Upon first glance at our long-term Kia Soul I thought it was weird, quirky and very much juvenile. Yet, it had a sporty appeal that I was oddly attracted to.
I can confidently say after spending several weeks with Automotive Rhythms’ (AR) Soul, my initial opinions have indeed changed. Although it’s still a bit quirky (now in a very eccentric, cool way) I discovered it to be a very practical vehicle and not as immature as believed. You see, I have a family of five and fitting everyone comfortably is a bit of challenge in anything short of a mini-van. Not a problem for the AR Soul, which accommodated two adults, two toddlers and a soon-to-be tween. As a matter of fact, it became an instant favorite for my 8-year-old son who immediately started dropping classic Black Sheep lyrics thanks to Kia’s whimsical Hamster campaign – apparently more successful than I thought.
Our Soul was equipped with one of the sportiest interiors I’ve seen recently in this category and price point: MSRP $13,300. Another eye-catching feature of the interior is the lighting choices surrounding the front speakers that can be set to illuminate constantly with the music or with the volume level. This touch adds to the chill vibe of the overall design and layout blending succulently with the electrifying dash and center control panel. Sticking with the interior, it also provides a very generous and handy cargo area. In addition to writing, I am also a photographer, which requires the transporting of additional lighting and camera equipment. Needless to say, it can be a bit cumbersome to tote around my gear to various locations. However, this was a breeze given the Soul’s ample cargo area allowing all of my equipment including a few extras I usually have to leave behind. Mind you, this is without sacrificing passenger seating which — if need be — can be modified to accommodate more items.
Being the typical man I am, enough horsepower is never enough. I ride sports bikes if you know what I mean. However, in the case of the Soul I found the peppy little 1.6-liter 4-cylinder and its 122 horsepower enough to skirt through and around the city and along the highway with ease without feeling as if I was going to be the sacrificial lamb going into the Lion’s Den of D.C.’s notorious traffic madness.
By this point, the no-longer quirky size was perfect for fitting into parking spaces, dashing around, picking up the kids, travelling to shoots and taking the Soul to events all without breaking my wallet as it’s great on gas!
So how would I describe my time with Automotive Rhythms Kia Soul? Fun, sporty, practical and cost conscious!