To fully understand the 2010 Kia Soul, it helps to know a little something about its native land. Everywhere you look on the highways of South Korea, there's a white Sonata, a big nondescript black sedan or a silverish compact SUV. The only way there could be less color on the road would be if someone set the entire country to grayscale.
What Korea needs (and, by default, what its car industry needs) is a car like the Soul, a funky little box-on-wheels hatchback that comes in such hipster hues as Molten, Java, Shadow, Dune and Alien. Houndstooth and glow-in-the-dark upholsteries are available. As such, this commuter-friendly hatchback is a game-changer for Kia that should be bought for more than just its typical low price and lengthy warranty. Pardon the pun, but this thing's actually got some soul.
With its boxy shape, the 2010 Soul clearly has the Scion xB in its sights. However, the Kia has more rounded edges and a more angled greenhouse that features sharp-looking, blacked-out A-pillars. Inside, a stylish design available in two-tone hues complements straightforward controls. In terms of size, the Soul slots in between the too-small original xB and the current too-big (for some) xB, providing ample interior space and just enough cargo capacity.
Underneath its quirky styling resides a heavily modified Rio platform (hardly a great place to start), but the result is nevertheless a surprisingly fun-to-drive small car. It's no Mini Cooper, but the Soul stays well-planted in corners and provides the driver with a decent amount of feedback. Around town, the Soul is comfortable enough, but its low-tech suspension design results in a busy ride at highway speeds -- a sensation exacerbated by the higher trim levels' bigger wheels.
And speaking of trim levels, the Kia Soul wins the award for silliest trim names: They consist of base, +, ! and Sport. Yes, that's right, the symbols "+" and "!" are trim levels. There's no word whether ~ and # will soon follow. Regardless of their pseudo names, though, they include an ample amount of equipment, including standard antilock brakes, stability control, a USB audio jack and satellite radio, plus available items like Bluetooth, an upgraded stereo, a sunroof and the aforementioned two-tone interiors.
We think the 2010 Kia Soul is a compelling new entry in the economy car market: one with a pleasant driving character, lots of space, good build quality, loads of available features, a low price and a lengthy warranty. There are other choices to consider, naturally, including the Scion xB, which offers more power and interior space, and the Honda Fit, which has livelier handling and surprisingly cavernous cargo capacity. The new Nissan Cube will also fall into this quirky inside-the-box segment. None of these, however, offers the Soul's particular hip brand of style and character. And that's certainly something we've never uttered about a Kia before.
- Loads of available features, highly customizable, user-friendly controls, ample passenger space, surprisingly fun to drive, low price, long warranty.
- Limited cargo room versus competitors, noisy and busy highway ride, unrefined manual transmission, silly trim level names.
What this 2010 KIA SOUL Worth?
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2010 KIA SOUL Consumer Reviews
Read full reviews for this 2010 KIA SOUL, include detailed scores for performance, value, comfort, reliability, fun-to-drive, interior, exterior design and build quality.
2010 KIA SOUL Specifications
- Make: Kia
- Model: SOUL
- Year: 2010
- Doors: 4DR
- Model: Denim Special Edition
- Vehicle Type: Car
- Body Type: Wagon
- Drive Train Type: FWD
- Wheelbase: 100.4
- Engine Configuration: I4
- Engine Displacement: 2L
- Engine Aspiration: N/A
- Fuel Capacity: 12.7
- Fuel Type: Gasoline
- Gross Weight Rating: 0
2010 KIA SOUL Safety Ratings
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2010 KIA SOUL Environment & Green Scores
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2010 KIA SOUL Cost To Own & Maintenance Cost
Check the estimated costs for the next maintenance service for this 2010 KIA SOUL. This total estimated cost includes the preventive maintenance items recommended by Acura. The facility that services your vehicle may perform different, greater, or fewer procedures that can affect the cost you incur. For example, engine oil change and filter replacement are commonly performed by dealer and independent service facilities at special prices. These "special price" services do not typically include all of the additional procedures recommended by Acura at each service interval.VIEW FULL DETAILS