Kia delivers luxury for less with its sub-$20k Soul

What better way to venture to outer space like Kia’s fan favorite hamsters than in a Solar yellow Soul?

I enjoyed the Soul much more than I expected to. After trying out the 2013 model, I was left disappointed by what visions of grandeur I had formed in my head about this car. But not this time. This time the Soul left my soul feeling happy.

First of all, I can’t believe how many luxury features are included in the 2014 Kia Soul priced below $20,000. It’s unreal. Heated front and rear seats, plus ventilation for the driver and front passenger. And let’s talk about that moonroof/sun roof combo. It’s incredible; it takes the cavernous feeling completely out of the low-slung roofline of this compact car. Did I mention Kia’s cute four-door comes stocked with the brand’s UVO voice command and navigation technology?

Spending a few days reconnecting with a Soul

We had friends visiting from out of town while the Kia keys were in my hands. I was pleasantly surprised that it fit four adults comfortably in all four seats. I even made the boys sit in the back. Look how happy they are!

Look! The 2014 Kia Soul comfortably fits normal-sized people in the rear seats. (Pictured here are yours truly, Mr. Car Chic, and my best friend’s hubby.)

This car is great for a mommy or daddy on the go, a young professional who loves bright colors, a free spirited driver, or a teenager or college student. I hesitate to say this because I dont want to give the Soul the “(Honda) Element curse”, but I even think it would be great for older drivers because it’s low to the ground, mostly easy to see out of, and provides plenty of room for luggage and groceries.

What I loved about the Soul was that it was so easy to operate. Finally, a regular car that just works. (I recently had the same luck with the Jeep Cherokee.) The infotainment system wasn’t convoluted or complicated. I could quickly find things where I expected them to be, and the seats, tail gate and sunroof were simple to access and maneuver.

Kia has come a long way since it’s first days in the U.S., and I’m willing to bet that if it keeps putting out lovable cars like the 2014 Soul, and listening to what consumers really want in their cars (and that doesn’t have to be everything plus the kitchen sink!), then I’m confident they will continue to excel for many years to come.

 

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.