2011 Kia Soul Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality
The boxy exterior of the 2011 Kia Soul promises a versatile, roomy, almost van-like interior, and it delivers on that promise—with interior space for five (or four adults) or, with the back seats folded forward, some very impressive cargo space.

In front, the driver sits quite upright, and finds easy-to-use controls at hand and cheery gauges framed by the steering wheel—which is not the case with the Scion, for example. Knee and legroom are good, seat comfort is good, and headroom is great—even in the backseat, where the middle passenger may be compressed for shoulder room. The second-row seats fold forward to boost cargo area over 53 cubic feet, and the cargo floor lifts to expose more storage area; an optional compressed-foam cargo organizer also fits in there. The Soul also has a two-tier glove box capable of holding a 15-inch laptop, a center console, an iPod-sized bin atop its center stack, and lots of cup holders. Dimensionally it checks in at 161.6 inches overall, 70.3 inches wide, 63.4 inches high, and it has a 100.4-inch wheelbase.

Interior materials in the Soul are better than you'd expect for a vehicle that starts below $15k. There are a lot of hard plastics inside, but they're nicely surfaced, and trim and panels all fit tightly.

The 2011 Kia Soul delivers on all the versatility and spaciousness that its boxy design suggests, with surprisingly good comfort; road noise is the only exception.

The ride of the 2011 Soul is definitely on the soft side, but just firm enough to instill confidence around tight freeway ramps and for quick lane changes. Our only gripe is that the Soul becomes bouncy on some types of freeway surfaces, due probably to its rather short wheelbase, and there can be quite a lot of road noise at higher speeds, depending on the surface.

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