New car reviews

2010 Kia Soul

Contouring and firming the Soul

Lou Ann Hammond, Mon, 23 Mar 2009 08:00:00 PDT

Brickell Island, Miami, FL - Off the coast of Miami there are little islands for the rich and famous. Fisher Island used to be Oprah's home away from home. Singer Island is known to house celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone. It was no surprise to me when I reached the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Island to find out that Britney Spears and her kids were staying on floor 15.

Miami is full of skimpy outfits on roller skates. It's part of the reason the scene is so congested. Beautiful people in their Lamborghinis slow down to watch the firm bodied skimpettes. It's why Britney fits in Miami. Young, little to no clothing, rich and famous and ever so cute. Spears knows her audience.

Kia knows its audience as well. Kia knows its competitors for this car, and they - the competitors - are slowing down in the already congested car scene to take a look. Fred Aikins, Senior Project Strategy Manager for Kia the Soul says the competitors are Suzuki SX4, Nissan Cube, Scion Xb.

It's evident that the Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer designed, contoured,the 2010 Kia Soul with the Scion in mind. Hey, when something works! It's not like all the skimpettes in Miami are unique. They copied Spears, Hilton, Cyrus and all the rest. The difference is looking for the uniqueness of the individual. That is what we did with the Soul.

My friend Bob, girlfriend Dale and I took off to Key Largo. It's not easy to judge a car when all you're doing is sitting in the front passenger seat, or the drivers seat. But we were switching seats, taking pictures, climbing in and out and over the entire.

The whole car was at ease with us, and us with it. The backseat is just as ample as the front passenger seat. Usually if there are three of us we'll throw stuff in the trunk to make room. There was lots of room in the back for one of us and all of our purses and cameras. The seats could be put down easily for more room, but we didn't need it.

The five-door 2010 Kia Soul is available in four trims: Soul starting at $13,300, Soul+ (plus) $14,950-$17,100, Soul! (exclaim) $16,950-$17,900, and Soul sport $16,950-$18,600.

You can choose from two engines: The first is a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which produces 122 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy for the 1.6-liter manual is 26 city/31 highway miles per gallon.

The second is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-liter engine produces 142 horsepower with 137 pound-feet of torque, and is standard on Soul+ (plus), Soul! (exclaim) and Soul sport models. Fuel economy for the 2.0-liter is 24 city /30 highway mpg for both the automatic and manual transmissions. Kia says that is better fuel economy than the Scion xB.

Dale, has owned many Suzuki SX4s. She says they are great for hauling, perfect for the Northeast, and she loves her heated seats. I'll tell you right now that Dale won't be buying a Soul. But the list of why nots is very short. Dale needs a four wheel drive and she, like me, won't buy a car without heated seats.

The more I talk to men and women I understand that heated seats are a must for most women. Heated seats was one topic of conversation at our dinner table last night. Not just whether a car should have heated seats, but which heated seats are the best.

Heated seats are a must among many people. Manufacturers think of heated seats as useful in the cold regions. As one gets older they like heated seats to warm the back, to loosen the discs. I think auto manufacturers should take them out of the "winter/cold package" and make them an ala carte item, they are that popular.

The 2010 Kia Soul is designed just right for the Britney Spears generation. The vehicle offers versatility and all the safety needed plus. The designers have done a great job at contouring and firming the Soul. The tech people have all the added gizmos to attract them, including strobing speakers.

At the end of the day I needed a little contouring and firming myself,and what better place to get a massage than the 15,000 square foot Mandarin Oriental. Who knows, maybe Britney will be there.

 


2010 Kia Soul on the beah


A skimpette and her car


not such a skimpette


Contouring and firming the Soul?

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