This week would be our first in a Kia, the South Korean, multinational, automobile manufacturer headquartered in Seoul. Immediately the bold choice of available colouring caught my eye. There are plenty of blue cars, but none that are this tropical water blue as this trim. It is fun and bright and definitely sets the tone for the rest of the vehicle.
This skittle candy coated colour was a nice contrast to the red detailing of the interior, and together, they added to the sport appeal. The rusty red hue could be found on the outline of the Harmon/Kardon speakers, highlighting the door’s handle as an asymmetrical checkered pattern, and in the red stitching of the faux leather/fabric seats. And at night the former two lit up, just a faint glow to give the otherwise all black interior some contrast in the dark.
Worth noting is how considerate the fob is set up. The button to lock the car, is located on the tip of it, at a slant, thus making it easy to identify. In this way you can push and activate what you need to without ever looking down.
Appearance wise I do not typically gravitate towards a hatchback out of preference. However, when it came time to drive it, I appreciated how accessible the 2023 Kia Soul GT made my day-to-day commute and the running of errands. I found it easier to find parking in this compact hatchback, especially compared to some of the heftier SUVs I have been driving as of late. Within, the cabin is fairly roomy. It had an open space with a bungalow-feel, and is very minimal in terms of clutter. The central console was simply constructed with a couple of coin trays, a covered compartment, and cup holders. I had more than enough clearance as driver and/or passenger to sprawl out my legs and rest my arms. And looking back to the second row, there was plenty of room in the backseat to fit two large adults comfortably. You do you hear the wind and the road outside and do feel the bumps on said road, but it is manageable.
The 2023 Kia Soul is equipped with all the modern and now standard comfort features like heated wheel, heating and cooling seats, adjustable seat with minimal lumbar extension. I did struggle to sync up the Bluetooth connection but barring that I could have connected my device to the car via USB or C-cable. And for safety you have alerts that sound when you are too close to another vehicle or obstruction.
The whole of the car is standard, the dash is simple with the speed digitized on one side and the reps per minute displayed in like kind, on the other. Outside of the normal drive mode the Kia Soul GT has a sports mode, that gives the hatch back a little more giddy-up. Given the compact size the vehicle is naturally zippy, spry, and agile. Although is slower to start on the line, but once you get going it is easy to accelerate. When stopped, the engine does make a full shut down, as a fuel reserving measure. And in hindsight I should have turned off the option, given how lethargic it felt starting and stopping, and how much the car struggled to get going again. I often found my foot heavily planted on the gas, making the Kia Soul best on smooth highways.
I also was not a fan of how the steering wheel was, and how it did not give you any fight back. Without the weight and wheel hesitation, oversteering was commonplace. On a couple of occasions, I felt the car somewhat swung out at the back. The quasi-bucket seats did help to dissipate the body rolls as it holds you firm from the sides, like a hug from the back.
As a whole, the 2023 Kia Soul GT Line Limited was easy to handle, a daily driver you really didn’t have to think about or give much maintenance to. Breezy on a cruise with a lower fuel economy for an everyday, longer commute, like mine. It feels like an expensive vehicle option that gets you from point A to point B, as well as the occasional road trip. And it feels like you get your money’s worth from it.