2017 Kia Soul Walk Around

The Kia Soul’s shape is still perky, but not so fresh any more. The proportions are right, as the sharp angles on the chunky sheetmetal work with the roofline. The windshield pillars are abrupt while leaning back a bit, keeping the profile from being overly square.

The Soul needs the body-colored trim in the Plus and Exclaim models, to smooth out and enhance the shape.


There is a sea of black plastic in the dash panel, with some chrome and glossy trim to add contrast. There are some unexpected upscale touches, such as the steering wheel, gauges, and some soft materials. The instrument panel is low so the driver looks downward at it. The centerstack with its controls is canted toward the driver. Speakers sit on top of vents at the edges of the dash.

The seats are firm and supportive, but a tall driver might find himself too high, and there might not be enough support for long thighs. The Plus and Exclaim have a folding center armrest in the rear. But the best part is, there’s an amazing 39 inches of rear seat legroom, more than many SUVs.

Soul offers a good level of standard equipment for a base compact, but there’s no cruise control or center front armrest. The rearview camera is available in a package costing $2000, a high price for a basic safety feature.

There’s good cargo room inside, with 24.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and with them folded there’s a vast 61.3 cubic feet; the Soul is like a tiny cargo van.

The Soul gets back to being an inexpensive compact car when it comes to interior noise. The Exclaim’s turbo motor drones into the cabin, and begins to howl when the engine tops 4000 rpm. The other two slower engines are louder.

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