Wednesday, July 3, 2013

KIA SOUL Driving Experience - Not minivan, not truck but what fun!

 2013 KIA SOUL - My driving Experience

Ever drive a mini-van?  Some people like them.  I think a mini-van is OK if you need to haul around large items or items of a large family.  The latter of which conjures up memories of screaming and arguing children, spilled juice drinks staining the seats RED, items being tossed by siblings at each other, hitting the driver and winding up on top of the dash board. So many antics from the back seat you just want to swing your fist blindly behind you as you negotiate turns hoping to hit something yapping~anything yapping to get some peace and quiet.  Ugh! the life in a minivan - horrendous.   And, the driving quality of a minivan?  Like an over-sized doghouse on thin wheels, bouncing and rolling in rather dangerous manner.  I am surprised not more of these vehicles flip on the road or 360 out of control.  Well, minivans be gone. A new age of transportation has commenced from the horizon; born out of automobile design boards at KIA Motors Corporation.  Hence, the KIA SOUL was released in 2010 and has just gotten better with age.

I recently had the pleasure of driving the 2013 KIA SOUL Exclaim supplied by STI - The Driving Experience people.  The Soul is neither a truck nor a minivan.  It is classified as an automobile e.g. small passenger vehicle, but has the utility of a minivan, the drive of a nimble truck, and the coolness of something everyone wants.  The KIA SOUL is cool, in demand, fun, and very comfortable.  Most of all the SOUL is entertaining.

What is cooler than a vehicle with two hamsters be-bopping their heads to tunes driving down the road with flashy colors and graphics.  No - Me and Mrs. did not feel like a hamsters driving this vehicle but we did be-bop heads to the tunes coming out of the excellent powerful Infinity sound system with multi-speaker sound including sub-woofer.  This vehicle is a compact car, efficient on gas, but comfortable to enter and exit, and great to listen to whatever music is enjoyed.  I have never heard a better sounding audio system in a vehicle than with what I experienced in the 2013 KIA SOUL Exclaim.

The SOUL this guy drove was the loaded SOUL Exclaim model and still was very affordable.  Power sun-roof, power windows, Leather heated seats, Infinity Sound System, Cruise control, Power Folding Mirrors, Auto-dimming rear view mirror, back up camera!, 2.0 ltr. engine, Serious Satellite Radio, Navigation, Blue tooth w/information display, 6 spd. select shift automatic transmission, and chock full of airbags.  In Alien Green paint scheme, this car was flashy and caught the attention of many on-lookers and some questions at parking lots.  LED lights front and back make this vehicle flashy, great looking, and hip.  The vehicle shape is square sort of boxy but in this vehicle it is hip to be square.

One last fun factor to mention in this vehicle was the circular neon like LED lights around the large door speakers that can be set to a color changing MOOD setting or to a beat reactive mode pulsating light to the music played on the stereo.  There is a manual control on the dash board to control the "Lighting Effects". You too will be-bop your head like the hamsters on TV in this vehicle with outrageous lighting effects.

OK- enough of the fun stuff...

The SOUL is a stable platform especially with the equipped 18x235 wheels on solid cast rims.  Road noise was minimal and with the windows closed, virtually all outside noise was blocked; this vehicle is well insulated.  Chatter, vibration, rattles are non-existent on bumpy rough surfaces.  Fuel mileage averaged 27-28 MPG driving many short 8-20 mile trips around town.  The SOUL is what I would call unexpectedly ZIPPY for the weight, size, and boxy stature of this vehicle.  The 2.0 ltr 4 cylinder engine ran smooth and supplied more than enough power (164 hp) and torque (148 ft. Lbs.) to move up through highway speed effortlessly without reaching above 3800 rpm.  If all this is not enough to persuade a perspective buyer how about this; The KIA SOUL was just named safest vehicle for transporting pets.  The SOUL earns 2013 Top Safety Pick by IIHS.  Anyway, this vehicle i.s extremely enjoyable, versatile, and rides comfortably nimble handling.   The SOUL gives a confident driving experience with ample power, strong braking capability and traction control.  Inside, the driver has visual access to a full set of gauges and controls on the steering wheel for radio, blue tooth, etc.  Lighting convenience was also a strong presence with auto-dimming dome light and automatic headlight function.

What did I not like about the SOUL?  Ah, let me ponder...That is a hard question to answer. There is much to like about the SOUL.  Can I fault the vehicle for not having a spare tire, no not really.  Most vehicles do not come with a spare tire or "donut", they come with roadside assistance as does the SOUL.  Oh yes, there is one thing.  There is a power window lock accessible to the driver.  With my 3 year old grandson in the vehicle he found entertainment in opening and closing his window.  I set the window lock and then found I was unable to control any of the windows unless I unlocked.  I expected the driver side window controls to be active with the window lock on as other vehicles do this as well including my Celica GTS.  A minor inconvenience at most.  In all, the KIA SOUL is a solid driving  machine that will meet the need of many tasks; chiefly enjoyment.

Thanks STI - The Driving Experience people, for the opportunity to drive and enjoy the KIA SOUL!
Scott Mayorga

Thanks STI for the opportunity to experience the Kia Forte
Scott Mayorga - See more at:
Thanks STI for the opportunity to experience the Kia Forte
Scott Mayorga - See more at:

No comments:

ShareThis Post!