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Kia Adds Some Soul

What is happening over at Kia? I was asked to check out some inexpensive cars for my sister-in-law, who is replacing an aging Chevrolet Malibu and I was shocked to see the choice Kia had on offer. Not only does Kia have inexpensive small cars like the Rio and Rio 5, but they have a fully equipped large car called the Optima. Inside is seating for five with a fit and finish to rival any Toyota. The Optima is almost $4,000 cheaper than a Camry, has twice the warranty and comes with standard satellite radio. Why was I even considering Toyota?

I then noticed the 2010 Kia Soul, which is a cool little hatchback that reminds me of the Nissan Cube and Scion xB. This car has character and a look that is funky but functional. It can be ordered in colors like “Alien” and “Java” and starts at just $13,300. The interior is a little bulky looking but it comes in four different color combinations including one with a red dash, and that’s retro chic. In fact, there are as many ways to customize this car as there are reasons to buy it, from racing stripes to custom dash trims.

I was a little surprised, especially considering I had seen all those strange, hip commercials with the sock puppets and the boppin’ hamsters. When I recommend a car to my sister-in-law, this one will be at the top of the list.

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