Maybe it's the hamsters. Something got to me and caused me to run against the grain, that would be my preference for 3-box sedans. I've been reading up on the Soul, checked out a couple of Soul sites, and compared the specs to my Spectra.
In brief--because it was a brief drive--(and the salesguy spent most of his briefing time discussing the radio/commo device) the car is zippy, roomy, and chock full of space considering its 162 inch OAL. W=70.3", H=63.4", track F/R=61.8"/62.5".
The sticker was right at $20,000.
Drove the top model, the ! aka Exclaim. There is also the + (Plus), and the basic Soul. The ! comes with 18" wheels, while down the line there are 16s and 15s. I believe the sizes, respectively, are 235.45.18; 205.55.16; and 195.65.15, steelies with covers. Upper models get alloy wheels.
[Hey, that's good. I actually got the tire sizes right before checking the book. Applause from the audience, please.]
It rides harsh, or perhaps tight, or perhaps bumpy. More like my wife's PT (on the hard side) than the Spectra, and far less boulevard than the 200 V6.
The steering is quick, feels solid, and centers strongly. Sales said it's electric, it felt OK to me, but then I'm not a Motor Trend sophisticate who can tell how many watts it's pulling because it sucks so bad.
Nothing remarkable about the brakes, which is good. Sales nailed them on some ice/snow, they did the appropriate ABS dance and slowed the caah appropriately. Considering the fat all-season 18-inchers, I thought it slowed well. ESP is also stock, a requirement this year IIRC.
Headroom seems adequate for Abe Lincoln mit stovepipe hat. A sunroof is standard on the !, no biggie to me but the headspace in this caah is rather extraordinary. I liked the partial houndstooth upholstery. Always liked houndstooth.
It corners tight enough, given our short drive with little opportunity to play boy racer. The WB is about 3" shorter than our Spectra, but the track is 3"-4" wider, with back track about an inch wider than front.
I recall during the 1960s reading (likely in Car and Driver) about Pontiac's wide track tigers. The writer said Poncho research had determined that a rear track about 1.5" wider than the front was a major contributor to stability. So be it.
The trannie is unobtrusive and goes about its mission with minimal fuss. Power from the 2.0 seems quite adequate, 164 @ 6500 148TQ @ 4800 with VVT.
Now, who can tell me why KIA makes two 2.0s? 1999 CC for the Soul, 1998 cc and 156 [email protected] 6200, 144 ft. lb. @ 4300 for the Forte.
Claimed curb weight is about 2800. My Spectra tilts at 2900 on the town dump scales.
Acceleration heading into 4 o'clock traffic on the interstate seemed quick enough, but it will take a more complete test to get a good feel.
Edmunds claims 8.8 naught-to-sixty. MPH/1000 RPM in top gear appears to be about 28.
Gadgets: Back-up camera. Auto lights. Voice-recognition radio. Moonroof. Projectors and LEDs in front, LEDs in back for the !, auto-dimming RVM, 18" unique alloys. Lesser models have standard heat bulbs.
Cabin has 102.3 cu. ft. of space, the behind-seats space is about 19 cu. ft., seats-down is 53.
No spare tire, but there's a compartmentalized space about 4-5" deep under the back (trunk?) floor, and under that there's room for a spare but which contains only a can of spare tire. Lots of storage here.
Do they make a Continental Kit yet?
Fuel capacity is 12.7, down nearly two from the Spectra's 14.5 but this gets higher MPG grades.
I really like zippy little cars, and this is one. It reminds me of my 1971 Hondacar, but with space, power, and 40 years of tekkie progress. Highway MPG is about the same, but given that the Honda was about 1300 lb. and ran a 600 cc. twin, perhaps we can agree this is progress.