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STYLING | 8 out of 10
The wackiest thing to come out of Korea since M*A*S*H
Car is cute and instantly likeable
Funky-yet-intuitive dash complete with a crystal clear display
Just when you thought funky imports like the Scion lineup, the Nissan Versa, and the Honda Fit couldn't get any stranger, Kia comes along with the 2010 Kia Soul to renew your faith in the ability of the big Asian automakers to churn out an endless array of quirky vehicles. Unlike some of the aforementioned vehicles that received lukewarm receptions, the new Soul Kia seems to strike all the right chords in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com.
The new Kia 2010 Soul is a fun take on the now-popular "urban wagon" theme. The Soul is available in four trim levels, according to Automobile Magazine, which lists the options as "a base edition, the punctuated Soul+ and Soul!, and the top-drawer Soul Sport." While unusual, those punctuated Soul suffixes are worth getting used to, as TheCarConnection.com's editors note that only 5 percent of 2010 Kia Soul models will be in the base trim.
Reviewers simply love the new 2010 Kia Soul, which Automobile Magazine calls "a kimchi-flavored take on the xB and, without question, the wackiest thing to come out of Korea since M*A*S*H." Autoblog reports that, "for a small car, this thing has gobs of character," but they note "most people will probably find the [Kia 2010] Soul either irrepressibly cool or simply fail to 'get' its style altogether." Motor Trend adds that the Kia Soul "is cute and instantly likeable and comes in eleven colors (eight at launch) with names like Alien and Dune." In terms of specific styling elements, Cars.com says the Kia Soul sports "a rounded front end that's reminiscent of a Mini Cooper" and features "short front and rear overhangs and a fairly raked windshield."
Despite the obvious attention that Kia paid to the exterior design of the 2010 Kia Soul, reviewers are pleased to note the interior isn't simply an afterthought. Autoblog highlights the plethora of "funky shapes, patterns, and retina-flambeeing colored plastics" inside, but they add, "like a skate punk that hides a straight-A report card from his mates, there's a practicality streak inside the Soul." Other automotive experts agree. Edmunds points out that the "ergonomic layout within the Soul's cabin is sensible, with all the major controls logically arranged and within easy reach of the driver." Motor Trend is impressed with the Soul Kia's interior as well, finding it "a lot more appealing than a traditional economy car's," and despite the various flamboyant elements, they feel it is "less out-there than the xB's."
Granted, the styling of the 2010 Kia Soul is not for everyone, but don't be surprised to see a lot of thumbs-ups flashed your way if you happen to be driving one.