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TheCarConnection.com's car experts researched Web reviews for the 2010 Kia Soul to compile this full review. TheCarConnection.com's editors also drove the 2010 Kia Soul in order to sort through the opinions they found on the Web, to find a consensus among online car-review Web sites, and to get to the truth where reviewers had differing opinions.
- Adorable, angular shape
- Fun and spacious interior
- Standard safety equipment
- Well-equipped, even in base trim
- Manual shifter has long travel
- Drivetrain thrum at highway speed
- Not quick
The 2010 Kia Soul brings a new attitude to the Korean automaker's lineup. A far cry from the likes of the stuffy Amanti sedan, the Soul is a five-door urban wagon that neatly outsmarts the likes of the Scion xB and the Nissan Cube with a catchy style; a sharp, roomy, and well-fitted cabin; and a comprehensive list of safety and fun features.
The 2010 Soul wins on styling, hands-down. The reverse boomerang of the rear end reminds some of the In-N-Out burger logo; to others, it's simply a crisp, rakish shape with a little bit of busy detailing up front. The front wears the new Kia corporate grille and friendly-feeling headlamps; the rear is less tidy, but the square, tall taillamps frame a light and lofty hatchback that's nearly vertical—a nice punctuation to the Soul's casual leaning stance. Inside, it's a refined blend of round shapes and embossed plastics—and a variety of colors and textures if you like, from red plastic covering the dash to houndstooth-check material swathing the seats.
Two engines and two transmissions give Soulsters agreeable choices for city driving, if not much beyond that. The base Soul comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder making 122 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque. With the sole transmission, a five-speed manual, it's rated at 26/31 mpg. TheCarConnection.com did not have the opportunity to drive this model; Kia estimates only 5 percent of shoppers will order it, anyway.