As Scion's edginess ebbs, Kia is moving in for the kill with the five-passenger Soul, on sale now at Kia dealerships across the U.S. The base five-door, five-passenger Soul will begin at $13,300, moving to $14,950 for the Soul+, and $16,950 for both the Soul! and Soul sport. Gr8 model names, incidentally, fo da txtng g3nratn.
2010 Kia SoulEnlarge Photo
The Soul's mission? Beat Scion at the game it created years ago by appealing to "social, easy-going and hard-working consumers." It was styled in California, debuted at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, and is being driven in Miami Beach today by us auto journalists. Kia coolly describes it as "a new way to roll." Yo.
In pictures (especially draped in Alien Green), the Soul may look a little too New Beetle cutesy, but in person it comes off as confident, funky, even a bit cocky. "Tough, not rough," they say. Good call. Blacked-out A-pillars make the greenhouse look huge and continuous, a unique cue shared with the Nissan GT-R. All in all, it's polarizing, perhaps, but definitely not boring. Nor derivative, marking a refreshing new direction for the South Koreans.
Kia took notice of all the Scions rolling on healthy aftermarket wheels; standard on the Soul are generous 195/65R15s, while the Soul+ gets 205/55R16s, and the Soul! and Soul sport get no-joke 225/45R18s. Notable "unique exotic" paint colors range from subtle to silly and should serve an eclectic demographic. They include Dune, Clear White, Shadow, Titanium, Bright Silver, Java, Red-Hot Molten, Alien Green, "flame-emulating" Ignition, Denim Blue, and Bright White Ghost.