Tee to Green, The Golf Show

with Jay Ritchie & Jerry Butenhoff


D.R.I.V.E. of the Week

D - Drivability: 9

What we liked: The Soul has always been a fun car to drive, it's part of the image. The Soul ! for 2012 is no exception. In fact, driving the new Soul ! is even more fun thanks to an engine upgrade. The 1.6L and the 2.0L 4-cylinder are both more powerful and fuel efficient and both benefit from a new 6-speed manual/automatic transmission. Also beneficial, the ECO package on the automatic-equipped models. More interior room than expected is a nice surprise. Good front and back passenger space. Also, an upgrade in materials gives the cockpit and cabin a more luxury look and feel. The Soul is geared toward young buyers, so the cabin doesn't disappoint in term of hi-tech. The UVO infotainment system is great and set up in easy to use fashion. The rear-camera display is another nice surprise.

What we didn't like: Still a bit of road sway. No spare tire. Just an emergency fix-a-flat tire inflator. (too scary for us)

R - Rideability: 8

What we liked: Comfortable ride, even for a couple of adults in the back seat. Climate control, entertainment features, cupholders and cubby-holes for everyone. Lot's of storage room in the rear-end, especially with 60/40 splitback rear seat.

What we didn't like: Like it's predecessors, the 2012 KIA Soul still gets a little too noisy at higher speeds.

I - Image: 9

Funky, fun and very cool. The KIA Soul ! is all of these. Throw in safe as well. Dual front advanced airbags, front seat side airbags and full length side curtain airbags are standard. Some critics say it's too boxy-looking, but we liked the look a lot. More so than the design of the Scion or the Cube. Overall, in looks, performance and just plain drivability, we were pleasantly surprised.

V - Value: 8.5

One of the most affordable small cars out there. The base manual transmission Soul starts at $13,900, fully loaded. The Soul + with automatic transmission stickers out at $16,300, fully loaded. The model we tested, the Soul ! is the top of the line, fully loaded with optional navigation system at $18,545.

E - Economy: 8

All models of the KIA Soul use regular unleaded gas. The Soul ! gets 30 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway. Many KIA Soul owners report doing better than that. Make sure you use the ECO feature.

2013 KIA Soul

2012 Kia Soul

TOTAL: 42.5 (out of 50)

What it competes against:
The Honda Fit, Toyota Scion, Nissan Cube, Ford Fiesta and Chevy Sonic are other vehicles in this category.

more information on the dealer website

Transportation for Tee To Green's DRIVE of the Week
provided by STI Fleet Services, Denver, CO.

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