in the city, 34 on the highway, for an annual cost of fuel (if you drive 15,000 miles on average) at $2,050 or $45 per tank for 331 miles. But when you add $2,500 for the Premium Package (keyless start, automatic climate control, Navigation with Sirius traffic, heated front seats with leather trim) I swear, you’ll feel like you’re rolling in baby Rover Sport!
And Kia’s warranty is quite tight as well: 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain (with limits), 5 years/60,000 miles basic warranty (with limits), 5 years/60,000 miles for roadside assistance.
Now, for some reason, Soul’s LED lights are not daytime running. So for points on coolness, I recommend keeping the lights set in the parking lamp position instead of automatic. That way the LED lights will illuminate in the daytime and still shut off automatically each time you turn the car off. You just have to remember to turn the headlights on when you get in the car at night. But either way, the Kia Soul! is undisputedly, one cool Lil whip!