Sorry, folks -- I think I'm more of a Cubist than a Soul Man. That's nothing to do with the styling -- admittedly, I like the Soul's roller-skate shape more than I do the Cube's form -- but dynamically, this car does nothing for me. As others have noted, the body control is surprisingly good, but the suspension is subsequently rather stiff (perhaps exacerbated by the 18-inch wheels). This isn't a huge issue on smooth pavement, but in pothole-ridden Ann Arbor, it made me pine for the relaxed, smooth(er) nature of the Cube.
Still, I do like how Kia is working to inject design into its value-priced lineup. I'm not the biggest fan of houndstooth cloth, but draping the tops of the seatbacks in the fabric in something other than a '69 Camaro is rather brave. If that's not your taste, Kia has other ways you can add a splash of color to an interior that would otherwise be rather bland.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer