Kias Got Soul and so Will You

in Soul

Kia has come a long way since its debut in the North American market back in the 1980s. This little South Korean company has seen its ups and downs over the past few decades and has come out on top. Now in 2010, Kia has redeveloped, revamped, and climbed its way to the top of the small SUV market. In fact it has already been awarded the best hatchback of 2010, and is a finalist for the World Car of the Year and World Car design of the Year. All of these accolades keeps this vehicle is flying off the dealership lots. The Kia Soul is an urban crossover, part SUV and part hatchback. With that description, you might think it would look like a station wagon. Not so, I saw this vehicle on the road the other day and found myself straining my neck to see what make of vehicle it was. Its look is progressive and streamlined, not at all what you would think when you hear that little word, hatchback.

Kia has marketed the 2010 Soul to target a younger market. They created a funky little SUV/hatchback crossover with plenty of soul hence the appropriate name. Its a four-door hatchback wagon, which has sleek styling and all of the latest gizmos and features the younger crowd has come to expect from a new vehicle. It has a boxy shape similar to the Honda Element, but unlike the Element, the Soul has a geometric look with rounded edges and angled windows. Referred to as an urban passenger vehicle, it sits the driver high like a SUV for city driving appeal, and has plenty of headroom and interior space for long road trips or small cargo moves.

The Kia Soul is a front wheel drive vehicle with a four cylinder engine. The 1.6 liter boasts 122 horsepower and the 2.0 liter offering 142 horsepower. The smaller 1.6 liter comes with a 5 speed manual gearbox, the larger engine available as a four speed automatic. Both engines have lots of kick, no slowing down on steep hills and mountains and no lag time when maneuvering through dense city traffic. Because of this driving ease, the Soul is a fun little zippy SUV crossover which seems to be able to do it all.

The interior is just as funky. It has similar 3-dial instrument clusters to the mini-cooper, which are well lit and looks like a cross between a spaceship and a Formula One racer. For those who are not impressed with that, Kia also has a glow-in the dark upholstery option. There are lots of cool gizmos in the options package, enough to keep its new younger clientele on their toes trying to out-do their neighbors.

With the Kia Soul ringing in all the awards and accolades for 2010, what could the company be working on next? An electric car, yes Kia has jumped on the hybrid bandwagon, and unveiled the Kia Ray a plug-in hybrid at this years Chicago auto show. Still in its conceptual phase the Ray is a four seater compact sedan, based on their successful Forte platform. Designed with lightweight and recycled materials, the Ray boasts hexagonal roof solar cells to power extra lighting and climate controls. Kia refers to this new development as eco-dynamics, a sub-brand for economic fuel use and emissions cutting technology. Yet another grasp at the younger, more accountable and responsible car buyers who want to boast power as well as earth friendliness.

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Pat Munro has 1 articles online

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Kias Got Soul and so Will You

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This article was published on 2011/07/03