In my eye, the Soul is a standout thanks to original styling - something that's a true first for Kia. The Korean automaker has been on an upswing with design lately, but even the attractive Forte compact looks rather derivative. The Soul, on the other hand, looks like nothing else. Sure, you could say its square edges were inspired by the Nissan Cube or the Scion xB, but the Soul has a unique stance and shape that delivers fresh style with more traditional proportions.
The Soul is a genuine value with a pleasant driving demeanor, great equipment, and an excellent price. I'd say the only thing truly holding it back is a great advertising campaign. Oh, and at 24/30 mpg, it seems there is another mile per gallon or two in the highway fuel economy with a five-speed transmission.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor