Don't look now, but here comes Kia Soul, one of the most eye-catching cars to be released this year. Gone are the days when abysmal craftsmanship and general butt-ugliness are associated with Kia, which is riding a winning streak of late with the release of models like Carens, Sorento, and Rio.
Fresh is a great way to describe the new Soul. It looks like a cross between the Honda Jazz and a Suzuki Swift, and for some reason, that combination works. We're not just talking about what's on the outside, okay? We're talking about the inside, too. The car's high-tech layout, the dash, the fabrics, and the finish show that the designers sought to make a car for the hip twentysomethings. They've succeeded in doing so. Everything in it—the fuel lid cap, rear wing spoiler, alloy wheels, rear and side skirts, the sporty pedals—make the Soul look and feel so alive.
Fueling that excitement is its 2.0L DOHC 16 Continuous Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) engine that produces about 144 horsepower at 6000 RPM. With this powerplant, you're assured of a spirited ride. Couple this with its awesome audio system—PowerBass technology and iPod support—and you're in for a joyride. The only thing that might scare people away is the Soul's steep price tag: P1.17M for the entry-level model.—Gelo Gonzales
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