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2012 Kia Soul+ 1.6-litre diesel review

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    Kia’s Soul has enough style to impress and plenty of options to express.

Allison Garoza road tests and reviews the 2012 Kia Soul+ 1.6-litre diesel.

Kia Soul+ 1.6-litre diesel 4

Kia has pumped up the bass and swaggered onto the back streets. The Soul is a quirky, tough looking vehicle, the kind you’d want to back you in a fight...when you don’t have enough money or sense of shame to drive a Hummer.

The Kia Soul...well, we hate to be redundant, but that’s exactly what it has. Affordable and attractive, it has tons of character and a self-assured drive that will appeal especially to the younger market.

PRICE AND EQUIPMENT

The diesel, automatic Soul + rocks up at $29,990, including 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, multi-function trip computer, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, ABS, ESC, VSM, iPod compatibility, Bluetooth, six speakers, speed dependant volume control, and a fun little power bass.

TECHNOLOGY

The six-speed automatic, 1.6-litre diesel Soul+ has 94kW at 4000 rpm and 260Nm at 1900rpm. The official fuel combined is 5.9/100km. Our cruise downtown and through the Royal National Park found 9.8/100km, on the motorway we reached a respectable 6.3/100km in this fun, five-seater, front-wheel drive car.

DESIGN

Kia’s Soul has enough style to impress and plenty of options to express. Besides the attractive frame to start with, there are heaps of extras that allow you to articulate your style. From dragon and houndstooth decals to racing stripes and custom coloured interior - the Soul wants to be your mate.

Seats front and back are comfortable, with storage nooks and functionally sized drink holders. The airy cabin is hard to fault and cools impressively fast, even on sweltering 40 plus days. There’s a little interior noise when the diesel idles, but that’s not too bad, especially when you activate the power bass and start blasting a beat.  

The boot, however, may cramp your style. At 222 litres, there isn’t a lot of space, but fold the 60:40 rear seats, and you get 700 litres – a good amount if you don’t need to carry extra baggage or have little ones in tow. While this small hatch lacks the room to be an ideal family vehicle, it’s great for singles, young couples, or those who have passed the need for child seats.

SAFETY

With a five-star ANCAP safety rating, ABS, ESC, VSM, driver and front passenger, front side, and curtain SRS airbags, and active front headrests, the Soul looks after yours.  

DRIVING

You feel above everything seated high in the Soul. While the wheel initially feels a bit heavy, the Soul responds well and the vehicle’s small size lets you zip around. The height also lends to easy loading and unloading, though you get a bit of body roll on sharp turns.

There are blind spots to the sides and back so if you’re going to park a lot in the city, the optional rear park assist may be worth considering. Overall though, the Soul handles well and is a comfortable ride.  

VERDICT

An impressive move for Kia, the stylish and unique Soul + diesel is a great vehicle for practical souls wanting to stand out from the crowd.

Kia Soul+ 1.6-litre diesel

Price: from $29,990
Engine: 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder, 94kW/260Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, FWD
Thirst: 5.9L/100Km, CO2 155g/km


Hyundai i30 SX diesel
Price: from $25,590
Engine: 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder, 94kW/260Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, FWD
Thirst: 5.6L/100Km, CO2 147g/km

 

 

Hyundai i30 - see other Hyundai i30 verdicts


 


Toyota Rukus

Price: from $27,490
Engine: 2.4-litre, 4-cylinder, 123kW/224Nm
Transmission: 4-speed auto, FWD
Thirst: 8.8L/100km

 

 

Toyota Rukus - see other Toyota Rukus verdicts


 

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